The origins of terms and their development through history.

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37 views

¿Por qué escribimos “acera” si el original era “facera” que luego devino “hacera”?

Veo en la RAE que "hacera" / "facera" y "acera" son distintas maneras de escribir lo que generalmente damos a conocer como "acera": facero, ra. (Del lat. *faciarĭus, de facĭes, cara). ...
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3answers
90 views

Am I the only who thinks “longitud” is a weird word for “length”?

I read this: Si todo va bien, el array debe estar vacío y su longitud debe ser 0. ...which is translated as this: If all goes well, the array must be empty and its length must be 0. Since ...
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2answers
76 views

¿De dónde proviene la palabra “chiripa”?

La definición que da la RAE la relaciona con el juego del billar, y coloquialmente la define como "carambola". 1. f. En el juego de billar, suerte favorable que se gana por casualidad. 2. f. ...
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1answer
77 views

¿Cuál es el origen de la expresión “salir de cuentas”?

Cuando una mujer está embarazada se dice que "sale de cuentas" en una fecha determinada para referirse a la fecha en que se calcula que nacerá el bebé. Me pregunto: ¿de dónde sale esta expresión? ¿Es ...
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2answers
95 views

What does “You are sympa” mean?

Is "sympa" just an abbreviation of "sympatico"? Or is there another connotation to it? http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=sympatico I have heard it addressed directly to me, but also ...
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3answers
122 views

Is a gentleman a “cowboy”?

Since "caballo" means "horse" and a "caballero" is a gentleman, is the origin of the word that the "lords" rode (whereas the common rabble walked)?
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1answer
71 views

(Why) are mariachis considered wimpy (or are they (not))?

"Ser [muy] mariachi" means, according to "Smart Spanish for Tontos Americanos", "To be a wimp." Why? Is Mariachi music considered like "elevator music" or what?
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3answers
335 views

¿Por qué “cirugía” y “quirúrgico”, teniendo la misma raíz, se pronuncian diferente?

Leo en la RAE el origen etimológico de las palabras quirúrgico y cirugía y veo que son el mismo: quirúrgico, ca. (Del lat. chirurgĭcus, y este del gr. χειρουργικός). cirugía. (Del ...
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1answer
85 views

Why are window shutters “persianas”?

Why are window shutters called "persianas" in Spanish? If window shutters originated in Persia/Iran, I can find no evidence of that.
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842 views

Why are green beans called “green jews”?

Green beans are, in Spanish, "judías verdes" - why? What is the connection? Were Jewish people known for eating a lot of green beans, or what?
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80 views

When did Rum change from “Rom” to “Ron” and why?

Run in Spanish is now, I believe, "Ron"; however, in older publications (such as "Treasure Island") the English word "Rum" is translated as "Rom" Did "Rom" change to "Ron" because "Rom" was too ...
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71 views

Origin and meaning of a name: “Baute”

I am German, my family name is Baute. This is a very uncommon name in Germany -- I am directly related to most of the "hits" on that map -- and for quite some time I have been trying to find out where ...
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5answers
714 views

La llave vs. la clave

Nevermind the fact that these two words are both irregularly feminine I was always taught in school that llave is key, like the kind you use to open doors / crank a vehicle, etcetera. Though when I ...
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1answer
128 views

Etimología de «verter»

«verter» significa: Derramar o vaciar líquidos, y también cosas menudas, como sal, harina, etc Y según RAE y Wiktionary, se deriva de la palabra «vertere» de Latín. Pero «vertere» significa ...
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1answer
83 views

What is the meaning of “Las bastardillas” in this context?

I came across a quote that had a word italicized, followed by the parenthetical explanation that "the italics are ours" (the italics are mine there). This is common. But it said (in Spanish), "Los ...
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2answers
111 views

Is the past tense -ste suffix (e.g., “bebiste”) related to the pronoun “te”?

Not literally, but etymologically/historically. This might sound like a stupid question but the thought popped into my head and I was wondering if it had any merit. Preterite verb forms for tú end ...
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5answers
680 views

What is the meaning of “poner a huevo” in Mexican Spanish?

So a Mexican friend of mine told me that "a huevo" means something like "of course" in English, but is a vulgar way of saying it -- I guess because "huevo" means "testicles". I'm just wondering how ...
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1answer
128 views

What's the etymology of `ir de compras`?

In my little Spanish learning experience, I have often read the sentence that uses the term ir de compras. While I know the meaning of it (go to shopping), I have a trouble in getting the etymology of ...
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1answer
200 views

¿Cuál es la relación entre el cementerio y el cemento? [closed]

Tengo entendido que la palabra lápida viene de "piedra" (esto debido a las historias en que se lapida a las adúlteras, o sea, se las mata a piedrazos). Entonces me surgió esta duda: ¿cuál es la ...
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1answer
64 views

Etymology of “traje”

This word comes from the Latin word trahō, which means to draw, plunder, drag, or trail. This is where we get traje, the Spanish word for suit, from. How did such an unrelated word, a verb no less, ...
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3answers
502 views

Is a Wrist a Toy (muñeca)?

Both wrist and toy are "muñeca" in Spanish. Is there a connection, or just a coincidence that they are both the same?
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2answers
83 views

Etymology of “plática”

DRAE doesn't say anything beyond that it comes from Latin. Wiktionary doesn't give even that. I even tried a bunch of other resources but nothing came out. Yes, I know it comes from Latin but I would ...
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2answers
318 views

Etymology of “rato”

Rato means moment, while, or any short period of time in English and comes from the Latin word, raptus. Now raptus is a past participle of rapio which translates as "to snatch away or carry off." How ...
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105 views

Etymology of “broma”

According to dictionaries, this word comes from the Ancient Greek word βρῶμα (brôma), which has the following meanings: a shipworm (Teredo navalis) that bores into wooden piers, ships, etc. that ...
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1answer
67 views

Etymology of “equipo” as the Spanish for team

I know equipo also means equipment which is pretty straightforward. But how did the word come to mean team? Team and equipment seem to be two entirely different concepts with nothing in common between ...
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1answer
61 views

Etymology of alipús

Alipús is the word for booze in Mexico but I don't understand where it comes from. To me it sounds like an Arabic loanword but that's just a wild guess. So far I haven't been able to find its ...
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126 views

Etymology of “receta”

Both receta and recipe descend from a common Latin source, receptus. And receptus is the past participle of recipiō, which means to take or receive. This Latin word also evolved into receipt of ...
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2answers
103 views

What is the origin of all the tenses in Spanish? — e.g yo escribí

When conjugating preterite, it seems odd that the -é/í ending is used for the yo form while the -ó/ió is used for the él form. In the present tense, -o is used for the yo form while -e is (for ...
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2answers
355 views

How did “grifo” become the Spanish for “faucet”?

While studying the etymology of the word, I found that it comes from gryphus, the Latin for griffin. In fact griffin also happens to be one meaning of grifo. And as we all know, griffin is a mythical ...
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1answer
410 views

¿Cuál es el origen de 'guácala'?

Según tengo entendido, la palabra guácala se usa para expresar asco: ¡Guácala! Hallaron partículas de excremento en agua mineral. ¿De dónde viene esa palabra? ¿Qué es su origen?
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1answer
123 views

Hormiga and hormigón: How are they related?

Hormiga is the Spanish for ant and hormigón for concrete. Now ants and concrete hardly seem to have anything in common between them. However, I read somewhere that hormigón was derived from hormigo ...
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1answer
305 views

Difference between -iera and -iese ending of the imperfect subjunctive

There are two forms of the imperfect subjunctve in use, for example, pudiera, pudieras, pudiera, pudiéramos, pudierais, pudieran and pudiese, pudieses, pudiese, pudiésemos, pudieseis, pudiesen I ...
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3answers
1k views

Why do Spanish words have gender?

English: What is the origin of gender in Spanish words? (la mesa, el perro) I come from another language (English) that doesn't have gender for nouns, except maybe a few things like ships, planes, ...
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1answer
416 views

Origin of gender-neutral nouns such as “la/el artista”, “la/el testigo”, “la/el poeta”

English: This question is more out curiosity than anything else, but I was wondering if there is a reason that nouns like "artista", "testigo", and "poeta" are gender neutral, meaning the word ending ...
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4answers
1k views

¿Cuándo se usa “libertar”, y cuando “liberar”? ¿Qué diferencias hay entre las dos palabras?

¿Cuándo es mas apropiado usar "liberar" o "libertar"? ¿Qué diferencias hay entre las dos? Connotan algo distinto? Por ejemplo, Él los libertó de la esclavitud [o] Él los liberó de la esclavitud ...
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1answer
545 views

Origen y significado de “la calavera no chilla”

Viendo varios videos de Les Luthiers, he notado que la frase "la calavera no chilla" aparece varias veces en sus bromas. ¿Puede que sea una expresión argentina? ¿Qué significa y cuál es el origen ...
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2answers
439 views

De donde se origina la expresion “echar aguas”?

En programas de television, y recientemente al interactuar con la gente en mi viaje a Mexico, vi que la expresión de "echar aguas" es muy popular, al parecer solo en la cultura mexicana. De donde se ...
4
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1answer
233 views

Why is a wrench called an English Key (llave inglesa)?

Why is "wrench" translated as "English key" ("llave inglesa") in Spanish? What is English about it? I get the "key" part, because one can "open" things with it, but why English?
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4answers
312 views

Where did using “un servidor” to address yourself come from? / De donde se origina la costumbre de llamerse a sí mismo “un servidor”?

I've heard from many Spanish-speakers now that when they talk about themselves, they use the phrase "un servidor" instead of "yo" or "mi." I have always thought of the English equivalent of the phrase ...
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3answers
1k views

Arriba, Abajo al Centro pa Dentro

"Arriba. abajo, al centro y adentro" o "pa dentro" Tengo mucha curiosidad sobre esa forma de brindar. En México se usa en contextos muy reducidos vinculados con exceso alcohol o en forma de juego; en ...
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1answer
178 views

Is the resemblance between the words “churir” and “churros” more than coincidence?

In a previous question, it was established that the word "churir" means "to wrinkle." "Churros," refers to a certain "wrinkled" pastry. Given their resemblance, is the one word essentially a ...
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2answers
178 views

Por and Para origins

How did por and para come to mean so differently in Spanish while they both come from the same source, i.e., Latin?
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3k views

Uso de “heme aquí”

Lo he visto en alguna ocasión en literatura o alguna interpretación de español antiguo, pero no es muy común, supongo que de alguna forma su uso está obsoleto. Ahora las dudas: ¿Cual verbo es el ...
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2answers
142 views

¿Cuál es la relación entre el vino de manzanilla y la infusión de manzanilla?

Siempre me he preguntado por la razón por la que estos dos términos parecen coincidir, hasta el punto de que "Me he tomado un vaso de manzanilla" resulta completamente ambiguo.
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1answer
140 views

¿Valdurán o baldurán?

Primero un poco de contexto. En mi región, León (España), tenemos la expresión familiar ser un baldurán. Un baldurán es una persona que no se preocupa de sus asuntos con la debida atención. Otra ...
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1answer
894 views

¿Cuál es el origen del modismo “es equis” para decir que algo no es malo ni bueno, sino “más o menos”?

Una amiga de Monterrey, México a veces dice "Ah, es equis" para decir que no le apasiona cierta cosa. Ejemplo: A: ¿Te gustan los tacos que se venden en la esquina? B: Meeh... son equis. ...
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1answer
2k views

Origen y división de Hábito (comportamiento), Hábito (religioso) y Habito (Habitar)

Cómo estas palabras: Hábito refiriéndose a comportamiento Hábito refiriéndose a religioso Habito refiriéndose a habitar surgieron y fue divido su significado.
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2answers
1k views

Origen de Carmelita como color?

En mi país Cuba para referirnos al color marrón nosotros decimos carmelita, he notado que por ejemplo en Colombia y México nunca me entendieron cuando lo mencionaba y tenía que decir color café o ...
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1answer
476 views

“Apertura” y “abertura”. Su uso y etimología

Abertura y apertura parecen venir del mismo vocablo latino apertura. Tienen significados diferentes. Imagino que el proceso fue más o menos como sigue: apertura se obtiene de la aceptación ...
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1answer
762 views

¿De dónde viene la diferente ortografía para “concejo” y “consejo”?

Me llama la atención la diferente ortografía para concejo y consejo. Al parecer tienen la misma etimología latina en la palabra consilium. Si esto no fuese cierto, ¿la similitud es mera ...