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Re­ga­lo and Gala, Gal­lant

Re­ga­lo, Span­ish for “gift,” comes from the Old French galer (“to re­joice; make mer­ry”), with a re- pre­fix added for em­pha­sis.

From the same root we get the the Eng­lish gala, as well as gal­lant.

It makes sense: a gala is a big, mer­ry, ball af­ter all. Gal­lant is a bit more sub­tle: it meant, in old French, cour­te­ous — but ear­li­er, it had orig­i­nal­ly meant, “amus­ing, en­ter­tain­ing,” from which we can see a clear re­la­tion­ship to mak­ing mer­ry.

So it is note­wor­thy, there­fore, that, good man­ners (be­ing cour­te­ous) orig­i­nal­ly be­gan as… be­ing fun.

And all share the same g‑l root to make the con­nec­tion clear.


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