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Sombra and Sombrero

Every English speaker knows the Spanish word for the big Mexican hats, sombrero. This word makes it easy to remember the word from whence it came: sombra, the Spanish word meaning… shade. The s‑mb‑r root is clear in both words!

For those of us, including me, who love less common words, another cousin word is the English penumbra, for something that’s partially covered by a shadow. The umbra is from the Latin for “shadow”, from which we also got sombra in Spanish, with the sub- prefix.


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