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 English.

My confusion is how did the word for receipt evolve to become recipe and receta? There seems to be no bridge between them whatsoever!

1 Answer 1


Both come from the latin recepta, but apparently Spanish one evoluted differently. However, from what I see in the RAE recepta is still accepted: http://dle.rae.es/recepta:


(Del lat. recepta, t. f. de -tus, recibido).

  1. f. Libro en que se llevaba la razón de las multas impuestas por el Consejo de Indias.

  2. f. ant. Receta médica.

From what I see in Evolución histórica del latín#Rivus non ríus, síbilus non sífilus it was common from the /p/ to "fall", so it might be the reason.

See the etimology in Spanish and English in the following pages.

Etimologias.dechile.net - receta:

La palabra "receta" viene del latín recepta y significa "nota escrita detallando un procedimiento". Sus componentes léxicos son: el prefijo re- (reiteración), capere (capturar, agarrar, tomar), más el sufijo -to (que ha recibido la acción). Ver: prefijos, sufijos, otras raíces latinas, receptor y recipiente.

Dictionary.com - receipt:

late 14c., "act of receiving;" also "statement of ingredients in a potion or medicine;" from Anglo-French or Old North French receite "receipt, recipe, prescription" (c.1300), altered (by influence of receit "he receives," from Vulgar Latin *recipit) from Old French recete, from Latin recepta "received," fem. past participle of recipere (see receive ). Meaning "written acknowledgment of money or goods received" is from c.1600.

As a funny thing, in Catalan it is said just recepta.

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