November 04, 2011
aficionado (noun)
\uh-fish-ee-uh-NAH-doh\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a person who really likes and appreciates something
How do you use it?
"If you are a jazz aficionado like me," said our music teacher, "then you must be familiar with the names Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and Wynton Marsalis."
Are you a word wiz?

"Aficionado" has its roots in Latin, but English speakers borrowed it from another language. Which language do you think that was?

We really like answer C. English speakers borrowed "aficionado" directly from Spanish. Spanish speakers formed "aficionado" from the verb "aficionar," which means "to inspire affection" and which in turn comes from the noun "aficion," meaning "affection." Both Spanish words trace to the Latin root "afficere," meaning "to influence." Not surprisingly, that Latin word is also the ancestor of our word "affection." Although it shares the same Latin root as "aficionado," "affection" took a different path into English. English speakers adopted "affection" from Anglo-French, the French language spoken in medieval England.
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