In Spanish, the words "baca" and "baja" have opposite meanings :

  • "baca" refers to "roof rack"
  • "baja" refers to "downside"/"bottom"

They seem opposites to me, since one object is at the top and the other at the bottom. Also, they differ in just one letter.

How did the word 'baca' (roof rack) develop historically and when did it start to be used in Spanish? And what about 'baja' (downside/bottom)?

  • 4
    The DLE, in its entry for baca explains the etymology of the word: Del fr. bâche, y este del galo *bascanda. The fact that it's a one letter difference for something that goes on the top of a car and the word that means the part below (baja) may be pure randomness. I don't think that behind that coincidence there is an intentional design. you may be reading too much into it.
    – Diego
    Jul 24, 2020 at 18:26
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    And why do "male" and "mare" have opposite meanings? Every language has loads of 2-5 letter words, so it is only natural that many of them will differ only by one letter.
    – wimi
    Jul 26, 2020 at 9:08
  • 2
    This user is actively trying to improve their questions. If you think this question does not deserve a negative vote anymore, please remove it.
    – Charlie
    Aug 18, 2020 at 12:47
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    Note that the two last sentences in your link, "Está en la baja" and "De la baca a la baja" do not make sense. They would mean something like "it is in the low" and "from the roof rack to the low". If you mean that something is at the bottom, you can say "Está abajo", or "Está en la parte baja". This is because "baja" is an adjective.
    – wimi
    Aug 24, 2020 at 8:19
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    as is now, your question has 2 different questions: evolution of baja and evolution of baca. Since it has been abundantly explained they are unrelated words, I don't think it makes sense to keep both questions in a unique post. For this, I suggest splitting it in two different questions, one for each word.
    – fedorqui
    Aug 24, 2020 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


Baca means luggage rack, a site at the top of the stagecoaches and other road cars, where passengers could go and luggage and other effects protected with a cover were placed. This meaning comes from a mix between french word bâche and east Gaul bascanda.

Also is a laurel fruit or berry. This is from latin word bacca.

They are NOT opposites.

Baja is more like decrease, low. And comes from bajar

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