Etymology for the Word Izquierda
I'm learning the basics of Spanish right now and I came across the word "izquierda" for left. Unlike derecha and derecho, the combination of z and q sound non-romantic in origin. So, I was wondering if it came from maybe a tribal word or something else?
Well, as you know, the Basque region had a heavy influence over the Spanish monarchy during this time, probably the reason they chose to use izquierda over the latin siniestra (I'm sure they co-existed, but obviously izquierda won popularity-wise). However the actual origin of izquierda, Portuguese ezquerdo and Catalan esquerra suggest a pre-roman derivation (possibly Pyrenees influence). Hope this helped!
It comes from Basque (Euskera) "ezker" which means "left" and a left-handed person ("zurdo" in Spanish), also the "left wing" party.
It's used over "siniestra" because this word means something dark, evil, tenebrous, gloomy, perverse or wicked; also for tragedies or accidents, eg: "ocurrió un siniestro en la cuadra 10 de la avenida Petit Thouars"
It exists an expression "a diestra y siniestra" (diestra is the equivalent of derecha) which means "without order, discretion or considerateness". Eg: "dispararon a diestra y siniestra".
In heraldry, the word "sinister" means left hence the old term "bar sinister" meaning illegitimacy.
The dexter, or right, side of a coat of arms is the position of honour.
Izquierda *left" comes from the basque word ezkerra that means, the left.
Left would be ezker. Derecha (right )would be eskuin. Borh ezker and eskuin comes from the word esku that means mano hand.. (in basque the z and the s have the same pronunciation as the spanish s)
There is a lot of sound similarity between Izquierda and the Arabic word Yasaar for left. There presence of Y, S and R in the same sequence in both is very likely to be more than a coincidence. I wonder if the Basque word predates the Arab presence!!