The adjective respiratory (cf. French respirer 'breathe') goes back to Latin spiritus 'breath', which, in turn, has given spirit. Sanskrit महात्मा [mahātmā] is composed of महा [mahā] 'great' and आत्मन् [ātman] 'breath' (whence 'spirit'; 'soul'), cognate with German atmen 'breathe'. To expire – from Latin exspirare – is to 'emit (the last) breath', opposite of inspire 'inject (a new) breath'. Semitic analogies are indicative: Arabic نَفَس [náfas] 'breath' – whence تَنَفَّسَ [tanáffasa] 'breathe' and نَفَّسَ [náffasa] 'deflate' – is cognate with (more precisely, has yielded) نَفْس [nafs] 'soul', which has given نافَسَ [nāfasa] 'be on a par; compete with' ('soul vs. soul'). It is Slavonic, however, that provides the most straightforward evidence of the direct link between 'breath' and 'soul': while Russian дыхание [dyxānie] means 'breathing', душа [dušá] 'soul' and дух [dux] 'spirit', the latter happens to be the common root with the original meaning of 'breath', as illustrated in the expression перевести дух [perevestí dux] 'catch one's breath', but also in the noun воздух [vōzdux] 'air', adjective духовой [duxovój] 'wind (instrument)' and verb душить [dušít'] 'stifle' ([š] < [x]) – all corroborated by the fact that Slavonic [y] stems from an original [u].