Prodigal ≠ Prodigious

So, I’ve been hearing the phrase ”The prodigal son returns” from some advertisement of an anime. For a while, I thought that it has something to do with the word prodigy, maybe its adjectival form or something. But then I thought “No, that’s ‘prodigious’ isn’t it?”

A short search through Google and Dictionary.com confirms my second thought. So that’s settled, but then it got me thinking, ‘prodigal’ is always associated with the son who just returned. I wonder why that is. Why is it always the son? Why did he always go away? Is the prodigal son went away due to his ‘prodigal-ness’ or is he prodigal because they went away or is he prodigal because he came back?

Strange.

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