Want more Spanish etymologies? Let us know!
logo

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?

Boda – Vote

Boda, Spanish for “wedding,” comes from the Latin word votum, meaning a “vote, promise”.

This, indeed, makes sense: what is a wedding if not just a vote in the other person, and a promise to be with them? At least in Spanish it is. (The other word for wedding in Spanish, casamiento, is related to the Spanish for “home”, casa).

This one isn’t obvious, at all, based on the spelling, but it is based on the sound. One lesson is to guess parallel words based on the sounds more than the letters. But pay attention to the letters when they are unexpected or voiced weirdly.

Llenar and Expletive

Llenar comes from the Latin plere (“to fill”), as we’ve previously discussed. But here’s another English word that comes from the same Latin root: expletive, yes, that euphemism for vulgar words!

Expletive literally means to “fill” with the expansive ex– prefix which, taken together, mean, “to fill out your words.” An expletive is literally filling conversation with words when you don’t know what else to say!

Feliz and Felicity, Fecund

Feliz (Spanish for “happiness”) comes from the Latin felix, meaning both “happy” and “fertile”.

It is indeed curious how, linguistically, happiness and having children and plentiful crops are deeply intertwined.

From the same root, we get the English felicity, which we can see in the f-l-z to f-l-c mapping very clearly.

Most distantly, we also have the English fecund and fetus.

Trasladar and Translate

Trasladar (Spanish for, “to move”) comes from the Latin translatus (“carried over”). From that root, we get the English… translate.

After all, what is translating if not carrying over from one language to another?

We can see that t-r-s-l-d of trasladar maps to the t-r-(n)-s-d-t of translate with only a d/t sound shift, one of the most common mix-ups.

logo

© 2018 - All Rights Reserved | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Sitemap | Etymology Dictionaries To Help Us Learn Spanish | Resources