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Lunes and Mon­day

Monday lunes spanish english

The days of the week in Span­ish and Eng­lish par­al­lel each oth­er in weird, eerie de­tail.

Lets start with the most ob­vi­ous: Mon­day. It was orig­i­nal­ly the Moon-day — the day to wor­ship the Moon.

The Latins felt the same way — and thus Lunes comes from Lu­na, the Latin for moon!

Stay tuned for the next in­stall­ments, where it gets more in­ter­est­ing. A hint: Thurs­day = Thor’s Day; Jueves = Jove’s Day.

Martes — Tues­day

Martes tuesday spanish english

Last time, we saw that Lunes and Mon­day are from the same God, the moon. Now we will see the same for Martes and Tues­day.

Martes, the Span­ish for Tues­day, is named af­ter the Ro­man God of War, whom we all learned about in mid­dle school mythol­o­gy class­es: Mars.

Tues­day is named af­ter Tiw, who was the Ger­man­ic God of War — their equiv­a­lent of Mars!

Tues­day is thus, lit­er­al­ly, “Ti­w’s Day”.

More in­ter­est­ing­ly, the name “Tiw” comes from the In­do-Eu­ro­pean Root “Dye-us” (think of the T‑iw and D‑ye par­al­lel with the fi­nal “-us” be­ing lost) — from which we al­so get the Span­ish word dios (for God) and the San­skrit de­va (we all know that that means!).

San­gre and San­gria

San­gre (Span­ish for “blood”) comes from the Latin san­guis for the same.

From that root, we al­so get.… san­gria. Yes, the clas­sic al­co­holic wine plus fruit drink looks a bit like blood!

We al­so get a bunch of less com­mon words, such as, con­san­guine (cousin mar­riages!) and even just san­guine, which orig­i­nal­ly meant “blood­thirsty”. It’s on­ly a small step from the in­ten­si­ty of blood­thirsty to the cheery op­ti­mism of san­guine!

Som­bra and Som­brero

Every Eng­lish speak­er knows the Span­ish word for the big Mex­i­can hats, som­brero. This word makes it easy to re­mem­ber the word from whence it came: som­bra, the Span­ish word mean­ing… shade. The s‑mb‑r root is clear in both words!

For those of us, in­clud­ing me, who love less com­mon words, an­oth­er cousin word is the Eng­lish penum­bra, for some­thing that’s par­tial­ly cov­ered by a shad­ow. The um­bra is from the Latin for “shad­ow”, from which we al­so got som­bra in Span­ish, with the sub- pre­fix.

Bis­abue­lo and Bi-

Bis­abue­lo (Span­ish for “great-grand­par­ent”) has an ori­gin more ob­vi­ous than it seems: the bis- that be­gins it (adding to just abue­lo, grand­fa­ther) is the same bi- that means “two” in a va­ri­ety of Latin words- bi­lat­er­al, bi­fur­cate, and many more. So, bis­abue­lo lit­er­al­ly means, “grand­fa­ther — twice over!”

Ho­ja and Fo­liage

Hojas leaves

The Ini­tial F, fol­lowed by a vow­el, dis­ap­pears: So, “ho­ja”, mean­ing “leaf” (in all sens­es: the au­tumn trees, the piece of pa­per) is thus, from the same Latin root as “fo­liage”, the green plant leaves!

De­sayuno, Ayuno and Break­fast, Fast

This is one of my all-time fa­vorite Span­ish-Eng­lish par­al­lel et­y­molo­gies.

The Span­ish word de­sayuno, mean­ing break­fast, comes from the pre­fix des- mean­ing not- and ayuno, mean­ing fast (in the sense of a re­li­gious fast, dur­ing which you don’t eat). Thus, lit­er­al­ly de­sayuno (break­fast) is “the break — fast”!

Gan­so and Goose

The Span­ish word for “goose” gan­so, comes from the Pro­to-In­do-Eu­ro­pean root for the same, ghans. From this same root, we get… the Eng­lish goose it­self! In fact, gan­so en­tered Span­ish via Ger­man (and the Eng­lish word comes from Ger­man too) — it makes sense that they’re re­lat­ed.

Thus, we can see that the g-(n)-s of gan­so maps to the g‑s of goose.

Apañar and Pane

The Span­ish apañar (“to fix, to rig”, as in “to fix the ju­ry”) comes from the Latin pan­nus, which meant “cloth, gar­ment or rag.” How did this trans­for­ma­tion hap­pen, as Latin turned in­to Span­ish? Well, you use a cloth to tie peo­ple, which is one way of ap­ply­ing pres­sure — phys­i­cal­ly and metaphor­i­cal­ly.

From the same Latin root pan­nus, we get the Eng­lish… pane. As in a win­dow pane. Here, the metaphor­i­cal meet­ing of the cloth or cloth­ing took on the mean­ing of a di­vider — which di­vides one sec­tion from the oth­er. Which is pre­cise­ly the op­po­site mean­ing of the Span­ish!

You can see the p‑n root in both. And it’s al­ways note­wor­thy that the Latin dou­ble n -nn- con­sis­tent­ly trans­formed in­to the ñ in Span­ish.

Pare­cer and Ap­pari­tion

Pare­cer, Span­ish for “to ap­pear”, comes from the Latin parere, mean­ing the same. As does the Span­ish verb form, apare­cer.

Ob­vi­ous­ly to some but not to oth­ers, from the same root comes the Eng­lish ap­pear as as well as… ap­pari­tion. What is an ap­pari­tion if not some­thing that ap­pears to you but does­n’t re­al­ly ex­ist?

We can see the re­la­tion­ship be­cause the p‑r of pare­cer maps to the p‑r in both ap­pear and ap­pari­tion.


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