Word of the day — cabal

Friday’s word of the day was cabal, meaning upright and fine or full and clear. The first meaning (applying to people) makes sense to me if I think of cabal as being the root of caballero. The second meaning (applying to an idea or picture of something) doesn’t seem as intuitive to me.

Now I’m wondering about the etymology of the English word “cabal” — a small group of plotters does not seem very upright or fine to me.

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2 Comments

Filed under spanish

2 responses to “Word of the day — cabal

  1. Maybe the English term comes from a different root, like the same as “kabala”, which has more of secret, hidden implications?

  2. jmc

    The little bit I found indicated that the root was French (“intrigue” or “society”), via Middle Latin and Hebrew (related to mystical tradition and the Old Testament), so you’re on the money 🙂 An interesting note (to me) was that it was used as an acronym for the names of Charles II who engaged in political intrigues. CliffordArlingtonBuckinghamAshleyLauderdale

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