In English, many of the words beginning with E seem to be endowed with ecstatic energy of some sort: exuberance, excitement, exclamation, exultation, enticing, exhilaration, euphoria, explosive, electrifying, enchanting, ejaculation, edification, enthralling, enthusiastic, embellishment, elopement, erotica, elation … etcetera.
Perhaps this spirit explains why many people whose names feature a capital E are leaders in their field, be it entertainment, exploration or entrepreneurship. Eminem, Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood, Umberto Eco, Amelia Earhart, Elon Musk, Elton John, Queen Elizabeth, Emmanuel Macron, George Enescu, Edward Elgar, Duke Ellington, Enya, George Eliot, T.S. Eliot, Elizabeth Taylor, Emma Thompson, Dwight Eisenhower, Billie Eilish, Pablo Escobar…
Unfortunately the E words also include enemies, entrapment, enslavement, earthquakes, explosions, eruptions, epidemics, egomaniacs and other evil things.
Many E words relate to our existence, which according to some beliefs took a turn for the worse when a serpent enticed Eve into sampling the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden. God Almighty was enraged, they were expelled and their nakedness was exposed. Oh the shame!
Quirky E words in My Five Romance languages
s’essoufler. This is a word I can relate too, at least in its reflexive form. It means to get breathless, run out of steam, go stale. Je suis essoufflé = I am out of breath. The transitive form, essouffler, means to leave someone breathless or something similar figuratively… for example, essouffler ses concurrents means to leave one’s competitors behind. Of course, the words souffler, soufflé etc are related in a blowy, breathy kind of way.
elucubrazione are ponderings or cogitations, which in a way sums up the content of many blogs. It can also mean ruminations or flights of fancy. From the verb elucubrare, to ponder. It sounds more ponderous in Italian, don’t you think? It’s related to the archaic English word lucubration(s), meaning intense or prolonged study, or learned or pedantic writing. They sound more fun in Italian to me.
escalda-pés. My big Portuguese dictionary defines this as “quite a hot foot bath“. I’m impressed that the Portuguese have these luxuries: escalda-pés or hot baths (it takes the same form in the singular and plural) purely for the pés (feet). The English word scald is obviously related to escaldar, meaning to scald or burn.
a escroca means to cheat or rip off, un escroc means a cheat or a fraudster, and o escrocărie means a sham. Or you could use o escrocherie, which also means a scam or, more informally, a con. These are good words to have when you want to do some serious haggling over the price of something.
The language has some lovely reflexive verbs starting with an E (with -se at the end to indicate it is a reflexive verb). For example, empicarse means to get the bug, in other words, to be hooked on something. Usually followed by por (for). (By the way, an insect-like bug is a bicho). To literally get hooked, caught or snagged on something is engancharse. There is an excellent explanation on reflexive verbs and pronouns in Spanish here. M5R
Illustrations by Jeff Jacobs (garden of Eden) and eommina (footbath) at Pixabay