Word origins Posted by Transparent Language on Jun 13, 2008 in Literature, Spanish Culture, Spanish Vocabulary
We’re going to start a series today with word origins and history (etymology).
It was around 1340 that the word “cirujano” (surgeon) was registered in the Spanish language, even though cirujano had already appeared in Siete Partidas (1251-1265) by Alfonso X el Sabio:
“Y esto que diximos delos orebzes se entiende tanbien delos otros maestros & delos fisicos & de los cirujanos & delos albeytares & de todos los otros que reçiben preçio para fazer alguna obra: o melezinar alguna cosa sy errare en ella por su culpa o por mengua de saber.”
During the 18th and 19th centuries the word “cirugiano” was also used. It comes from Latin chirurgia, which comes from Greek kheirurgia (surgical intervention), although etymologically it means “manual work” and “practice of a job”, whjch derives from kheirurgein (working with your hands), made up of kheir (hand) y érgon (work).
The word dicha, which comes from the verb decir, means “things that were said”, but it also means “happiness”, “good luck”. What does it the verb “decir” have to do with the meaning of “good luck”?
The Romans believed that a person’s happiness depended on words the gods said when someone was born, and their fate was written in the dicta (the thing that was said). This old belief is also in the origin of the word hado (fate), which comes from fatum, passive participle of fari (speak, say).
An iconoclast is basically someone who destroys or ridicules cultural icons or institutions. The first iconoclasts were the members of the Oriental Church in the 8th and 9th centuries of our era. In some cases, the Orthodox Christians destroyed the icons of their Catholic counterparts. The word iconoclasta comes from vulgar Latin and it was made up with the Greek words eikon (icon) and the verb klaein (break, destroy).
If you feel curious about the origin of other words or expressions in Spanish, drop us a line and we’ll answer your questions.
See you next time!