We recently discussed the relationship between dejar and relax, both from the same Latin root, laxare, from the Latin laxus. Other modern words come from these same roots, let’s see…
In Spanish, another interesting word from the same root is lejos, meaning, “far.” This underwent the same sh to j transition documented in the other post. That which is far away, after all, is what we can be relaxed about, what it’s easy to be loose about.
Some additional English words that come from this same root include:
Hervir (Spanish for, “to boil”) comes from the Latin fervere (“to be hot, burn, boil”).
The best part: from this same root, we also get the English… fever!
This is thus another example of the pattern where Spanish lost the initial F and replaced it with the (unspoken) “H”: Hoja-Foliage, Huir-Fugitive, etc.
Perejil and its English version parsley sound very different. But they are, actually, etymologically the same word.
They sound different because often the -s- and -sh- sounds in Spanish turned into the letter -j- with the Arabic throat clearing sound as a pronunciation. Thus, the p-r-j-l of perejil maps exactly to the p-r-s-l of parsley.
Gastar (Spanish for “to spend”) has an interesting first cousin: waste.
Both come from Latin vastare (“to lay to waste”) which in turn comes from vastus (“empty.”)
The v- sound of vastare turned into a gu- sound as Latin turned into Spanish. But in English, this French word took on the more Germanic w- sound. Thus, although not directly descended from German, it does follow the common g-/w- pattern (guerra/war).
We can thus see the g-st map to the w-st clearly.
After all: spending money is wasting money!
The law and the good, in European languages, are associated with straight lines; the bad with the crooked. Think about the word crooked itself, literally! Or about right/rectangle, or the Greek ortho– for straight, hence, orthodox as well as orthodontics.
This is why it makes sense that Derecho — Spanish for straight and also for law — comes from the same Latin root that gives us direct.
The “ct” in the original direct turned into a “ch” in Spanish, in the usual pattern of “ct” turning into “ch” as Latin grew into Spanish.