A “shooting star” in Spanish is an estrella fugaz. Since estrella means “star”, then fugaz is the parallel to “shooting.”
Fugaz comes from the Latin fugere which means, “to run away; flee” — from which we get the English fugitive.
The mapping is obvious with the f‑g retained in both versions.
Thus, in Spanish, a shooting star is literally, a fleeing star. But fleeing from what?
From the Latin fundus (“bottom”), we get the Spanish fondo (“background”) and hondo (“deep”) — as well as the English profound. After all, when someone says something profound, well, that’s deep.
The mapping of the Spanish f‑n-d (or h‑n-d) to the English (pro)-f-n‑d is straightforward. However, it’s curious that, in hondo, the initial F transformed from Latin into Spanish to an initial H. This is a common pattern, unique to Spanish, that we see in many Latin words as they transformed into Spanish, such as hijo and filial, refuse and rehusar, and higado and fig.
One of our favorite patterns of sound change between English and Spanish is the sh/j shift: under the influence of arabic, many words that had a “s” or “sh” or “sy” or “ch” sound in Latin, started to be pronounced with the throat-clearing sound and written with a “j”. See sherry/jerez and chess/ajedrez or syrup/jarabe, for example.
Another example of this pattern is the Spanish word for “juice”, jugo. It comes from the Latin succus meaning, “juice” (particularly sap, or juice from plants).
From this Latin root succus we also get the English… suck.
Yes, if it sucks — it is juicy! Literally!
We can see the mapping in the s‑c to j‑g mapping. The “c” and “g” sounds are similar and often interchanged.
Interestingly, in Spain they do not say jugo to mean “juice”; instead, they say… suco. Suco, funnily enough, also comes from the same root of succus. It is just the variation that never underwent the arabic “j” transformation.
From the same root we also get the English succulent, although we do not get the superficially similar English juice, which comes from the Latin ius, meaning, “sauce.”
Today’s is a good one!
The Spanish caro (simply, “expensive”) has a fun provenance: from the ancient (pre-Latin) Proto-Indo-European root karo- that meant… whore. Yes, the ancient word karo turned into the almost-as-ancient Latin word carus meaning “expensive,” from which we get the modern Spanish word caro, still meaning “expensive.”
So the prostitutes of the ancient world, apparently, weren’t cheap!
Interestingly, we can even see a linguistic connection between the words. The k- sound in Proto-Indo-European stayed the same sound as it evolved into Latin and then Spanish (although usually written with a c-); but as Proto-Indo-European evolved simultaneously into ancient German and then into English, that k- sound became the silent or almost-silent h- or wh-. Think when and cuando, for example. So, we can see therefore that the c‑r of caro maps to the wh‑r of whore.
The funniest part, however, is that the ancient Latin carus, for expensive, as Latin evolved into French, turned into the French… cher, for “dear”: in the sense of, “My dear friend!”. The exact opposite of a whore! Thus, in French, prostitute became expensive which became that which is dear to you!
The Spanish hablar (“to talk”) comes from the Latin fabulare, as we’ve previously discussed. The initial F- turned into an H‑, as happens only in Spanish (think fig vs higo.)
From the same root, however, also comes the English ineffable, that SAT word meaning “unable to be described in words.” So, ineffable literally means “without” (in-) and “speaking” (fabulare).
We see the h‑b-l of hablar map to the (in-)f‑b-l of ineffable quite clearly!