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Gan­so and Goose

The Span­ish word for “goose” gan­so, comes from the Pro­to-In­do-Eu­ro­pean root for the same, ghans. From this same root, we get… the Eng­lish goose it­self! In fact, gan­so en­tered Span­ish via Ger­man (and the Eng­lish word comes from Ger­man too) — it makes sense that they’re re­lat­ed.

Thus, we can see that the g-(n)-s of gan­so maps to the g‑s of goose.

Mosca and Mos­qui­to

Every­one’s fa­vorite bug, the Mos­qui­to, comes from–at least etymologically–the Span­ish mosca (mean­ing “fly”) and the Span­ish suf­fix -ito (the diminu­tive). We on­ly wish that mos­qui­tos were mere­ly harm­less lit­tle flies!

We can see the m‑s-c root in both words.

Lejos and Leash

We re­cent­ly dis­cussed the re­la­tion­ship be­tween de­jar and re­lax, both from the same Latin root, laxare, from the Latin laxus. Oth­er mod­ern words come from these same roots, let’s see…

In Span­ish, an­oth­er in­ter­est­ing word from the same root is lejos, mean­ing, “far.” This un­der­went the same sh to j tran­si­tion doc­u­ment­ed in the oth­er post. That which is far away, af­ter all, is what we can be re­laxed about, what it’s easy to be loose about.

Some ad­di­tion­al Eng­lish words that come from this same root in­clude:

  • Lease — think about it this way, the Eng­lish say “to let”, that is, to let peo­ple do some­thing with your prop­er­ty, to be re­laxed and dis­tant about it.
  • Lush — the lush man is some­one who is re­laxed about his dili­gence drink­ing.
  • Leash — a leash is pre­cise­ly what you use to try to not let any­thing get re­laxed!

San­guche and Sand­wich

The Span­ish for sand­wich is sán­guche — just the Eng­lish word, as it is pro­nounced in Span­ish. That one is easy!

How­ev­er, what is note­wor­thy is that the ‑w- be­comes a ‑g-. At first, that seems odd. But then, we re­mem­ber the ‑w- to ‑g- trans­for­ma­tion: that in a lot of Ger­man­ic words, when they’re brought in­to Span­ish, the ‑w- sound be­comes a ‑g- sound. Think war/guerra, for a great ex­am­ple.

Sud­den­ly, the weird let­ter change makes sense!

Ras­gar and Sec­tion

The Span­ish for “to scratch”, ras­gar, comes from the Latin se­care, “to cut.”

From the same root, we al­so get the Eng­lish Sec­tion.

A sec­tion, in­deed, is just a cut in­to dif­fer­ent parts. And a scratch is re­al­ly al­most a cut as well!

We can see the par­al­lel in map­ping the s‑ct of sec­tion to the s‑g of ras­gar. Al­though the ‑ct- sound did­n’t com­mon­ly turn in­to a ‑g-, we can hear the gut­tur­al con­nec­tion if we sound it out.


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