The last post began with an observation that English has three separate words shingles, the relevant one being a descendant of the Latin verb cingere that meant ‘to bind, gird, encompass, enclose, surround.’ Now I’ll follow up by noting that English has two words enceinte, both taken from French. One is a euphemism (in English) for ‘pregnant’ (corresponding to Spanish encinta), while the other is an old noun designating ‘the inner ring of fortifications surrounding a town.’ That definition makes clear that this enceinte is an offshoot of Latin cingere. A descendant that Spanish and English share is precincto/precinct. Here’s the entry for the English word in the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica:
(from Lat. praecingere, to encircle, enclose, surround, prae and cingere, to gird), an enclosure, a space within the boundaries, marked by walls or fences or by an imaginary line, of a building or group of buildings, especially used of such a space belonging to a cathedral or other religious building. The word is frequently used, indefinitely, of the neighbourhood or environs of a place or building. In the United States of America it is applied to various minor territorial divisions or districts, for electoral or judicial purposes. In some of the states they correspond to the “township” as the principal subdivision of the “county.”
For the sense of Spanish precinto, see the comment by Juan below.
Another offshoot of Latin cingere that Spanish and English share is sucinto/succinct. That adjective comes from the past participle of Latin succingere, formed with the prefix sub- ‘under,’ which meant ‘to gird from below.’ An early sense of succinct was ‘girded or tucked up; bound; drawn tightly together.’ From that came the notion ‘compressed into a narrow space,’ and then more generally ‘brief, concise.’
A Spanish descendant of Latin cingere for which English lacks an exact cognate is recinto, with prefix re- rather than pre-, which means ‘enclosure, area, place, district’ and even ‘precinct.’
© 2013 Steven Schwartzman