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A cruel, rough, insensitive, or violent person. French “brut” < Latin “brutus”=heavy, dull, irrational.


A wine shop or cellar; a small grocery store in an Hispanic neighborhood. Spanish “bodega” < Latin < “apotheca” < Greek “apotheke”=a store.

A fortress usually located on high ground above a city. Italian “citadella” < “citta”=city + “ella”=diminutive (little city) < Latin “civitas”-community, state.

A symbol (~) found above Spanish vowels indicating a “nj” sound. Spanish “tilde’ < Latin “titulus”=an inscription (title) above an object labeling it.

A small group of people with shared interests or tastes. French “coterie”=a group of peasant land-holders < Latin “coterius”=tenant.

A legal claim that someone has on another person’s property until a debt has been paid. Old French “loien” < Latin “ligamen”=bond < “ligare”=to tie, bind.

A powerful, often illegal, drug made from poppy seeds. Latin “opium” < Greek “opion”=poppy juice < “opos”=plant juice < Proto-Indo-European “*swokwos”=juice.

An ungrateful person; someone not showing appreciation or thanks for something. Latin “ingratus”=not pleasing < “in-“=not + “gratus”=pleasing.

Easily led, taught, or controlled; submissive. French “docile”=teachable < Latin “docilis”=easily taught < “docere”=to teach.

The movement of goods and/services between people. French “trafique” < Italian “traffico” < ?Latin “transficare”=to transact.

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