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

Jueves — Thursday

Thursday jueves spanish englishThursday and Jueves, like the other days of the week, come from the Germanic and Latin names for the same God: the King of the Gods, the God known as “Zeus” to the Greeks, and sometimes as “Jupiter.”

The King of the Gods was often called “Jove” (we still remember this in English: sometimes people euphemistically say, “By Jove!”) — hence, Jueves. And the Germanic equivalent of the same God is Thor — and Thursday is literally, “Thor’s Day”!

Lunes and Monday

Monday lunes spanish english

The days of the week in Spanish and English parallel each other in weird, eerie detail.

Lets start with the most obvious: Monday. It was originally the Moon-day — the day to worship the Moon.

The Latins felt the same way — and thus Lunes comes from Luna, the Latin for moon!

Stay tuned for the next installments, where it gets more interesting. A hint: Thursday = Thor’s Day; Jueves = Jove’s Day.

Temor and Timothy

Temor (Spanish for “fear”) comes from the Latin for the same, timor.

From this root, we also get the English name… Timothy. The ‑thy ending comes from the Greek theo-, meaning, “God” — so Timothy is literally, one who is scared of God.

From the same root, we also get the less common… temerity, which just means “boldness”: and what is being bold if not, not having any fear?

Ligar and Allegiance

Allegiance is a very Roman idea: strong loyalty to your team, your empire.

So it’s not surprising that the word itself comes from the Latin, ligare — to bind. Your allegiance is what binds you or ties you to your team.

From the Latin ligare, we get the Spanish… ligar, meaning the same, tying or binding!

Thus, the l‑g root is clearly visible in both versions.

Cambiare and Change

Cambiar and the English for the same, change, both come from the same root: cambiare, Latin, also meaning change.

Although this may not be obvious at first, we can see the mapping in the c‑m-b of cambiar and the ch-n‑g of change. The ‑m- and ‑n- are often interchanged; and the ‑g- and ‑b- both have that soft sound where you can hear how one can easily turn into the other, although it is a bit less common.

Why did the c- of the Latin turn into the ch- in change? Oh, easy: because it came to English via the French! And French has it own sets of patterns of course!

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