In Spanish, etiqueta means label, such as a clothes label, etiqueta de la ropa.  But in English, etiquette means something quite different. Is it possible that they have the same origin but completely different meanings?  Yes, it turns out.  The English word etiquette, meaning proper behavior, comes from the time of Louis XIV (why is it always about him?).

Noblemen allowed to visit Versailles had the difficult task of knowing all of the rules imposed by the king.  Louis XIV, to help with this, decided to label everything.  “Keep off the grass”,  “Don’t touch”,  “Don’t pick the flowers” were all signs, or labels, posted around the property.  Since then, good manners have been associated with labels instructing the behavior.  Therefore, in French and Spanish, etiquette/ etiqueta, means label and good manners.


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