top of page
  • Writer's picturegalpod

Word Trail

Read this on

The school year has begun in our household, which I thought would give me more time for a post but no such luck. I started writing this one thinking it would be quick, but it led me into the internet rabbit hole, as many of these tend to do. Someone with a more dramatic flare might have made a poem out of this, and I did try, but I come up with nothing but cliches, so I'm leaving it as is.

I noticed that the words live, love, and leave all have the same consonants. In Hebrew (and Arabic), that usually means they come from the same root, which I thought might be interesting. So I looked it up like a good scientist.

The words live and leave do indeed come from the same root, *leip- which means to stick or adhere to something. I get how "live" came out of that, but not how it became the complete opposite in leave. The early meaning came from the concept of leaving the Earth behind. I couldn't find a good explanation, but I think it's fascinating and super confusing.

The word love, on the other hand, comes from an adjacent root, *leubh-. The same root gave rise to the noun leave (as in permission). Perhaps because you need someone's permission to love them? Maybe people in the "good old days" weren't as patriarchal as we'd like them to be.

So, the three words are interconnected in a rather profound way. I wonder whether ancient people also knew that if you want to live, you have to love. And if you love someone, you have to let them leave. I assume they did.


Hey there! Thanks for reading :) I would love to hear your thoughts about this. Just click on the chat icon in the bottom right corner, or reply to the email.

18 views0 comments


Subscribe to Narrative Notes

In my newsletter, Narrative Notes, I share updates on my latest works, including upcoming book releases and progress on ongoing projects. You'll also get the inside scoop on my writing process, including story notes and characters' backstories, as well as exclusive stories that you won’t be able to get anywhere else.

bottom of page