TRIVIAL PURSUITS: From Where Did the Word ‘Embargo’ Originate?

Journalists are often offered news items “under embargo,” meaning they are not to be reported about until a certain date/time.

From where did the word ‘embargo’ originate?


As early as the 1590s, the word “embargo” meant an “order forbidding ships from certain other nations from entering or leaving a nation’s ports.” The word was a noun of action from the Spanish “embargar,” meaning “restrain, impede, arrest.”


This Spanish word was derived from the Latin imbarricare, from an assimilated form of in (into, upon) and barra (bar, barrier).
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