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.
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.
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:
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!
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.