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<   No. 4469   2021-03-11   >

Comic #4469

1 Death of Choking on a Giant Frog: We can’t have The Devil as our lawyer! We’ll be caught between The Devil and the deep blue sea!
2 Death of Inhaling Hatmaking Chemicals: Are you raisin’ The Devil wiff me, guv?
3 Death of Insanely Overpowered Fireballs: Ahem. If I could play Devil’s advocate here for a second...
4 Death of Inhaling Hatmaking Chemicals: No, guv! The Devil’s our advocate!

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The word advocate in English is partly synonymous with "legal counsellor" or "lawyer". In Romance languages this association is stronger, the French, Spanish, and Italian words for "lawyer" being respectively avocat, abogado, and avvocato, all derived from the Latin advocātus.

The similarity to the word avocado is amusing, and interestingly almost but not entirely coincidental.

Avocados are the familiar fatty green fruit. They are thought to be native to southern Mexico, although this is not certain as they were domesticated by the native populations around 5000 to 7000 years ago according to archaeological evidence, well before the arrival of Europeans, and spread through many neighbouring regions. The name avocado comes from the Nahuatl[1] word āhuacatl, via the Spanish aguacate. This Spanish version of the word was then later modified into English, supposedly based on the fact that it sounded a bit like the Spanish word for lawyer—abogado—to become avocado.

There is also evidence that the Aztecs used the word āhuacatl as a slang word for "testicle", which is eminently believable given the shape of avocados and the fact that they often hang from the tree in pairs. (Although one may wonder about the virility of Aztec men, given the size.)

So basically this all comes together to show that the Romance languages are really quite clever, since they're all subtly calling lawyers "testicles".

[1] Nahuatl is the language of the Aztecs, whose derivatives are still spoken today in pockets of rural Mexico. It's the same language that gave us words such as chili, coyote, tomato, and most importantly chocolate.

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