Today's Romanian word is sat, "village". Sat is one of those Romanian words that comes from Latin, but in a non-obvious way. There are a lot of these. For instance, the word for "earth"? Both in the sense of "the dirt, the ground" and "the planet"? It's piment. (Romanian diacritical marks not included. The actual pronunciation is something like "pummunt".) That comes from the Latin pavimentum, which is exactly what it sounds like: stones, pavement. Why the medieval Romanians chose this instead of the perfectly good Latin word terra, I don't know. (Unless it's because they were busy turning terra into tara, which is the Romanian for "field, land, country".) But I digress. Sat is interesting because it comes from the Latin fossatum. That's the gerund form of the verb fossare, "to dig". Fossare survives in English in the scientific term "fossorial" -- meaning digging animals, like moles -- and the word "fossil", a 19th century neologism meaning "that which is dug". Anyway, in Latin, fossatum literally means "(the) digging". It was commonly used as a military term -- you'll find it in Caesar's Gallic Wars, for instance, applied to defensive trenches, ditches and moats. The best guess -- and this is just a guess -- is that back in the Dark Ages, Romanian settlements were surrounded by just these sorts of defensive trenches. To the point that the Romanians started referring to settlements as "diggings". Totally random note: when J.R.R. Tolkein designed an artificial language for his hobbits, he did much the same thing; there are hobbit towns called "delvings". Although in that case, it was because hobbits liked digging, not because they were living in terror of barbarian war bands sweeping down from the steppes and burning them all alive. This has been a Romanian Etymology Friday. Thank you.