No one quite knows the origin of zapato, Spanish for “shoe.” But the same word — or words from the same root — are still used in Portuguese, French, Italian, and even Arabic and, most shocking of all, Basque (shocking since Basque is unrelated to any other known language).
Most interesting, though, is that from the old French for shoe, savate, which is from the same root as zapato as we can see with the z‑p to s‑v mapping, do we get the English, sabotage.
Indeed, they say sabotage comes from the word for “shoe” since French workers used to throw their (wooden) shoes into machinery in order to sabotage their factory.
The word Siesta — the famous long breaks! — comes from the Latin sexta hora (“sixth hour”), because it was the 6th hour after the 6am wake-up time when everyone would stop, take a break, and pray. We can see the s‑s/x root in both — both coming from the same Proto-Indo-European word for “six.”
Interestingly, however, another English word comes from the same fountain: noon, which was originally nona hora, the 9th hour after the 6am wake-up time — time for another prayer! But — you must be wondering — noon is only 6 hours after 6am, not 9am hours! Excellent point, and the explanation is: the ninth hour prayers were originally at 3pm (9 hours after 6am), but over time, people started taking their breaks earlier and earlier and earlier.… surprise, surprise.
The common Spanish word obra, for “a work” (in the sense of, “a work of art”) or “something done with effort” sounds pretty random at first. But if you think about it…
Obra comes the Latin opus, meaning “work” (in the same sense). From opus, we get various English words including:
The Spanish for “foam”, espuma, comes from the Latin for the same: spuma. And this Latin comes from the Proto-Indo-European root *(s)poi-moi from which we also get the English… foam.
How so? Because the PIE root p- very consistently became an f- as it evolved into German then English, but this transformation never happened when it became Latin and then Spanish. Note words like foot/pie and father/padre.
Thus the f‑m of foam maps to the (s)-p‑m of espuma very clearly!
The everyday Spanish word facil, meaning “easy” is the exact opposite — literally — of the English, difficult.
Both come from the latin facere, meaning, “to do” (hence the Spanish hacer and the English fact, as well).
So, facil — easy — is literally, doing! Doing is easy, we hope.
Difficult is really just de-facil : that is, not facil. Now that is easy, indeed!
The connection becomes clear when we remember the f‑c-l root in both words!