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Playa and Plagiarism, Plain

Playa (Spanish for “beach”) comes from the Latin plaga, meaning “region to go hunting” (hunting for water animals, clearly!), which is related to the Greek plagos (“side” — the beach is just one side of your town!).

From that same root, we get the English Plagiarism — because the original Latin, in the sense of “hunting”, turned into “kidnapping”, which then turned into, “literary kidnapping.” Seriously!

The original Proto-Indo-European root, before it became Latin, for these words is *pele, meaning, “flat, spread out”. Think of the English, plain, as in, the plains of the midwest! And what is the beach of not flat land spread out? Well, most beaches, at least.


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