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The Nerdy Way To Learn: Spanish »

Sospechoso – Suspect

Suspect and the Spanish equivalent, sospechoso, are easy to identify and obviously the same word, both from the same Latin root, suspectus.

That’s not the interesting part. Rather, as Latin evolved into Spanish, the Latin sound -ct- turned into the Spanish -ch- sound. Think lactose/leche or octagon/ocho.

And suspect falls exactly into this pattern: the English s-s-p-ct maps exactly to the Spanish s-s-p-ch.

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!

Noche – Nocturnal

Scary house 1024x768 3 311x234

The Spanish for “night”, noche, is related (via the common Latin ancestor) nocturnal.

Here’s the interesting part: the Latin sound “ct” consistently changed to the “ch” sound in Spanish. Think “lactose” and “leche”, or “octagon” and “ocho”. And this is another example of that pattern: the “ct” in “nocturnal” is the same as the “ch” in “noche”!

Planchar and Plank

Planchar (Spanish for “to iron”) comes from the French for the same, planche, which comes from the Latin plancus, for “straight.” Ironing is making something straight!

From that same root, we get the English… plank. A plank, after all, is just a piece of wood that is… straight.

The mapping of the Spanish p-l-n-ch to the English p-l-n-k is quite clear.

Faro – Lighthouse

Lighthouse faron spanish english

Lighthouse in Spanish is Faro. Seems totally random, doesn’t it? Well…

The greatest and most famous lighthouse in history was, of course one of the 7 Wonders of the World, the infamous Lighthouse at Alexandria, in ancient Egypt.

And the ancient Latins — knowing all about and in awe of the amazing lighthouse- referred to it by the title of the man who built it which was, of course, the King of Egypt. And they called their Kings, Pharaohs!

Pharaoh — yes, the same Pharaoh featured in the Old Testament who enslaved the Jews and thus of course gave them the holiday of Passover — in Spanish is written faraón. Thus, giving rise to the word faro for lighthouse.

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