from pp. 215-216

bruja witch, sorceress. brujo sorcerer. Etymology doesn't help. As a mnemonic, think of bruja as a shorthand for "broom ninja". Brujo is its masculine form.

idóneo suitable. Cognate with idoneous ("suitable", "appropriate", a word frequently used in the 19th century according to Google ngram). According to F.E.J. Valpy's Etym. Dict. Latin Lang., its Latin origin idoneus may be traced to Ancient Greek εἴδομαι (eidomai) ("to seem"), hence the sense of "seemly" thus "proper". The Ancient Greek word may be cognate with Latin video ("I see"), from which English video is derived. Unfortunately, for our purpose of word study, it's not easy to think of video from this word, and then see, seem, seemly, and lastly suitable. Use a mnemonic such as "an idol that fits their need".

potestad power. Doublet with poder ("power"; "can"). Potesta is a legal term with a more technical definition. This word has nothing to do with protest.

apretar to tighten, to squeeze, to press, to compress. From Latin pectus ("chest"), thus doublet with pecho ("chest"). But the etymology may not help. Use oppress or press as a mnemonic.

juramento oath. Cognate with jury, juror.

plátano banana. Cognate with planetree (a tree of genus Platanus). There are regional differences in usage of this word when referring to banana. Consult Wikipedia or Wiktionary for additional information. If botany is not your specialty, as a mnemonic, imagine a plate full of bananas. If your hobby or profession is philosophy or classical studies, imagine a platonist (person believing in Plato's philosophy) eating a banana.

hoyo hole. Cognate with fovea ("pit", "depression", or "retinal fovea", an anatomic term). From Latin fovea ("pit"). Alternatively, simply use hole as a mnemonic.

arar to plow (plough). Cognate with arable (literally "plow-able").

revuelta revolt (n.). revuelto disordered, mixed; agitated. revolver to mix; to mess up. These words are cognate with both revolve and revolt, where the root means "roll". But only the meaning of "revolt" applies to these Spanish words. Revolve in English is girar in Spanish, and roll back in English is retrotraer in Spanish.

vivencia experience (n.). From vivir ("to live") + -encia (suffix for abstract noun).

colchón mattress. From colcha ("blanket") + -ón (augmentative). Cognate with couch, according to one theory. Or cognate with quilt, quoit, and possibly with cushion, which obviously serves as a perfect mnemonic.

ente entity (cognate), entidad; being.

tortilla tortilla; omelette (sense not used in Mexico or Central America).

abono fertilizer; installment (for payment); subscription (to magazine). From a- + bonus. All the various meanings revolve around the sense of "making good or better", by providing nutrients, accrediting money, etc.

OPEP OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). Short for Organización de Países Exportadores de Petróleo.

azufre sulfur (cognate).

aguardiente liquor. From agua ("water") + ardiente ("hot", "burning"; "ardent"). When you see this word, don't be tempted to split it between a and g or between r and d.

yerno son-in-law. From Latin gener ("son-in-law"), from Latin genus ("birth", "origin"; "type", "kind", "species", a sense also in English genus). According to F.E.J. Valpy in his Etym. Dict. Latin Lang., a son-in-law is introduced into the family (genus) of the wife's father. Latin ge- may change to Spanish ye-, also seen in gemma to yema ("bud"), or be absorbed into ie- as in gelu to hielo ("ice"). Since the word can be traced to genus, it is cognate with generate, generous, general, gender, genre. Alternatively, use a mnemonic such as "His son-in-law is a general". See also yema.

To sample miscellaneous
Back to sample page 7 To Homepage