It is quite common for a word with a specific and literal meaning to develop figurative or metaphorical meanings that are related to the literal one. And sometimes we can see this same change across multiple languages. Such is the case with polite. The Latin verb polire means to smooth, to polish, and its past participle, politus, and adverbial form, polite, came in that language to mean cultured or refined, a metaphorical polish.

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