In Australia, "dear" is used quite interchangeably to mean an expensive item or dear person but it sounds very strange to Americans to have one word mean both, though in America, "precious" is used that way to decribe a precious metal or a precious child.
The same is in Arabic. The word for "dear" : غالي (ghaali) can mean both "expensive" and "dear (to the heart..)" .
In Polish it's similar, "drogi"/"droga" means expensive, but also "dear" (for example in letters: "droga Mamo" - "dear Mom"), although I think it is used as "dear" mostly by older people or in formal situations. Younger people use more often "kochany/kochana", which literally means "loved" ("kochana Mamo"- "dear Mom") We also have a word "skarbie" which is a vocative of "skarb" - literally "treasure" but it's used like "precious" or "darling" in English.
It's nice..and weird.. how all of these languages share these 2 meanings of this word.
I think it must have come from one place and the accompanying meanings in that original language passed on to every other language with it.
Also in Portuguese: "caro/cara" can mean "expensive" or "dear".
As it happens in many different languages, could it mean "if I am really dear to you, I have the right to be also expensive"??? ;-)))))
As it is so common in many languages, I think you made a logical justification to why this word means these two different things.
A dear thing is always important,..more to say.., precious.. and expensive.
Yes, but in common, practical, everyday Portuguese we somewhat disambiguate it by the order it appears in the expression.
Usually, "Caro amigo" means a "Dear friend", and "Amigo caro" means "Expensive friend".
One can use the word "יקר/יקרה" for both "expensive" and "dear". 1. " הלחם הוא יקר הים". 2. "דואולינגו היקר שלום".
There is an equivalent use of the word in Russian. And also sounds ambivalent in such a context...
Whilst technically this sentence is ambiguous because in English "dear" can be used to mean both "expensive" and as a sign of endearment I think that when referring to people it would always be a sign of affection.
היא שרמותה! This was like the first word my israeli friends taught me xD