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Ple­gar and Ap­pli­cant

The Span­ish ple­gar, mean­ing “to fold” comes from the Latin root pli­care, mean­ing the same.

From pli­care, we al­so get the Eng­lish ap­pli­cant. The con­nec­tion makes sense if we think about both words in the sense of “at­tach”: when you ap­ply, you want to at­tach your­self to an or­ga­ni­za­tion; and think of fold in the same metaphor­i­cal sense, “to bring in­to the fold.”

We can see the map­ping clear­ly in the p‑l-g of ple­gar and the p‑l-c of ap­pli­cant. The ‑c- was lost when it was short­ened to just ap­ply over time.

From the same root we al­so get the Eng­lish ply, as in ply­wood — but that is a lot less com­mon!


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