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Me­terse and Omit, Sub­mit, Ad­mit, Per­mit

The Span­ish me­terse (“to get in­volved with”) comes from the Latin mit­tere (“to let go.”) They sound like they might be op­po­sites, but they’re broad­ly aligned: it’s all about go­ing some­where, fig­u­ra­tive­ly. Get­ting in­volved with some­thing is just get­ting to your des­ti­na­tion!

From this Latin root, we get a whole slew of Eng­lish words, such as:

  • Omit
  • Sub­mit
  • Ad­mit
  • Per­mit

Ba­si­cal­ly, all the ‑mit words–even the awe­some, but usu­al­ly for­got­ten, man­u­mit!

What all of these words have in com­mon is, go­ing in a par­tic­u­lar di­rec­tion: the per­mis­sion to go there; the ac­cep­tance to go there; the sub­mis­sion to see if you can go there; and even the op­po­site, just not go­ing there at all!

Note that al­so from the same root we get the noun ver­sion of these words, in which (sur­pris­ing­ly) the ‑mit mor­phed in­to ‑mis­sion. Thus: man­u­mis­sion, dis­miss, mess and mis­sion.

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