Etymology for the Word Izquierda | SpanishDict Answers
2 Vote

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?

  • Posted Feb 22, 2012
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3 Vote

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!

3 Vote

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".

1 Vote

It came from the Basque area .

1 Vote

basque area

1 Vote

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.

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