Want more Spanish etymologies? Let us know!
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

logo

The Nerdy Way To Learn: Spanish » True Spanish Etymology Stories »

Aburrir — Abhor

The English abhor is a SAT word meaning “to hate”, as we all know.

But who would’ve thunk that it’s related to the common Spanish word aburrir, meaning “boring”?

Aburrir comes directly from the Latin abhorrere meaning exactly what it seems to.

And Ahhorrere itself brings us other English words, like horror.

So — to be boring is actually horrible, by definition!

Cosecha and Collect

Cosecha (Spanish for “harvest”) comes from the Latin collectus, meaning, “collected.”

This makes sense: a harvest is, well, just collected.

Although the English collected is almost identical to the Latin, we can see how the Latin changed into the Spanish: the ‑ll- turned into an ‑s-, in a curious change. But — as is more common — the ‑ct- became a ‑ch- (think nocturnal/noche or octagon/ocho). Thus, the c‑ll-ct of collect maps to the c‑s-ch of cosecha.

Destacar and Detach

Destacar (Spanish for “to stand out”) comes from the French destachier (“to detach”) which, in turn, comes from the Latin de- (of, from) plus the old French stakon, meaning a “stake” (literally, as in a pole!).

Thus, “standing out” (destacar) is literally just detaching yourself from the rest around you — who are, presumably, much lower quality than you are!

We can see the root clearly in the d-(s)-t‑c (for destacar) to d‑t-ch (detach) mapping.

Don’t forget that the de- prefix in French and sometimes Spanish is just another form of the de- prefix. Thus, explaining the extra ‑s-. And — clearly! — attach comes as well from the same root, just without the de/des negation!

But the best modern English word from the same root is… staccato. Yup: playing the piano in staccato fashion is just, when you play each note really separated from the others!

Ganso and Goose

The Spanish word for “goose” ganso, comes from the Proto-Indo-European root for the same, ghans. From this same root, we get… the English goose itself! In fact, ganso entered Spanish via German (and the English word comes from German too) — it makes sense that they’re related.

Thus, we can see that the g-(n)-s of ganso maps to the g‑s of goose.

Sacar and To Sock

Sacar (Spanish for “to take out”) comes from the old German sakan meaning “to fight”, That does, oddly, make sense: in a fight, you do take someone out — we still use that other sense today, in English, in that very phrase!

From the same old German root, we get the English.… to sock. No, not the word for the slip over your toes but in the old-fashioned verb sense my grandpa uses: to punch someone. So we still see that it still retains some of the fighting sense!

logo

© 2022 - All Rights Reserved | Contact | Privacy Policy, Terms & Conditions | Sitemap| Resources | Etymology Dictionaries To Help Us Learn Spanish

Hat Tip 🎩 to The Marketing Scientist