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What's the history of the words contigo, conmigo, etc?

They're treated like contractions for con ti and con mi, respectively, but they actually make the word longer rather than shorter, as contractions ought to do.

It occurs to me that there are a whole host of other words in Spanish that have similar spellings and functions (amigo, enemigo, etc) , how do they fit into this puzzle?

Are ti and mi shortened versions of previously used pronouns tigo and migo, or something? This would make the meaning of amigo clear: a- (not) migo (me)

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Not worthy of its own answer but - the two first Google results for "conmigo etimología" point to the same direction: the latin form mecum. – vemv Nov 15 '11 at 22:04
I believe it's in part a vestigial remnant of Latin's case system. – hippietrail Nov 16 '11 at 13:04
These forms have always intrigued me. The Latin derivation obviously springs to mind. But the "mig-" stuff looks Germanic to me (mich in German, mig in Swedish, meg in Norwegian etc). Could this be a remnant of Gothic? – user2106 Nov 18 '13 at 15:18
up vote 10 down vote accepted

A good answer here in Spanish. Basically, in latin it was said mecum = me + cum (mí + con). The cum was being lost to a go (migo). To reinforce the lost con it was added at the beginning: con+_migo_ = conmigo

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They are not contractions because there is not a "long form" to say the same. Conti and conmi do not exist.

They come from latin:

  • cum: with
  • mecum: with me
  • tecum: with you

Amigo and enemigo come from latin too (amicus, inimicus) but I think they are not related to mecum.

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And I'm positive "contraction" has such a fixed definition. I'll have to look it up. – hippietrail Nov 16 '11 at 13:17

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