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Pluma and Fleece

Pluma, Span­ish for “feath­er”, sounds noth­ing like the Eng­lish feath­er.

But it is a cousin to the Eng­lish fleece.

Both come from the same In­do-Eu­ro­pean root *pleus‑, which meant “feath­er” or to “pluck.”

But they sound so dif­fer­ent! That is be­cause the In­do-Eu­ro­pean p- sound stayed the same in­to Latin then Span­ish, but changed in­to a f- in the Ger­man­ic branch (in­clud­ing Eng­lish).

Thus the p‑l of pluma maps to the f‑l of fleece.

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