While researching the etymology of the word spa, I came across several websites claiming that its name comes from an abbreviation of the Latin phrase Salus per Aquam, meaning "health from water". Such acronym theories are almost always fake, and this is no different. It's also been proposed that spa might come from the Latin verb spargere, meaning "to scatter", but in reality, spa was probably the name of a specific resort in eastern Belgium known for its medicinal springs, which were said to contain remedies for several medieval diseases (this term probably derives from the Walloon word espa, meaning "fountain"). At some point during the sixteenth century, British people started using the name of the Belgian town to refer to health resorts in general, and the rest is history.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.