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Tar­je­ta and Tar­get

Tar­je­ta, Span­ish for “card,” comes from the same root as tar­get. This is on­ly ob­vi­ous in ret­ro­spect, since the in­ter­change be­tween the ‘j’ and the ‘g’ makes it hard to rec­og­nize. But once you learn it, it is easy to re­mem­ber that the t‑r-j maps to the t‑r-g.

Both words come from the old Ger­man (via old French) tar­ga, mean­ing “shield.” Yes: a tar­get is just a shield–your shield is a tar­get, since it is the shield that is hit, not you! And a card (tar­je­ta) is al­so a shield–just a very small one!

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