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Que­jar and Quash, Squash

Que­jar, Span­ish for “to com­plain” does­n’t seem re­lat­ed to any Eng­lish equiv­a­lent.

But up­on clos­er look, it is a first cousin of both quash and squash.

How so?

All come from the Latin quas­sare, mean­ing, “to shat­ter.”

The re­la­tion­ship is easy to see if we re­mem­ber that the Span­ish ‑j- sound used to be the Latin ‑s- sound (and many vari­ants, like ‑ss‑, ‑si‑, ‑sy‑, ‑sh‑, ‑ch‑, etc).

Thus, the qu‑j for que­jar maps to the qu-sh of quash and the sq-sh of squash.

Com­plain­ing, it seems, is a form of quash­ing (squash­ing?) your op­po­nent!


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