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The Nerdy Way To Learn: Spanish »

Martillo and Malleable

The Spanish martillo (“hammer”) comes from the Latin malleus meaning the same. And from this Latin root malleus we get the English… malleable. So something that is malleable, changeable, is figuratively… hammerable. 

We see that the Spanish m‑rt-ll maps to the English m‑ll.

Dar and Mandate, Tradition

The common Spanish word dar (“to give”) comes from the Latin for the same, dare.

From the Latin root, we get the English… mandate (“to give with your hand” — thus related to mano as well): what is a mandate if not a written order to give to someone? The best mandates are when you deliver them yourself anyway, not through intermediaries. The dare connection explains where the ‑d- after the hand comes from!

Another English word from the same root: tradition. That word comes from the Latin tradere, literally, “to hand over” — the tra- is the same trans- root (“over”), while the dere is the same “give.” In today’s way of walking, we’d say that tradition is what is handed down to us: it is what is given to us. Literally. ANd you can see the ‑d- in the word from dare as well clearly!

Cuello and Collar, Accolades

Cuello (Spanish for “neck”) comes from the Latin collum, also meaning “neck.” From collum, we get the English… collar. We can see the c‑ll mapping in both.

More interesting, though, is from that same root, we also get the English accolades, which is just collum with the classic Latin ad- (“towards”) prefix.

How did we get from “towards the neck” to “giving honors and awards”? Well, accolades was originally used in the sense of, resting the sword on your shoulder–like the King does to you when he turns you into a knight. Being knighted was the ultimate honor you could receive, with the king bestowing it by placing the sword on your shoulder.

Since medieval times, apparently, honors have become increasingly easy to give and receive, since know we get accolades for every little “job well done”!

Desmayar and Dismay

Desmayar, meaning “to faint” is — unexpectedly! — related to the English word, dismay.

Both come from the same Old French root, esmaier, which meant “to trouble, disturb”. (This, in turn, comes from the Latin ex-magare, in which the magare means, “to be powerful” and is related to the English, “might” and “may.”)

Thus, both fainting and being in total shock (dismayed!) are both just ancient manifestations of being troubled at something.

Pie and Pioneer

Pioneer is literally, one who does something… on foot. Thus it’s related — via the French paonier, from which we get the word — to the Spanish for “foot”, pie. Thus the p‑i-vowel opening both words!

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