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Vez and Vice-Versa

Vez (Spanish for “turn (in a line/queue)”, as in “next in line”) comes from the Latin for the same: vicis.

From this root vicis we get a few English words, including:

  • Vice-Versa — with versa (“against”), so this literally means, “it’s your turn against him!”
  • Vicissitude — thought about this way, vicissitudes are really just people taking turns back and forth, right?
  • Vice — as in “Vice President”. He whose turn is next!
  • Vicarious — it’s someone else’s turn instead of yours!
  • Vicar — he’s really just the guy whose turn it is to substitute for the real priest!

The v-c root is visible in all variations.


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