Etymologically speaking

by David

If you’re interested in Spanish, you might be interested in language in general. If that’s the case, read on.

Etymologically speaking is a long list of English words that have interesting or peculiar etymologies. It’s a entertaining read that can last over a few sittings, since the page is fairly long. There are some loanwords from Spanish, along with the etymological story behind them.

Here’s a couple of fruity snippets I found interesting.

Apple [The] Spanish term [manzana] comes from the Iberian pronunciation of matiana, a Gallo-Roman translation of the Latin word matianum, which was a scented, golden apple first raised by and named after Matius, a friend of Caesar’s who was also a cookbook author […].

Apricot [The Spanish albaricoque] from the Arabic al barqouq or al birquq, for the Iberian Peninsula owed much to the Arab gardeners of Southern Spain (Andalusia). The Arabic word means “early-ripe,” and itself derives from the Latin praecox or praecoquum malum (in Greek, praecoxon), meaning “early-ripener” […].

Another fruit also turns up, although I can’t vouch for the truthfullness of this claim, I don’t have any reason to doubt it either.

Avocado From “awa guatl,” a South American Indigenous word for testicle. The Spanish took this term and used to[sic] to refer to what we now call the avocado.

And a couple of citations that don’t have anything to do with fruit…

Cab (as in, Taxicab) Old Italian term for goat (cabra in Spanish). The first carriages “for public hire” bounced so much that they reminded people of goats romping on a hillside.

Casarse (to marry) From “casa,” meaning “house”; thus similar to the English expression, “to shack up.”

I could keep on copying and pasting all day long, so why don’t you go read the whole thing for yourself? Look down the list for cerveza, charlatan, chocolate, conejo, faro, guapo, hablar, lemon, ojalá, palaver, pineapple, potato, saffron, sherry, tomato, and usted- all of which have connections to Spanish.

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