If he is fuming, he is smoking — literally. And it is, subtly, the same word in Spanish.
“To fume” comes from the Latin root fumus (“smoke”) from which we also get the common Spanish word for “smoke”, humo. But they don’t sound alike, so how are they related?
The Spanish humo is a great example of the pattern of the Initial F turning into an H in Spanish, alone among the languages of the world. Many Latin words that began with an F, and come to us in English through the Latinate F form, became the equivalent word but with an H- in Spanish. Take hermano and filial, for example. Or fact and hecho.
Other English words from the same root fumus include fumigation (ahhhh!) and the less common fetid. Fetid is a dirty, Shakespearean word, after all.
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.
The Spanish “hablar” (“to talk”) comes from the vulgar Latin “fabulari”, also meaning, “to talk” – hence the English, “fable”.
This gets very interesting very quickly, so note:
The Spanish hambre, for “hunger”, makes sense if you know two different patterns.
Firstly, the initial f-to-h pattern: words that began with an f- then a vowel in Latin tended to have the f- turned into an h- when Spanish evolved into Latin. Huir and Fugitive is another example of that pattern.
Secondly, the mn-to-mbr pattern: when the letters in Latin “m” and “n” appear together, often separated by a vowel, they usually became “mbr” as a unit in Spanish.
Thus the f-m-n of famine maps directly to the h-m-b-r of hambre.
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.