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Za­p­a­to and Sab­o­tage

No one quite knows the ori­gin of za­p­a­to, Span­ish for “shoe.” But the same word — or words from the same root — are still used in Por­tuguese, French, Ital­ian, and even Ara­bic and, most shock­ing of all, Basque (shock­ing since Basque is un­re­lat­ed to any oth­er known lan­guage).

Most in­ter­est­ing, though, is that from the old French for shoe, sa­vate, which is from the same root as za­p­a­to as we can see with the z‑p to s‑v map­ping, do we get the Eng­lish, sab­o­tage.

In­deed, they say sab­o­tage comes from the word for “shoe” since French work­ers used to throw their (wood­en) shoes in­to ma­chin­ery in or­der to sab­o­tage their fac­to­ry.


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