The Latin word obex, which can be translated as “obstacle”, arrived in Castilian as obstacle. This is what a stumbling block or one difficulty.
For instance: “Physical problems have not been an obstacle for the Swiss tennis player, who beat his rival comfortably and qualified for the semifinals of the tournament”, “The high prices of hotels and other accommodation options are an obstacle when choosing certain tourist destinations”, “Next month there will be a change of authorities in the club but that will not be an obstacle to the continuity of the works in progress “.
An Obice is a lock, a limitation or a break. Suppose a young man who does not speak English is on vacation in United States. On a walk through a city, the boy gets lost, with which he must communicate with other people to try to locate himself. The lack of command of the languageIn this context, it is an obstacle: the tourist has difficulties to convey what is happening to him and to understand what others are saying to him.
Take the case of a footballer who, in a domestic accident, suffers a blow to his leg. In the following days, the athlete feels some pain but studies are carried out and he does not have any injury of consideration. That is why the doctors of his club affirm that the trauma that he suffered is not an obstacle for him to play the team’s next game.
Summarizing everything that has been said so far, we can proceed to develop a short list of synonyms for the term obstacle, with some being much more common in everyday speech: hindrance, obstacle, inconvenience, hindrance, difficulty and impediment. Most Spanish speakers are unaware of its meaning or avoid its use on a day-to-day basis, considering it a cultism, although not everyone agrees on this statement.
It is called cultism to any word that maintains a very close relationship at a morphological level with its Latin or Greek etymological origin, without taking into account the evolution of Castilian Spanish and the changes that it has brought about since its birth in Vulgar Latin. Cultisms are reintroduced into the language for different reasons, such as scientific or literary needs, but they are not fully adapted to the conventions of the present time: they simply adjust slightly to the aspects of phonology and spelling, but ignore the transformations of morphemes and roots throughout history.
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, the origin of the word obstacle is found in obex, which in addition to meaning «obstacle», meaning from which our Spanish version derives, can also refer to two other concepts: «padlock“Or” bolt. ” It is not necessary to go to great lengths to notice that all three meanings have a tinge of ‘impediment’, of a point beyond which it is not possible to pass, or at least not easily. Padlocks and bolts can be unlocked, just as obstacles can be overcome or dodged, but they require an effort of varying difficulty and in all cases represent a situation opposite to the “free way.”
Continuing with the etymology, we can say that it derives from the accusative obicem, the case used to give the idea of direct complement when combined with a transitive verb. Since it has only lost its final letter, which in Latin reveals that it was an accusative, many scholars affirm that we are dealing with a cultism. The least apparent change when reading this word is its pronunciation, particularly the C, although at least it retains the accentuation: it is still esdrújula.
Finally, it is important not to confuse obstruction with death: this is the name of the death of an individual.