Friday, November 29, 2019

Sp. cariño and related words

[This entry is taken from Chapter 54, "Sp. cariño and related words", of Part II of the open-source textbook Spanish-English Cognates: An Unconventional Introduction to Spanish Linguistics.]

Figure 233: Daughter and father showing affection for each other.[1]

1. The meaning of the word cariño

The Spanish word cariño is interesting from the point of view of its origin, although it does not have an English cognate. It is a masculine noun that translates into English in different contexts as love, affection, fondness, loving care, tenderness, emotions that can be directed towards either people or things, indistinctly, as in the following phrases and sentences taken from the Oxford Spanish-English Dictionary (OSD):
  •  niños sedientos de cariño ‘children starved of affection’
  • Fue la única persona que me dio cariño ‘She was the only person who showed me any affection’
  • Le tengo mucho cariño a este anillo ‘I'm very fond of this ring’
  • Siento muchísimo cariño por ella ‘I have a great affection/fondness for her, I am very fond of her’
  • Te ha tomado mucho cariño ‘He’s become very fond of you’
Languages differ as to how they name different emotions and different words may lump together related emotions. We have seen elsewhere that the English word love can be used to name different emotions, some with human objects (e.g. I love my mother) and some with non-human ones (e.g. I love that movie). Sp. amor, on the other hand, cannot be used with non-human objects, for example. (For an analysis of the word love, see Part I, Chapter 6, § The emotions that the Spanish word cariño embodies overlap a little bit with those that English uses the word love for, the object of which can be either people or things.

Actually, although dictionaries does not mention this, English love is one of the possible ways to translate Sp. cariño and Spanish speakers often use the word cariño to express feelings that English speakers would use the noun love, or the verb to love, to express, as in el cariño a los hijos ‘the love for one’s children’ or Le tengo mucho cariño a mi nieto ‘I love my grandson very much’, i.e. Sp. tener cariño Eng. love. In other words, Sp. cariño can translate at least one of the many senses of the word love, one that can be described as ‘an intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object’ (American Heritage Dictionary = AHD). English speakers typically use the verb love rather than the noun love (derived from the former by conversion) to express this feeling and, since Sp. cariño can only be a noun, a verb must be added, resulting in the expression tener cariño (a). Note that this feeling or emotion can also be applied to pets, as in Esta perra me tiene mucho cariño, a sentence that can be translated as ‘This dog really likes me’, showing that sometimes Eng. like may also be equivalent to Sp. cariño.

Another sense of the noun cariño refers to demonstrations of the emotions we just mentioned and then it can be translated as caress, hug, kiss, or cuddle. In these cases, cariño is usually accompanied by the verb hacer, as in hacer(se) cariño(s), as in the following examples from the same source. This sense is often used in the plural, as cariños, and there may be dialectal differences as to how the word is used with this sense.
  • Le hice un cariñito al niño ‘I gave the little boy a cuddle (o kiss etc)’
  • La pareja se hacía cariño (AmL) ‘The couple were having a little cuddle (o a hug and a kiss etc)’
Finally, the word cariño is also used as an endearment appellation towards loved ones, equivalent to dear, darling, honey, love, and sweetheart in English, e.g.
  • No llores, cariño ‘Don’t cry, dear’ [= darling, sweetheart, etc.]
As we have seen, the noun cariño is often used in verbal collocations in which a verb is followed by the noun cariño as direct object. For the first sense of cariño, the ‘affection’ sense, the verb may be coger, tomar, sentir, or dar and for the second sense, the ‘demonstration of affection’ one, the verb hacer is typically used.

The collocation coger cariño a is a very common one, the equivalent of to grow fond of. It is used for either people or things, as the following examples show. (Note that tomar would be used instead of coger in dialects in which this verb has become a taboo word because of its use as a euphemism for the sex act.)
  • Le he cogido cariño a ese alumno ‘I’ve grown fond of that student’
  • Le he cogido cariño a esta taza ‘I’ve grown fond of/attached to this mug’
Other verbs that are commonly used with the noun cariño are ganarse el cariño (de) or granjearse el cariño (de), both of which can mean something like ‘to endear (oneself)’, as in El niño se ganó/granjeó el cariño de todos ‘The child endeared himself to all’ or ‘The child won the affection of all’. Of the two, ganarse is a lot more common, while granjearse is quite fancy and formal.[a]

There is another sense of the word cariño, one found when used with the preposition con, forming the adverbial expression con cariño, which can translate as tenderly, lovingly, with loving care, etc. The Spanish language Academies’ (ASALE) Diccionario de la lengua española (DLE) defines this sense as ‘care or love with which a work is done or a thing is treated’ (‘esmero o afición con que se hace una labor o se trata una cosa’). This sense is typically found in verb phrases with the verb tratar ‘to treat’, as in the following example from OSD (this dictionary subsumes this sense with the primary one, but other dictionaries treat it as a separate sense):
  • Trátame el coche con cariño ‘Take good care of my car’ [= treat my car with loving care]
The ‘loving care’ sense is the third one in the DLE for this word. The first one is the primary ‘affection, fondness’ one, as expected (‘inclinación de amor o buen afecto que se siente hacia alguien o algo’). The second one is the ‘demonstration of fondness’ sense that we have also seen, and which is used mostly in the plural (‘manifestación de cariño. U. m. en pl.’).

Senses for cariño in the Academies’ DLE
1.   affection
2.   demonstration of affection
3.   tender loving care (with con)
4.   obs. nostalgia
5.   dial. gift

There is yet a fourth sense for this word in the DLE, one that other dictionaries do not mention. It is the ‘yearning, nostalgia’ sense (‘añoranza, nostalgia’). The DLE does not say that this sense is obsolete, but that is just what it is, which is why other dictionaries do not mention it. Interestingly, the ‘nostalgia’ sense is thought to be the original sense or the word, as we shall see below.

Finally, the Academies’ dictionary gives us yet a fifth sense for the word cariño, the ‘present, (friendly) gift’ (‘regalo, obsequio’). This sense is dialectal in Spanish today, found in places like Chile, Bolivia, and Central America according to DCECH  or María Moliner’s dictionary. This rare sense is found early on in Spanish, namely in the works of 17th century Spanish author Pedro Calderón de la Barca.

2. The origin of the word cariño

What is the source of this noun that does not seem to have a cognate or related word in English? One is tempted to think that this word could be related to the English word care, a noun and a verb, as in the collocation loving care, which is one of the senses of cariño. However, this word is a native English word that is unrelated to the Spanish one. The noun care comes from Old English caru or cearu ‘sorrow, anxiety, grief’ and the verb care comes from Old English carian or cearian ‘be anxious, grieve; to feel concern or interest’.[b] The root of these words, is not in any way related to the root in the word cariño, though, since we know that it descends from a different Proto-Indo-European root.[c]

The word cariño also brings to mind the Italian word caro/a ‘dear’ [ˈka.ɾo] and its French cognate cher fem. chère, both pronounced [ˈʃɛʀ], that mean ‘dear’, ‘lovable, kind, sweet’, and ‘(be)loved’, as well as ‘expensive, dear’. The ‘dear’ sense of these words translates into Spanish as querido/a, from the verb querer, which is an unrelated word, but the ‘expensive’ sense does indeed translate into Spanish as caro/a, so perhaps cariño could be related to caro, after all. These words descend from the Latin adjective cārus (fem. cāra, neut. cārum), which also had two meanings, ‘dear, beloved’ and ‘expensive’, the second one derived from the former. This adjectival root has been traced back to Proto-Italic *kāros, which has been derived from a Proto-Indo-European stem *kéh₂‑ro, from the root *keh₂- ‘to desire, to wish’, which is not related to Sp. querer or to any other English or Spanish words.[2] (For an analysis of Sp. querer, from Lat. quaerĕre ‘to seek’, see Part II, Chapter 25, §25.3.2.)

Related to the Latin adjective cārus is the abstract noun cārĭtas (accusative: cārĭtātem), source of Eng. charity and Sp. caridad, one of the Catholic Church’s theological virtues, meaning ‘love of humankind and one’s neighbor’. Interestingly, however, Lat. cārĭtas could mean ‘affection, love’, much like cariño can, besides meaning ‘dearness, costliness, high price’, of course (L&S). It makes one wonder if this word might have influenced the change in meaning of cariño from ‘nostalgia’ to ‘affection’ some 500 years ago, as we will see below. By the way, the Christian meaning ‘love of humankind’ of Eng. charity, a 12th century loanword from Old French, is now at the bottom of the list on dictionaries’ senses for this word, with some dictionaries even saying that the meaning is archaic.

Some scholars, such as the Colombian Rufino José Cuervo in his influential late-19th-century dictionary, have suggested that the noun cariño is indeed related to the word caro/a, even though this adjective does not mean ‘dear’ in Spanish (anymore?). The assumption was that cariño must have come from Galician or Portuguese, where the cognate adjective caro does have that meaning. The ending ‑iñ‑o, common in these languages, would seem to betray such an origin. However, there are problems with this etymology since cariño is not attested in Portuguese until the 19th century (in Spanish it is attested in the 16th century) and the suffix ‑iño is strictly an adjectival suffix in Galician-Portuguese, not a nominal one.

Portuguese does now have a cognate word carinho, with both the ‘affection, fondness’ sense and a ‘caress’ sense, the latter being attested earlier in this language than the former. It is now thought, however, that Portuguese got this word from Spanish, and not the other way around. Portuguese also has a derived verb acariñar that means ‘to pet, caress’, equivalent to Sp. acariciar, derived from the noun caricia ‘caress’, which is unrelated to the noun cariño, though it can be synonymous with it in some contexts, as we have seen.[d]

Because of all of these obstacles with deriving the word cariño from the word caro, scholars now think the source of cariño is a different one. The word cariño is now thought by most experts, such as the DCECH , to descend from the root căr‑ of the Latin verb cărēre that meant ‘to lack, to be without’, ‘to be separated from’, and ‘to be deprived of’. This etymology was first advanced by Austrian Romanist and Hispanist, Leo Spitzer in the early 20th century (DCECH).[3]

The word cariño is first attested in Spanish in the early 16th century with the meaning ‘nostalgia, desire’, not with the meaning it has today, other than in Judeo-Spanish, where it still means ‘nostalgia, anhelo de amor’). DCECH, following Spitzer, argues that this noun is probably derived from a now rare Spanish verb cariñar borrowed from Aragonese and meaning ‘to miss, feel nostalgia for’ (‘sentir nostalgia o añoranza’, DLE). From the meaning ‘nostalgia’, the sense ‘desire’ seems to have been derived fairly early on, which is not an uncommon extension for the meaning ‘nostalgia’ to take, since one desires what one misses or feels nostalgia for. Note that the Latin verb dēsīdĕrāre, source of Sp. desear and Eng. desire, in addition to the meaning ‘to long for, greatly wish for, to desire something not possessed’, also had the meaning ‘to miss’, ‘with the predominant idea of lacking, wanting’ (L&S).

lack Ž nostalgia Ž desire Ž affection Ž display of affection

From the meaning ‘longing’ and ‘desire’, the current meaning of ‘affection, fondness’ is thought to have developed, a more major jump in meaning. The final semantic change experienced by the word cariño was from ‘affection’ to ‘demonstration of affection’, which is but a small jump in meaning. These last two senses still survive in the word cariño, but the earlier ‘nostalgia’ and ‘desire’ can be said to have been lost today, despite the DLE not indicating that that is the case. The ‘gift’ sense is, of course, just a minor extension of the ‘demonstration of affection’ sense.

Presumably, the word cariño has been passed from Spanish to other Romance languages, such as Portuguese and Galician, as we have seen, as well as Sicilian and Sardinian. The verb carinyar is found today in the Mallorcan dialect of Catalan, and the adjective carinyós (cf. Sp. cariñoso, see below) is found in a 17th century Catalan dictionary (Lacavalleria). According to this theory, the source of this noun would be the (originally) Aragonese verb cariñar, which was also borrowed by Spanish, but which is very rare in this language, a verb that would have developed from Lat. cărēre ‘to lack, to be without; etc.’. The exact steps in the derivation of this verb from the Latin verb cărēre ‘to lack’ is not known, however. It is not thought to have developed in Spanish, however, because the ending ‑iñar is quite rare in Spanish, only found in a few verbs such as the rare rapiñar ‘to pinch, steal’ and escudriñar ‘to scan, scrutinize, examine’.[e] Thus, although the verb cariñar from which the noun cariño is derived is thought to come from Aragonese, the truth is that we do not know for sure the history of these words or their exact origin and how they descend from Lat. cărēre. In particular, we do not know where the fossilized morpheme ‑‑ comes from.



3. Words derived from cariño

3.1 Sp. cariñoso/a

Related to the noun cariño is the word cariñoso/a, an adjective derived in Spanish from the former noun by means of the adjectival suffix ‑os‑(o/a) that comes from Lat. ‑ōs‑(us/a/um). This very common adjective is attested first in the late 15th century. When referring to people (or animals), the DLE defines the sense as ‘that feels affection’ (‘Que siente cariño’), which translates with the adjectives loving or affectionate, as in una niña cariñosa ‘a loving/affectionate girl’, Es una madre muy cariñosa con sus hijos ‘She is very affectionate mother towards her children’ (DLE), or Es un niño muy cariñoso que da besos a todo el mundo ‘He is a very loving/affectionate child who goes around giving everybody kisses’ (Clave). Partial synonyms of this sense of cariñoso/a are afectuoso/a (paronym of Eng. affectionate), tierno/a (cognate of Eng. tender), mimosa/a (derived from mimo ‘cuddle; pampering; care; etc.’), and amoroso/a (derived from amor ‘love’).

When referring to actions, cariñoso/a can be defined as ‘that denotes or shows affection’ and it often translates and as warm or heartfelt, as in un cariñoso saludo ‘a warm, heartfelt greeting’ (or ‘warm/kind regards’) or una cariñosa bienvenida ‘a warm welcome’, but also as affectionate as in un nombre cariñoso ‘an affectionate name’ or ‘pet name’. Partial synonyms of this sense of cariñoso/a are afectuoso/a ‘affectionate’, amoroso ‘loving, affectionate’, tierno ‘affectionate; tender; fresh; etc.’, and cordial (cognate of Eng. cordial).

The DLE tells us that cariñoso/a used to have another sense in the past, one that is now obsolete (Sp. desusado). The sense is ‘in love’ (Sp. ‘enamorado’). There is also a dialectal sense of the adjective cariñoso/a mentioned in the DLE, namely the meaning ‘expensive’ (Sp. ‘caro’), which is supposedly used colloquially in Mexico and El Salvador.

3.2 Sp. encariñarse and des(en)cariñarse

We mentioned earlier that there was a verb cariñar that meant ‘to feel nostalgia’ (Sp. ‘sentir nostalgia’). That verb is obsolete in Modern Spanish, though it is still found in Aragonese, with that same meaning. But Spanish does have a quite common verb encariñar ‘to evoke affection/fondness’ which is derived from the noun cariño by means of the prefix en‑ (cf. Part I, Chapter 5, §5.6.1), e.g. El niño nos encariñó a todos. This verb is primarily used pronominally, i.e. intransitively and reflexively, as encariñarse (con) ‘to become fond (of), to grow attached (to)’, as in Todos nos encariñamos con él ‘We all fell in love with him’. As expected, the past participle of this verb, encariñado/a (con) can be used as an adjective, one that can be translated as attached (to) or fond (of) and it typically follows the verb estar, as in Estás demasiado encariñado con el dinero ‘You are too fond of money’. In other words, estar encariñado con is equivalent to tenerle cariño a that we saw earlier in the chapter.

The DLE has an antonym for encariñarse, namely descariñarse ‘to lose affection for someone or something’ (‘prnl. p. us. Perder el cariño y afición a alguien o algo.’). The DLE also tells us that the noun is little used (p. us.), which is an understatement, since this word is probably not known to most speakers of Spanish, though it would not be hard for a Spanish speaker to understand this word in context the first time it was heard. Other dictionaries do not give us this verb but rather a similar one, namely desencariñarse, which instead of replacing the en‑ prefix with the negative prefix des‑, adds this last prefix before the former. At least three Spanish dictionaries have the verb desencariñarse: Larousse, Clave, and Vox. Some major Spanish dictionaries have neither word, however, such as María Moliner. Additionally, several dictionaries give the antonym of the noun cariño as descariño, including Larousse and Vox (which had desencariñarse), the DLE (which had descariñarse), and María Moliner (which did not have either verb). As for the antonym of cariñoso/a, at least one thesaurus, Tesauro Signum, gives the choice descariñado/a.





4. Other Latin words from the root căr-

4.1 Sp. carecer

So, as we saw, the noun cariño is now thought to have been derived from an earlier verb cariñar, which is thought to be derived from the root of the Latin verb cărēre ‘to lack, to be without; to be separated from; to be deprived of’, though the exact derivation is not actually known. This Latin verb’s principal parts were căreō, cărēre, căruī, căritum. This verb has been reconstructed by some as coming from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱes‑ ‘to cut, to cut out’, which may have had a variant *kas‑. This etymology and the existence of the variant *kas‑ of the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱes‑ are not totally uncontroversial, however.[f] The senses of this verb mentioned earlier, such as ‘to lack’, are thought to derive from an earlier sense ‘to be cut off from’ (AHDIER). Once we see the intermediate meaning ‘cut off’ between ‘cut’ and ‘lack’, the meaning change doesn’t seem too far-fetched.

cut Ž cut off Ž lack

Note that the change from Lat. ‘lack’ to Sp. ‘to miss, feel nostalgia for’ is equally interesting and not too far-fetched either. After all, the polysemous verb miss in English, which comes from Proto-Germanic *missjan ‘to go wrong’, has developing a number of senses including ‘fail to hit, reach, or come into contact with’ and, notably, ‘notice the loss or absence of’ and, derived from it, ‘feel regret or sadness at the absence of’ (COED). The cognate of this verb in Old Norse, missa, meant ‘to miss’ but also, interestingly, ‘to lack’.

lack Ž nostalgia Ž affection

As we just said, the Latin verbal root căr‑ is thought to be a direct descendant of PIE *ḱes- or, actually, its variant *kas‑. PIE ‑ is a palatal version of the voiceless consonant before front vowels and we expect that to become c [k] in Latin (cf. Part I, Chapter 3). As for the change from PIE ‑s‑ to Lat. ‑r‑, this represents a very common sound change that took place in early Latin whenever an s was between two vowels, after first changing to the sound [z]. This sound change is known as rhotacism. However, in Latin, the root căr‑ has the allomorph căs‑, with the original s, when the following sound was a consonant and not a vowel, as we shall see below.[g]

Some of the Latin words that had the root căr‑/căs‑ have been passed on to Spanish, and many of them have cognates in English as well, as we shall see in this section. Curiously, only one Romance language has a verb derived from the Latin verb cărēre, namely Sicilian càriri. In Spanish, such a verb would have been *carer or *carir, but there is no record of such a verb ever having existed. However, Spanish and Portuguese are the only two Romance languages that have verbs that descend from an extended version of this verb, namely the verbs Sp. & Port. carecer, which descend directly from the Late Latin or Vulgar Latin verb cărēscĕre. Sp. carecer is first documented in writing around the year 1400 (DCECH).

The verb cărēscĕre is obviously an inchoative Latin verb, of the type that was derived from a regular verb by means of the suffix ‑sc‑, resulting in a 3rd conjugation verb with an inchoative meaning, that is, one that denoted the beginning of an action, cf. Chapter 8, § From inchoative Latin verbs we get Spanish verbs such as crecer, conocer, and establecer, all of which insert a ‑z‑ in the first person singular of the present tense: crezco, conozco, and establezco, just like Sp. carecer does, cf. carezco ‘I lack’.

This inchoative verb seems to have appeared rather late in Latin and it is extremely rare in the written record. Although the purely inchoative meaning of this verb would have been ‘to begin to lack’, there is no record of it ever having had that meaning. Some dictionaries give ‘to want’ as its meaning (L&S), and others add a second meaning to that, namely ‘to be without’. This is not too surprising, however, for inchoative verbs often changed their meaning in unexpected ways. Interestingly, however, Spanish and Portuguese carecer mean ‘to lack’, exactly the same as Lat. cărēre or the rare Late Lat. cărēscĕre.

Note that unlike Eng. lack, which takes a direct object, as in He lacks humor, Sp. carecer is an intransitive verb which governs a prepositional phrase with the preposition de, as in Carece de humor ‘He/she/it lacks humor’. We should mention that Sp. carecer is a bit of a fancy word, even though it is not rare, and it is definitely a word every Spanish speaker knows. Its partial synonym faltar, conjugated like gustar, is a much more common way to express the meaning ‘to lack’. Thus, Esta sopa carece de sal ‘This soup lacks salt’ sounds fancier than A esta sopa le falta sal, for example. Note that in English too, lack is somewhat of a fancy word that is often replaced by more common ones in speech. Thus, although we can say This soup lacks salt, that sounds a bit fancier than This soup needs salt, for instance.

4.2 Sp. carente and carencia

Spanish has borrowed in recent times the present participle of the verb cărēre, namely cărēns cărentis (căr‑ent‑is), as the fancy adjective carente ‘lacking’, first found in the DRAE in 1925, as in carente de originalidad ‘lacking in originality’. Sp. carente was obviously borrowed from the accusative case form of this participle that ended in ‑entem (‑ent‑em), from whom the final ‑m would have been lost early on. Almost invariably, the adjective carente is used with a prepositional phrase with the preposition de, as in the example we just saw. In that way, the combination carente de is equivalent to the preposition sin ‘without’, just much fancier, or the combination falto de ‘lacking in, starved of, devoid of’ (GU).

Actually, centuries before borrowing the adjective carente, Spanish had already borrowed the noun carencia ‘lack, shortage’ from Latin, e.g. Hay carencia de médicos ‘There’s a lack of doctors’ (Vox). This word is first attested in the 15th century and it appeared in a Spanish dictionary first in 1679. This word comes from Ecclesiastical Latin noun cărentĭa ‘lack, penury, shortage’, which did not exist in Classical Latin. (Ecclesiastical Latin is from 6-10th centuries.) It is derived from the stem căr‑ent‑ of the present participle we just saw and the suffix ‑ĭa that formed feminine abstract nouns in Latin from adjectives or present participle stems (căr‑ent‑ĭa).

4.3 Lat. căstus and related words

4.3.1 Lat. căstus/-a/-um
Lat. căstus is a first/second declension adjective meaning primarily ‘morally pure, unpolluted, spotless, guiltless, virtuous, etc.’ (L&S), a meaning derived from an original meaning ‘cut off, separated’. As we could expect, the feminine form of this adjective was casta, and the neuter form was castum. The word contains the same root căs‑ from Proto-Indo-European *ḱes that we have been looking at, plus the derivational suffix -t-(us/a/um) that formed adjectives (e.g. ius-t-us ‘lawful, legal’ < iūs iūris ‘law; equity; etc.’), as well as passive participles (cf. Part I, Chapter 8, § This suffix comes ultimately from Proto-Indo-European ultimately from the Proto-Indo-European suffix ‑to‑, and thus, the source of this Latin word’s stem has been reconstructed as *kas-to-. At one time, the ancestor of Lat. căstus may be been the passive participle of the ancestor of the verb cărēre (in Latin, this verb’s passive participle was the regular cărĭtus). The ‘pure’ meaning that this word has is presumably a figurative one, and the original meaning was according to some ‘cut off from faults’ (cf. cărēre ‘to be cut off’) but it may have also referred to a religious or ascetic state of separation or abstinence.

English borrowed this adjective through Old French as chaste [ˈʧ̯st] in the 13th century. As the c > ch sound change reveals, this word did not come from Norman French but rather from Parisian French. The Spanish adjective casto/a is attested in the 13th century (Gonzalo de Berceo). The main meaning of the word chaste is ‘abstaining from extramarital, or from all, sexual intercourse’ (COED). Another dictionary divides this meaning into two: ‘innocent of unlawful sexual intercourse’ and ‘celibate’ (MWC). Some dictionaries tell us that this meaning of the word is ‘old-fashioned’ (MWALD, Macmillan), though adherents to some Christian dogmas might disagree. The connection between chastity and sexual abstinence is not one that existed in Roman times, but rather one that stems from the Christian tradition (see below).

Another sense of this word, according to most dictionaries, which some label as ‘literary’, is ‘morally pure or decent : not sinful’ (MWALD), ‘pure in thought and act : modest’ (MWC), ‘not showing sexual feelings’ (LDOCE), with the example given by all being a chaste kiss on the cheek. Yet another meaning of the word chaste is ‘without unnecessary ornamentation’ (COED) or ‘simple and plain in style’ (LDOCE) or ‘severely simple in design or execution : austere’ (MWC), as in a chaste nightgown.

Spanish casto/a can be used with the first two senses of Eng. chaste, except perhaps for the last one, which would translate into Spanish as sobrio, sencillo/a or castizo/a. The DLE is the only Spanish dictionary that tells us that Sp. casto/o used to have the ‘austere’ sense, but it says it is now obsolete (‘ant.’).
4.3.2. Lat. castĭtas, castĭtātis
The derived cognate noun derived from this adjective are Eng. chastity ~ Sp. castidad. These words ultimately come from Lat. castĭtātem ‘purity’ (nominative: castĭtas), an abstract noun derived from the adjective căstus by means of the suffix ‑ĭ‑tāt‑. English borrowed the word chastity [ˈtʃʰæstəti] around the year 1200 from Old French chastete, a term which referred primarily to virginity and celibacy, that is, sexual purity as defined by the Church. In Modern English, the word chastity can be defined as ‘the principle or state of not having sex with anyone, or not with anyone except your husband or wife’ (LDOCE), though according to other dictionaries it can be equivalent to celibacy, namely ‘the state or practice of abstaining from extramarital, or from all, sexual intercourse’ (COED).

Chastity is one of the seven Christian virtues or heavenly virtues adopted by the Christian Church Fathers, which consisted of the four classical cardinal virtues of Aristotle and Plato: prudence, justice, temperance, and courage (or fortitude), plus the three additional theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. The virtue of chastity served as the antidote to one of the seven cardinal sins, namely lust. Roman Catholic priests, monks and nuns take vows of chastity (Sp. votos de castidad).

The word chastity is also often found in the collocation chastity belt (Sp. cinturón de castidad) that refers to ‘a garment or device designed to prevent the woman wearing it from having sexual intercourse’ (COED). Some dictionaries are more explicit as to the nature of this device: ‘a device that some women were forced to wear in the past to prevent them from having sex. It had a part that went between the woman’s legs and a lock so that it could not be removed’ (CALD).
4.3.3. Eng. caste and Sp. casta
It has been argued that English has also borrowed a noun derived from the Latin adjective căstus, namely caste [ˈkʰæst] (UK [ˈkʰɑst]), earlier spelled cast, first attested in English in the mid-16th century (the plural is castes, pronounced [ˈkʰæsts]). Without a doubt, this word came into English from Spanish and/or Portuguese casta ‘lineage, breed, race, bloodline, caste’.

Some think that this noun is a nominalization of the feminine form of the adjective casta that we just saw, perhaps through the reduction of an earlier phrase that meant something like ‘pure race’ or ‘cut-off group’. Others, however, such as DCECH, think that this cannot be the source of this word (‘inverosímil en alto grado’, DCECH). However, DCECH cannot provide a convincing alternative theory as to the source of the Spanish noun casta, speculating that perhaps it comes from an unattested Gothic word.

This word is native only to the Iberian Romance languages (Galician-Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan), though it has been borrowed by others from either Spanish or Portuguese, including English, French, Italian, German, and Russian to refer to Indian castes.

In English, the word caste is mostly associated with ‘each of the hereditary classes of Hindu society, distinguished by relative degrees of ritual purity or pollution and of social status’ (COED). This is the only non-technical sense the word has according to this dictionary, for instance (the other, technical term is used in Entomology: ‘(in some social insects) a physically distinct kind of individual with a particular function’). Other dictionaries, however, provide other senses derived from this one, such as ‘a group of people who have the same position in society’ (LDOCE).

The Spanish noun casta, on the other hand, is first attested in the early 15th century without any connection to the castes of India or social groupings. The word can now be used to refer to Indian castes as well as to social groups, but its original meaning had to do with lineage or descent (Sp. ascendencia, linaje) or (animal) breed (Sp. raza, pedigrí). A derived sense is ‘(good) quality’, as in de casta ‘thoroughbred, purebred’ or de buena casta ‘of good quality’.

Spanish has an adjective related to this noun casta. From a Vulgar Latin word derived from Lat. castus, namely the unattested *casticĕus, supposedly comes the patrimonial Spanish adjective castizo/a ‘pure, authentic, traditional’. The DLE gives as the first sense of this word ‘of good origin and caste’ (‘de buen origen y casta’). The existence of this obviously patrimonial word would certainly seem to reinforce the claim that the noun casta is patrimonial in Spanish and related to the Latin adjective castus/a, a theory that was rejected by the DCECH, as we have seen. The second sense of castizo is ‘typical, pure, genuine of any country, region or place (‘típico, puro, genuino de cualquier país, región o localidad’). A third sense comes from this word’s use to refer to a language, and then it means ‘pure, with no contamination from other languages or strange expressions’ (‘dicho del lenguaje: Puro y sin mezcla de voces ni giros extraños’).

The suffix ‑izo/a in the word castizo/a is a patrimonial one that descends from the Latin suffix ‑ĭtĭ-us/a that produced adjectives that meant ‘of, pertaining to, or like’ the thing indicated by the stem. There is a semi-learned version of this suffix, namely ‑icio/a. Some adjectives containing this suffix are rojizo/a ‘redish’, enfermizo/a ‘sickly’, and huidizo/a ‘evasive, shy’. (There are also some nouns with this suffix, such as caballeriza ‘stable’, pasadizo ‘passageway’, cobertizo ‘shed, shack’, and porqueriza ‘pigsty’.) The English equivalent is ‑itious [ˈɪʃəs], though to suffix is contained the additional ending ‑ous that descends from yet another Latin suffix that produced adjectives, namely ‑ōs‑(us/a) (cf. Sp. ‑os-o/a) and thus, is really descended from Lat. ‑ĭtĭ-ōs‑us/a. The most common word containing this word is probably Eng. fictitious ~ Sp. ficticio/a.
4.3.4. Lat. incestus
Finally, Lat. incestus is the antonym of Lat. castus, a word used primarily in Cicero, we are told. It is derived with the negative prefix in‑ and the word castus. This prefixation resulted in a change in the root vowel from a to e, a type of metaphony (cf. Part I, Chapter 8, §, cf. in+cast+us Ž incestus. This word meant ‘unclean, impure, polluted’ as well as ‘unchaste, lewd, incestuous, lustful’ (fem incesta, neut. incestum). From the neuter form of this adjective, Latin derived the noun incestum ‘impious unchastity, incest’ (L&S) which refers in particular to ‘sex between close relatives’.

English borrowed the noun incest [ˈɪn.sɛst] from that Latin noun we just saw in the 13th century, perhaps through French inceste [ɛ̃ˈsɛst], which borrowed the word from Latin at the end of the 13th century. The Spanish cognate incesto, pronounced [in.ˈθes.t̪o] or [in.ˈses.t̪o], is attested in Spanish since at least 1499, according to DCECH.

Both languages have adjectives derived from the respective nouns: Sp. incestuoso/a and Eng. incestuous [ɪnˈsɛstʃuəs]. Both words have a meaning that can be defined as ‘involving sexual activity between people who are closely related in a family’ (LDOCE). Additionally, Eng. incestuous has developed a derived secondary meaning, namely ‘involving a small group of people who only spend time with or help each other, not people outside the group – used to show disapproval’ (LDOCE). Sp. incestuoso/a does not have this secondary meaning, which translates into Spanish as endogámico/a or cerrado/a, depending on the context.

4.4. Lat. căssus

Lat. căssus is a first-second-declension adjective that meant ‘empty, void, hollow’ and, figuratively, ‘vain, empty, useless, futile, fruitless’ (L&S). There is little doubt that this adjective is derived from the verb cărēre, but it is not clear how exactly it was derived. In particular, it is not transparent what the exact derivational suffix is. At face value, this Classical Latin word seems to contain a suffix ‑s‑(us/a/um) (căr-s-us or căs-s-us), but it is possible that this suffix is a reduction of an earlier, more substantial suffix. It has been speculated that căssus comes from an unattested earlier *carassus, but this does not seem likely.[h] Another theory is that it is a variant of the ancient passive participle căstus of the verb cărēre (see above), in which the ‑t‑ was changed to ‑s‑ by analogy with other passive participles in which this change took place (cf. de Vaan 2008:92).

This word has no descendants in English or Modern Spanish. However, the adjective caso meaning ‘null, void’ is found in some Old Spanish legal writings (c. 1300), no doubt borrowed from Latin (Memorias de don Fernando IV de Castilla). The word has been replaced in Spanish by the adjective nulo ‘null (and void)’ or by the adjective anulado ‘annuled, voided, etc.’, derived by conversion from the past participle of the verb anular ‘to annul, repeal, quash, etc.’.

From the adjective căssus ‘empty, void, etc.’, the verb căssare ‘to nullify, (make) void’, as well as ‘bring to naught, destroy’. The verb was derived in Late Latin times and it is attested in very few places (3rd-5th centuries). The verb’s principal parts were cassō, cassāre, cassavi, cassātus.

‘empty, void, etc.’
‘to “nullify, (make) void’

Lat. căssare gave us Old French casser or quasser meaning ‘to annul’. This Old French verb was borrowed into English as quash in the 14th century (Middle English quassen), meaning ‘to nullify especially by judicial action’, as in quash an indictment (Merriam Webster’s Dictionary). The Modern Spanish equivalents are anular and invalidar.

This verb quash should not be confused with the other English verb to quash that means ‘to suppress or extinguish summarily and completely’, as in quash a rebellion (MWD), which translates into Spanish as sofocar, aplastar. This verb was borrowed also in the 13th century from Anglo-French quasser or casser which was derived from Lat. quassare ‘to shake violently, shatter’, frequentative of quatĕre ‘to shake’ (MWD).[i] The two verbs have merged in Modern French as casser, a verb that still means ‘to break’, as well as ‘to annul’, among other things.

Late Lat. căssare also turns up in other Romance languages as a very rare learned legal term. Portuguese has cassar ‘to revoke, cancel, invalidate’ and, in legal terminology, ‘to quash’. Italian too has a verb cassare that means ‘to delete, to cross out, to overturn, to rescind, to reverse’. Spanish has casar ‘to annul, quash’, which is a quite rare and only found in legal terminology. This is quite likely due to the fact that there is a very common and much older homonym of this verb that means ‘to marry’, which is totally unrelated and which is derived from the noun casa ‘house, home’, which comes from Lat. căsa ‘hut, cottage, etc.’, which contains a root căs‑ that is unrelated to the root căs‑ that we are dealing with.

Spanish borrowed the Late Latin verb cassar at one point as cassar. This learned verb meaning ‘to annul, quash’ is already present in Nebrija’s 1492 dictionary. The verb still figures in some Modern Spanish dictionaries, spelled casar. (In Old Spanish ss〉 between vowels represented the sound [s], whereas the single letter 〈s〉 was pronounced [z]. When these two sounds merged a few centuries ago into [s], the spelling 〈ss〉 was replaced with 〈s〉 from all Spanish words.) As we said, this verb is still found in some Modern Spanish dictionaries, such as the DLE, although the word is all but obsolete, having been replaced by anular and invalidar, as we saw earlier. The DLE does not indicate that this verb casar (cassar2) is either an archaic, obsolete, or even technical term.

Derived from this verb is the also very technical legal derived term casación in Modern Spanish meaning ‘annulment, cassation’. Note that this derived noun has also made it into English, as cassation, although there it is also a rare legal term. It means ‘abrogation or annulment by a higher authority’ (AHD).

Finally, English borrowed yet once more the verb căssare, this time through Dutch, not in the late 16th century. The Dutch verb is casseren or kasseren, which (the Flemish dialect of) Dutch borrowed from Old French and which meant ‘disband troops’ or ‘revoke a will’ (COED). It came into English as cashier, homonymous with the noun cashier of a very different source. This verb cashier is now quite rare and unknown to most speakers of English. One dictionary tells us that it means ‘to dismiss from a position of command or responsibility, especially for disciplinary reasons’ (AHD). Another defines it as ‘dismiss from the armed forces because of a serious misdemeanor’ (COED).

4.5. Lat. căstrāre

Lat. căstrāre is a first conjugation verb whose main meaning has been defined as ‘to deprive of generative power (both of male and female), to emasculate, castrate, geld’ but also, in some contexts, ‘to shorten, cut off, curtail’ and ‘prune’. This word is presumably derived from a Proto-Indo-European instrumental noun derived from the variant *kas‑ of the root *ḱes‑ plus an instrumental suffix thought to have been *‑tr‑ or *‑tro‑ in Proto-Indo-European plus, finally, the inflexion ‑om, resulting in the Proto-Indo-European word *ḱastrom that meant something like ‘cutting tool’. The Latin verb căstrāre would have been derived from the instrumental noun. Nonetheless, Latin does seem to have a descendant of the Proto-Indo-European noun *ḱastrom, namely the noun castrum, which had quite a different meaning, as we will see in the next section.

Sp. castrar is first attested in the mid-13th century but it is not certain that it is a patrimonial word. The alternative synonym is capar, which is the primary word used for castrating animals and which is definitely a patrimonial word.[j] Spanish castrar is also used in agriculture as a synonym of podar ‘to prune’ to refer to the cutting of tree branches to speed up a tree’s development. This is not surprising since Lat. căstrāre already had that meaning. The verb castrar is also used to refer to the removal of some honeycombs (Sp. panal de miel) from a beehive to speed up the creation of more honey.

Spanish has derived the noun castra from the verb castrar to refer to the act of castrar as well as to the time of the year in which castrating usually takes place: la castra. The noun that refers to the act of castrating in Spanish is castración, a loanword from Lat. căstrātĭo (acc. căstrātĭōnem), formed from the stem căstrāt‑ of the passive participle căstrātus of the verb căstrāre by means of the suffix ‑ĭōn‑ that derived action nouns.

English, of course, also has a cognate verb castrate and a cognate noun castration. The verb has been around since the early 17th century and it would seem to have been borrowed from written Latin, from the passive participle verb form castrātus of the verb căstrāre, with the sense ‘to remove the testicles of; to geld, emasculate’ (OED). However, English had borrowed the noun castration (then spelled castracioun) from Latin two centuries earlier, in the early 15th century. Thus, although the verb castrate could be a loan from Lat. castrātus, it could also be seen as a back-formation of the noun castration. Or it could be a combination of both things.

4.6. Lat. căstrum

Lat. căstrum is a second declension neuter noun meaning ‘any fortified place; a castle, fort, fortress’ and, mostly when used in the plural, căstra, ‘(fortified) military camp’. This word is now thought to derive from the same PIE root *ḱes as all the other words we have seen in this section and, actually, from the same stem that Lat. căstrāre comes from (see preceding section). The semantic connection between the ‘cutting’ sense of the root and the ‘fort’ sense of the Latin word is not totally clear but it could be that a camp was separate or cut off from the (dangerous world) outside, typically also surrounded by cut out trenches.

English borrowed the word castrum for ‘a Roman encampment or fortress’ in the 19th century (OED). Spanish now too has the word castro for a fort or fortified settlement, not necessarily a Roman one, as in Visitaron un castro celta ‘They visited a Celtic settlement’ (Larousse). But this is fairly recent use of the word, whose use started in the field of archeology. In Hispania, a descendant of the Latin noun căstrum was only in common use in the Galicia region and, hence, also in Portugal. In the rest of the peninsula it remained only in place names. Note that Castro is also a common last name in Spanish, cf. Fidel Castro, whose family and name came from the Galicia region.

It used to be thought that Lat. căstrum was related to Lat. căsa ‘any simple or poorly-built house, a cottage, hut, cabin, shed’ (L&S), the source of Sp. casa ‘house, home’. Nowadays, we think that Lat. căstrum actually descends from the Proto-Indo-European root *ḱes and that Lat. căsa comes from a different PIE root, perhaps a nominal root *ket‑ meaning ‘hut, shed’.

The Spanish adjective castrense is a learned loanword from Lat. căstrēnsis ‘of or pertaining to the camp’, derived from căstrum. It is used to refer to  military things, as in the phrase disciplina castrense ‘military discipline’. The Latin 3rd declension adjective căstrēnsis is derived from the noun căstrum by means of the suffix -ēns‑is (neuter ‑ēns‑e) ‘pertaining to, originating in’, which is used in Modern Latin derivations primarily to form place names, e.g. Sp. canadiense ‘Canadian’ and estadounidense ‘American (from the United States)’.

Many towns in Western Europe started as Roman military forts, which explains the appearance of this Latin word, in particular the plural castra, in many place names, such as Castro-Urdiales in Cantabria, Castrojeriz in Castile, and Castroverde in Galicia. The ending chester or caster in English place names such as Manchester or Lancaster comes from Latin castra which was adapted as early Old English *cæstra (5–6th centuries, unattested), resulting in Old English ceaster (< *ceæster < *cæster) (OED). In southern England, the initial consonant was palatalized before the front vowel æ, resulting in chester (e.g. Manchester), but in northern England, the initial consonant was not palatalized, resulting in caster (e.g. Lancaster). The word chester is now obsolete in English and it is only found as part of place names. In a few place names, the word chester is spelled cester, as in Worcester, pronounced [ˈwʊs.təɹ], the name of a city in Worcestershire, England, and, named after it, a city in the American state of Massachusetts.

The Latin diminutive of the noun castrum was the irregular căstellum [kas.ˈt̪ɛl.lʲʊ̃], which meant ‘a castle, fort, citadel, fortress, stronghold’ (L&S). Actually, the diminutive căstellum was more common in Latin than the non-diminutive căstrum from which it was derived.[k] This word has given us the cognates Eng. castle [ˈkʰæsəɫ] or [ˈkʰɑsəɫ] ~ Sp. castillo [kas.ˈt̪i.ʎo], which refer primarily to a somewhat different kind of construction common during the Middle Ages.

Figure 234: Bodiam Castle (1385) in East Sussex, England, surrounded by a water-filled moat[4]

Eng. castle came from Old North French castel. The cognate word in Old Parisian French was chastel, which has turned into Modern French château [ʃɑˈto]. The sound change from Lat. c [k] to Old Parisian French ch [ʧ], pronounced [ʃ] in Modern French, is characteristic of the Parisian dialect of French from which Modern Standard French derives. English borrowed the word château [ʃæˈtʰ̯] in the mid-18th century for ‘a castle or a large house especially in France’ (MWALD)

Sp. alcázar is another word for ‘castle’ in this language, used to refer to fortresses in Moorish Spain. This word comes from Arabic اَلْقَصْر (al-qaṣr) ‘the castle’, the second part of which, after the Arabic definite article al, comes from Latin castrum ‘castle’. In other words, Sp. castillo and Sp. alcazar are cognate words (though not full cognates, cf. Part I, Chapter 1). The cognate of this word in Galician and Portuguese is alcácer. In Aragon, Spain, there is a beautiful town called Alquézar, another cognate of this word. The word alcazar has also been used in English since the early 17th century for ‘a Spanish palace or fortress of Moorish origin’ (COED). It is usually pronounced [ˌælkəˈzɑɹ], with final stress (and ante-penultimate secondary stress), but also [ælˈkʰɑzəɹ], with penultimate stress, as in Spanish and Arabic.

4.7. Lat cărĭēs

Lat. cărĭēs is a fifth declension noun meaning ‘rot, rottenness, corruption’. It is derived from the root căr‑ and the rare suffix ‑ĭēs, which derived fifth declension abstract nouns, usually from adjective stems.[l]

Spanish has borrowed this word as caries ‘(tooth) cavity’ [ˈka.ɾi̯es] and it is the common word for this meaning. This word first appeared in a dictionary in 1786 and it first appeared in the Academy’s dictionary (DRAE) in 1803. The word caries is both singular and plural. In other words, the singular is caries and, as is the case with paroxytonic words (palabras graves/llanas) that end in ‑s in the singular, it does not change in the plural (e.g. lunes, lavaplatos). In medicine, the word caries refers more generally to the localized destruction of hard tissues, such as teeth and bones (DLE).

English also borrowed this Latin word in the 16th century, as caries [ˈɹ.iz] also to refer to the ‘decay and crumbling of a tooth or bone’ (COED), cf. dental caries (Sp. caries dentaria). In English, however, unlike in Spanish, the word cavity is more common to refer to tooth decay, whereas in Spanish the word caries is the only option.

4.8. Lat. căstĭgāre

The Latin verb căstīgāre was derived from the adjective căstus that we just saw. This was a polysemous word whose main meaning was ‘to set right by word or deed, to correct’, but which could mean ‘to chastise’, ‘to punish’, and ‘to blame, reprove, chide, censure, find fault with’, among other meanings (L&S). Actually, this verb was a compound of the adjective căstus and the verb ăgĕre ‘to act, make, etc.’ (ăg‑ĕre). In the word căstīgāre (căst‑īg‑ā‑re) we can detect the root căst‑, unchanged, and the variant (allomorph) ‑īg‑ of the root ăg‑ (remember that root vowel changes were common in Latin when the root was not the first morpheme in the word and, thus, was unstressed in early Latin, cf. Part I, Chapter 8, § Both English and Spanish have this Latin verb, Sp. castigar ~ Eng. castigate, but they are hardly good friends since their meanings are quite different, though they are both easily relatable to the original meaning(s).

The Spanish word castigar might seem to be a loanword, since it looks so much like its Latin source word, but this word is actually attested in one of the earliest Spanish writings, the glosses of San Millán from the middle of the 10th century (cf. Part I, Chapter 9, §9.5). During most of the Middle Ages, this word had the ‘reprimand’ and ‘correct’ meanings of the Latin word, but occasionally the verb was also used in Spanish with the ‘punish’ sense. This ‘punish’ sense is the main and basically only one that the word has today. Spanish dictionaries often provide additional meanings for castigar, but these are quite rare and archaic, if not obsolete. One additional sense that this word has and which is not so rare is one that is obviously derived from the ‘punish’ sense and which can be described as ‘to make someone or something suffer (but not as punishment)’, as in these two sample sentences: Los consumidores son castigados con esta nueva subida de precios ‘Consumers suffer this new price increase’ and El granizo castigó los sembrados ‘The hail damaged/ruined the sown fields’ (Clave).[m] Two other rare meanings are ‘to ride hard’ (a horse) and ‘to seduce’ (a woman).

Eng. castigate [ˈkʰæstɪɡeɪ̯t] is an early 17th century loanword from Lat. căstīgāre, actually from its passive participle căstīgātus. Most dictionaries give as the only meaning of this word ‘to criticize (someone) harshly’ (MWALD) but a few include the idea of punishment in their definitions of this English word, such as ‘to criticize or punish someone severely’ (LDOCE). Eng. castigate is obviously a fancy word, unlike its Spanish cognate castigar, which is a word that has come to fully replace the earlier patrimonial word that meant ‘to punish’, namely punir, which was a cognate of Eng. punish. The word punir is now obsolete in Spanish, though some dictionaries still carry it. When they do, they tell us that it is a (fancy) synonym of castigar borrowed from Latin, though Old Spanish had this word and it was a patrimonial one.

Old Sp. punir and Eng. punish [ˈpʰʌnɪʃ] come ultimately from Lat. pūnīre ‘to punish’ and ‘to take vengeance, avenge’. In early Latin, the word was poenīre, which reveals that this verb is derived from the noun poena ‘punishment, penalty’, also pēna later on, a loanword from Ancient Greek ποινή (poinḗ) ‘penalty, fine, bloodmoney’. This noun is, of course, the source of the cognate false-friend nouns Sp. pena and Eng. pain (and possible of the English verb to pine as well). Eng. punish is an early 14th century loanword from Old French puniss‑, which was the extended present participle stem of the verb punir ‘to punish’. The related noun Eng. punishment is a late 14th century loanword from Old French punissement, from the same stem and the noun-forming suffix ‑ment.

Spanish has derived a noun from the verb castigar, namely castigo ‘punishment’. The English noun related to the verb castigate is castigation [ˌkʰæstəˈɡeɪ̯ʃən] ‘the act or result of castigating’, which is a loanword from Latin. Actually, the noun castigation is attested in English more than 200 years before the verb castigate, in the late 14th century. The Spanish equivalents of this English noun would be censura, crítica, or reprobación.

[a] The verb granjear means ‘to capture, attract, obtain’ (‘Captar, atraer, conseguir’, DLE), as in Se granjeó la confianza de su suegro ‘He obtained his father-in-law’s trust’ or Sus méritos le granjearon un puesto en el ministerio ‘His merits won him a position at the ministry’ (DLE). The verb granjear is derived from the noun granja that today means ‘farm’, a loanword from French grange ‘granary, barn’. This loanword is attested quite early (1190) and it seems to have been brought by Cistercian monks. As the DLE mentions, the original (now obsolete) senses of the derived verb granjear were ‘to carefully cultivate a land and estate, caring for the conservation and increase of livestock’ and ‘to make a profit trading cattle or other tradeable objects’.

[b] As we can see, although the noun and the verb care are homonyms in Modern English, originally they were different albeit related words, with the verb being derived from the noun by means of a derivational suffix, which has since worn out (cf. Part I, Chapter 4, §4.5.2, for a similar case involving the noun and verb lie).

From the present participle of the verb to care, English has derived quite recently the adjective caring [ˈkʰeɹ.ɪŋ] by conversion, which means something like ‘feeling and exhibiting concern and empathy for others’ (AHD), as in He’s a very caring person or caring parents (OALD). Although the action noun caring is attested in the mid-16th century (‘the act of caring’), the adjective caring dates back only to the second half of the 20th century.

[c] The root of the words care was originally a nominal one, which has been reconstructed as Proto-Germanic *karō ‘care, sorrow, cry’, descendant of the Proto-Indo-European root *ǵeh₂r‑ ‘shout, call’. It is cognate with Middle High German kar ‘sorrow, lamentation’, Gothic 𐌺𐌰𐍂𐌰 (kara) ‘concern, care’, and Icelandic kör ‘sickbed’, and related to Dutch karig ‘scanty’ and German karg ‘sparse, meagre, barren’. Outside the Germanic languages, the word care is said to be related to the Latin verb garrīre ‘to chatter, prate, chat, talk’, source of the rare Spanish verb garrir, which nowadays can only refer to the act of screaming of a parrot, though earlier it also had the meaning ‘to chat’ (= charlar).

[d] The noun caricia ‘caress’, first attested in the mid-16th century, seems to be a loanword from Italian carezza or, actually, from a variant of this word from southern Italy, which is derived from the adjective caro ‘dear’ that we just saw.

[e] The verb rapiñar descends from V.Lat. rapinare ‘to rob’, derived from the Latin noun răpīna ‘robbery, plundering, pillage’, itself derived from the Latin verb răpĕre ‘to seize and carry off, to snatch’, from whose root răp‑ come the English words rapacious, rapture, raptor, ravage, ravenous, ravine, ravish, and, possibly, rape. The verb escudriñar comes from V.Lat. scrutiniare, derived from the Latin noun scrūtinĭum ‘search, inquiry, investigation’ derived from the verb scrūtārī ‘to search, examine thoroughly’, from the plural noun scrūta ‘old or broken stuff, trash’.

[f] For more information, see Etymological Dictionary of Latin and the Other Italic Languages (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary) by Michiel de Vaan, 2008.

[g] The alternation ‑s‑/‑r‑ can be seen in many common Latin words. For instance, the word for ‘flower’ was flos (with an s) in the nominative case, but florem in the accusative (with an r). Sp. flor and Eng. flower come from the accusative form of this Latin word (English borrowed from the Old French patrimonial word flour, flur, or flor (Modern French fleur). The alternation can even be witnessed in modern words that descend from Latin words, such as just, from Lat. iūs-t-us (cf. Sp. justo/a), and jury, ultimately from Med. Lat. jūr‑āt‑a (cf. Sp. jurar ‘to swear’, jurado ‘jury’).

[h] There has been further speculation on the Internet that this unattested Latin word *carassus is the source of vulgar and colloquial Sp. carajo ‘penis, dick, cock, prick’, a word used in a number of common expressions (and its cognates Gal. carallo, Port. caralho, and Cat. carall). This theory is unsubstantiated, however, and the sound changes do not make sense. Another suggested source of Sp. carajo is the unattested Vulgar Latin diminutive *c(h)araculum, though it is not clear what this word would have been a diminutive of, perhaps of Ancient Greek χάραξ (khárax) ‘stick’.
Note that Lat. căssus should not be confused with the noun cāsus ‘fall, accident, etc.’, source of Eng. case ~ Sp. caso, with their several meanings. These cognates are derived by conversion from cāsus ‘fallen’, passive participle of the verb cādĕre ‘to fall’. Actually, this classical cāsus was in earlier Latin cāssus, which resulted from an original cād-t-us, with ‑t‑ being the regular passive participle morpheme, which when added to a stem ending in ‑d resulted in ‑ss or ‑s (cf. Part I, Chapter 8, §

[i] From Lat. quassare, Vulgar Latin formed exquassare by the addition of the prefix ex‑ ‘out’. This is the source of Eng. squash meaning ‘to crush’, which also entered the language in the 13th century. The homonymous noun squash, meaning the vegetable, noun comes from the American Indian language Algonquian’s word askutasquash. A verb derived from Lat. quatĕre by prefixation is discutĕre, which has given us the false friends Eng. discuss ~ Sp. discutir ‘to argue’.

[j] Sp. capar comes from Vulgar Latin cappare, derived from V. Lat. cappo capponis, from Lat. cāpo cāponis ‘capon’, that is, ‘a male chicken that has had part of its sex organs removed to improve the taste of its flesh for food’ (CALD) (Sp. capón; note the expressive doubling of the consonant in the Vulgar Latin form)

[k] We say that castellum is irregular because the root cast‑ is different from that of the base word castrum, which is castr‑. Also, the diminutive suffix ‑ell(um) was not the most common diminutive suffix in Latin. The most common diminutive suffix was ‑ul‑ for first and second declension nouns, and ‑(i‑)cul‑ for third, fourth or fifth declension nouns. Examples with ‑ul‑: formula ‘little form/shape’, from forma ‘form/shape’, and modulus ‘a small measure’ from modus ‘measure; manner’, circulus ‘little circus’ from circus ‘circus, race-course’. Examples with ‑(i‑)cul‑: musculus ‘a little mouse’ from mus ‘mouse’, particula ‘little part’ from parspartis ‘part’.
The Latin diminutive endings come from Proto-Italic ‑ol‑, from an earlier ‑el‑, from Proto-Indo-European *‑e‑l‑.

Less common diminutive endings were primarily ‑ol‑ and ‑ell‑ (and occasionall ‑ill‑ and ‑oll‑) whose distribution is a bit more complicated. Basically, the ‑ol‑ allomorph was used when the base ended in ‑e‑, ‑i‑ or ‑u‑, and the ‑ell‑ (and ‑ill‑ and ‑oll‑) allomorph was used primarily with ‑r‑ stems (stems that ended in ‑r), e.g. liber ‘book’ > libellus ‘little book’, cerebrum ‘brain’ > cerebellum ‘little brain’ and castrum > castellum.

[l] Note that there is also another Latin suffix ‑ĭēs which is a variant of the suffix ‑ĭēns that formed third declension present participles.

[m] María Moliner defines these senses as ‘hacer padecer física o moralmente a alguien aunque no sea por faltas cometidas’ and (2) ‘Estropear una ↘cosa un fenómeno natural: ‘Las heladas han castigado mucho los frutales. El viento castiga las empalizadas’. Dañar, perjudicar’.

[3] According to the DCECH, Leo Spitzer first published this theory about the source of cariño in Lexikalisches aus dem Katalanischen und den übrigen iberoromanischen Sprachen, Geneva, 1921, p. 40.
[4] Source: Description: Bodiam Castle East Sussex England UK; Date: 10 May 2008; Author: Antony McCallum; URL: (2019.11.29)

Sp. cariño and related words

[This entry is taken from Chapter 54, "Sp. cariño and related words", of Part II of the open-source textbook Spanish-English Cogna...