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The Nerdy Way To Learn: Spanish »

Temor and Timothy

Temor (Spanish for “fear”) comes from the Latin for the same, timor.

From this root, we also get the English name… Timothy. The -thy ending comes from the Greek theo-, meaning, “God” — so Timothy is literally, one who is scared of God.

From the same root, we also get the less common… temerity, which just means “boldness”: and what is being bold if not, not having any fear?

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!

Colgar and Collocate

Colgar (Spanish for, “to hang”) comes from the Latin collocare — from which, unsurprisingly, we get the English, collocate. We can see the c-l-g mapping in colgar to the c-l-c root in the English and the original Latin. Hanging is really just a form of locating it!

Collocare itself comes from the prefix com– (“with”; like the Spanish con-) plus the root locare, “to place.” Thus, the word is a cousin of lugar (Spanish for “place”) and its English cousin… locate. Yes, we see the l-g map to the l-c, too. Another example of the c/g swap that we also see in colgar and collocate.

Amenazar and Mine

Amenazar (Spanish for “to threaten”) has a curious origin: from the Latin mine, meaning, “lead” or sometimes “silver.” Remember, this was the material that weapons — swords, arrowheads, etc — were made of. If you don’t comply with my threat–I will hurt you!

Although this isn’t directly related to the English mine (the place where you get silver!), they might have the same original root–and it is an easy mnemonic. After all, we mine silver in the mines.

Morder – Remorse

The Spanish morder, “to bite”, sounds completely different than anything in English (except for obscure SAT words like mordant – which literally means, biting!).

But who would’ve thunk that it’s related to remorse.

Remorse comes from the Latin remordere, which means, “to bite back” – from the earlier re- (the prefix meaning “back” in this case) and mordere, from which we get, morder.

The remorseful do bite back indeed!

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