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Crudo and Cruel, Crude Oil

Crudo is Spanish for “raw,” particularly in the everyday sense of “uncooked food”.

From the Latin crudus, meaning the same (raw, bloody), we get various English words including:

  • Cruel — makes sense if we think of it in the sense of “bloody”: a cruel person is someone who makes someone else bleed, at least emotionally.
  • Crude, as in Crude Oil — today crude is most commonly used in the phrase crude oil, but if we remember that crude oil is oil that is not yet processed, then the parallel to “raw” is obvious.

All still contain the cr- prefix, and crude still has the following -d- as well.

Interestingly, the Latin crudus itself comes from the Indo-European *kreue also meaning “raw”, from which — with the initial k- sound lost — we get the word raw itself. Thus, even raw itself is related to crudo.

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