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Palabra and Parable

The Spanish palabra (“word”) comes from the Latin parabola, meaning, “story; comparison.”

From that Latin word, we get the English… parable.

So, the word that became “word” in Spanish, became, the child’s word in English!

The p-r-b-l root is clear in both.

Interestingly, from the same root is the French word for “to talk”: parler. Je ne parle pas Francais!

But it gets more interesting: the French parler (literally, “to tell parables”) has a parallel to the Spanish hablar (which came from fabulare, literally, “to tell fables.”) As the Roman soldiers conquered Spain and France, their exaggerated words for telling stories — telling parables or fables — eventually became the words themselves for just, talking.

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Lleno – Plenty

LlenarSpanish meaning “to fill” — comes from the Latin plenus, meaning “full”.

This, therefore, connects it to the English for the same, from the same root: Plenty. Not to mention, the less common English word plenary.

These words sound so different yet they’re so similar. Here’s how: Latin words that began with pl- usually turned into ll- when Latin evolved into Spanish. But as these words moved into English via French, they remained unchanged.

This explains not just llenar/plenty but explains a bunch of other words, including llama/flame.

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Soler and Insolent

Insolent derives from the Latin prefix in– (meaning, “the opposite of,” of course) and the Latin root solere, meaning, “to be used to (doing something).” So, an insolent man is literally someone who is used to not doing the things he is expected to do. That sounds pretty insolent to me!

From the same Latin root, we get the Spanish soler meaning “to be used to (doing something)” just like the original Latin root, before the negation. So next time you hear in Spanish, Suelo (“I’m used to…”) you should think, “Don’t be insolent!”. No one will get the pun other than you, me, and our fellow ForNerds fans.

Note that this has no relation to the Spanish suelo meaning, “ground”, which comes from the Latin solum.

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Agrio – Vinegar

How is vinegar made? Well, it is basically sour wine. And guess what? Vinegar literally means “sour wine”! Vine– is Latin for “wine” and the -egar comes from the Latin aigre meaning “sour.”

This makes vinegar directly related to the Spanish word for sour: agrio!

(It also makes it related to the Spanish for wine, vino, but that one is too obvious).

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Borracho and Inebriated

The fun, and everyday, Spanish word borracho is…. drunk. Although it sounds nothing like the English “drunk” it does have a subtle cousin in English: inebriated. Although they don’t look the same we can see the parallel if we look with squinted eyes:

The b-r-ch root of borracho maps to the b-r in (in)-b-r-t. The English version sounds more Latinate because we added the in- prefix for emphasis at the beginning.

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Abarcar and Brachial

Abarcar (“to cover, take in, take on”) comes from the Latin brachium for “shoulder.”

From the same Latin root brachium, we get the English brachial: as in your brachial artery, the artery that runs down your shoulder!

The b-r root is clearly visible from both.

Unsurprisingly, from the same root we also get the Spanish for shoulder… brazo as well as the English…. bra.

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Mano – Manufacture

The Spanish for “hand,” mano, has a first cousin in the English manufacture.

Manufacture comes from the Latin manus (like in Spanish, also “hand”) and the Latin factura (which is from facere — “to do”, and almost identically in Spanish, with an f-to-h conversion, hacer).

Thus, “manufacturing” is literally, “making by hand” — the work of an artisan!

Also from the Latin for “hand”, and thus still cousins with the Spanish mano is manual as well: manual labor is also work done with your hands–literally.

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Martillo and Malleable

The Spanish martillo (“hammer”) comes from the Latin malleus meaning the same. And from this Latin root malleus we get the English… malleable. So something that is malleable, changeable, is figuratively… hammerable.

We see that the Spanish m-rt-ll maps to the English m-ll.

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Estrella Fugaz and Fugitive

A “shooting star” in Spanish is an estrella fugaz. Since estrella means “star”, then fugaz is the parallel to “shooting.”

Fugaz comes from the Latin fugere which means, “to run away; flee” — from which we get the English fugitive.

The mapping is obvious with the f-g retained in both versions.

Thus, in Spanish, a shooting star is literally, a fleeing star. But fleeing from what?

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Aburrir – Abhor

The English abhor is a SAT word meaning “to hate”, as we all know.

But who would’ve thunk that it’s related to the common Spanish word aburrir, meaning “boring”?

Aburrir comes directly from the Latin abhorrere meaning exactly what it seems to.

And Ahhorrere itself brings us other English words, like horror.

So — to be boring is actually horrible, by definition!

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