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Través and Convert

Través — in the classic phrase, a través de (“going through”) — comes from the Latin transversus, which is just the prefix trans– (“through”) with vertere (“to turn”).

Here is where it gets interesting. From the same root vertere, we get all of the vert– English words, such as: convert, invert, divert, vertebrae. All do involve turning, in one form or another.

This one doesn’t have a mapping that is easy, since only the v- survives, since the trans– lost the -ns- and the r-t-r of vertere disappeared, leaving us with just… v. But we should remember that the v-, and much more often the v-r or v-r-t is just that something is turning, converting into something else.

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