Every Wednesday, I explore the linguistic origins of one word in different languages I speak.
Oh, man. What a year. Except for that time that a North European pickpocket caused me to not have an Internet connection for a million years, I’ve been posting five days a week. This feat impresses me, especially since I didn’t really set out to do it any real sense, like, it wasn’t on my To Do List for 2013. It just kind of happened and I’m pretty psyched about having made it this far. I guess I have an endless supply of dumb stuff to share. Like today’s knowledge crumbs!
success — the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. ORIGIN from Latin successus, from the verb succedere [come close after].
éxito — Resultado feliz de un negocio, actuación, etc. [Favorable result in a business dealing, performance, etc.] ORIGIN Latin exĭtus [exit].
réussite — Bon succès. [Good success.] ORIGIN Borrowed from Italian riuscita [success] from uscita [exit], this from Latin exire [to leave/exit] from ex- + eo [go outside of].
Huh. I’ve got to admit that this is the most puzzling Word Mystery yet. I don’t really understand any of the evolutions, and that they all come from Latin makes it somehow more frustrating. What does leaving have to do with accomplishment? George Costanza is the only connection I can make between the two ideas, and he came a few years after the Latin language developed so I’m stymied.
Today’s Winner: Latin, obviously, since it showed me that just when I thought I was so clever and productive, I’m the same idiot I was when I started writing this damn blog.