It's human nature to conceive of abstract ideas through more immediate, concrete experiences—which is to say, through metaphors. Most of the words we have for abstract concepts began this way. We can still find evidence of these originating metaphors in the etymological history of our words. Here are 15 of them hidden in words where we may not see them anymore.

1. COMPANION

The central root of companion is pan- from the Latin for bread. Com is from the word for "with." A companion is a “with bread person,” a person you break bread with.

2. EXPLAIN

Explain comes from ex planare, or “out flatten.” When you explain something you flatten it out for inspection, so the meaning is laid out clearly for viewing.

3. REMORSE

The morse in remorse is from mordere, "to bite" (also found in the word morsel). When you have remorse over something, it is returning to bite at you.

4. NORMAL

In classical Latin, a norma was a carpenter’s square, used for confirming straight, right angles. To be normal is to be in accordance with the norma, to fit into the standard measurement.

5. EXPIRE

In Latin, spirare is "to breathe." To ex spirare is to breathe out. When something expires, it has breathed out its last breath.

6. DEPEND

Pendere is to hang. It is also the root of pendulum. De- is "from," so to depend is to hang from. When something depends on something else, it hangs from it, at its mercy if it should let go.

7. DISCORD

The cord in discord is from the Latin word for heart. When there is discord, hearts are divided or separated from each other.

8. IMPEDE

The –pede, also found in centipede and millipede, comes from the Latin for foot. Something that is impeded cannot go; its feet are entangled or otherwise obstructed.

9. INFANT

Fant is the past participle of fari, to speak. To be infant is to be non-speaking or unable to speak. The word captures a salient characteristic of babies and very young children.

10. HUMILITY

In Latin, humus is the earth, the soil, the ground (also seen in exhume, to bring something out of the ground). Humility is the characteristic of being low to the ground, and to humiliate is to bring someone to that low level.

11. OBVIOUS

Obvious comes from a joining of ob- (toward, against, in front of) and via (way, road). When something is obvious it is right there, in the way of you, in front of you in the road. You can’t miss it.

12. VERDICT

Dict is the past participle of the Latin dire, to speak or say. And ver- is the root for truth. A verdict is proclamation of a decision reached after judging the evidence, a saying of the truth.

13. IMMINENT

The Latin verb minere is to hang over or jut out. Something that is in minere, or imminent, is hanging over or jutting out so much that it is about to fall.

14. EDUCATE

The heart of this word is the root ducere, to lead. Appended to the front is e-, a shortened version of ex-, meaning "out." To educate is to lead out. Two metaphorical views are possible, one where the student is being led out of ignorance, and another where the potential of the student is being led out by the process of education.

15. PREPOSTEROUS

Preposterous combines pre-, meaning "before" and post-, meaning "after." To be preposterous is to be before the after, or all out of order, which is a preposterous state to be in.