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Pal­abra and Para­ble

The Span­ish pal­abra (“word”) comes from the Latin parabo­la, mean­ing, “sto­ry; com­par­i­son.”

From that Latin word, we get the Eng­lish… para­ble.

So, the word that be­came “word” in Span­ish, be­came, the child’s word in Eng­lish!

The p‑r-b‑l root is clear in both.

In­ter­est­ing­ly, from the same root is the French word for “to talk”: par­ler. Je ne par­le pas Fran­cais!

But it gets more in­ter­est­ing: the French par­ler (lit­er­al­ly, “to tell para­bles”) has a par­al­lel to the Span­ish hablar (which came from fab­u­lare, lit­er­al­ly, “to tell fa­bles.”) As the Ro­man sol­diers con­quered Spain and France, their ex­ag­ger­at­ed words for telling sto­ries — telling para­bles or fa­bles — even­tu­al­ly be­came the words them­selves for just, talk­ing.


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