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Spanish Loanwords

This is a list of English language words whose origin can be traced to the Spanish language. Loanwords are integrated words from a foreign language with orthography adapted for the receiving language.

WordMeaning
abacavia Spanish from Tagalog abaká
abalonefrom Spanish abulón, from Ohlone
adiósfrom Spanish "good bye"
alidadevia French and Spanish from Arabic al-idada, "the revolving radius"
alligatorfrom el lagarto, "the lizard"
alpacafrom Spanish, from Aymara allpaka
aludelfrom Old French alutel, via Spanish from Arabic al-utal, "the sublimation vessel"
amigofrom Spanish and/or Portuguese amigo, "friend"
amoleMexican Spanish
amontilladofrom the village of Montilla, Province of Córdoba, Spain
anchofrom Mexican Spanish (chile) ancho, "wide (chili)"
anchovyfrom Spanish anchoa or more probably Portuguese anchova
Angelenofrom American Spanish
Apachefrom Mexican Spanish
armadafrom the Spanish navy, La armada española
armadillofrom armadillo, "little armored one"
arroyofrom arroyo, "stream"
avocadoalteration of Spanish aguacate, from Nahuatl ahuacatl
bananafrom Spanish or Portuguese banana, probably from a Wolof word - Arabic "ba' nana" fingers
bandolierfrom Spanish bandolera, = "band (for a weapon or other) that crosses from one shoulder to the opposite hip" and bandolero, ="he who wears a bandolier"
barbecuefrom the Chibcha word barbacoa
barracuda from barracuda
barranca from Spanish barranca or barranco, ="ravine"
barriadafrom Spanish barrio, "neighborhood", from Arabic barri
barriofrom Spanish barrio, "neighborhood", from Arabic barri
bastinado from bastonada, from Spanish bastón, cane
bodegafrom Spanish and/or Portuguese bodega, ="cellar"
bolasefrom Spanish bolas, =balls
bolerofrom Spanish bolero
bonanzafrom bonanza
bonitofrom Spanish bonito, ="beautiful"
bobbyfrom Spanish bobo ="silly"
breezefrom brisa or from Frisian briesen - to blow (wind)
bronco or bronchofrom bronco
buckaroofrom vaquero, ="cowboy"
burritofrom burrito, = a dish originally from Northern Mexico, literally "little donkey"
burrofrom burro, ="donkey"
caballerofrom Spanish caballero="knight/gentleman", from caballo, ="horse"
cabana from Spanish cabaña or Portuguese cabana
cacique from Spanish, from Taino, a chief
cafeteriafrom cafetería, "coffee store"
calaboosefrom Louisiana French calabouse, from Spanish calabozo
caldera (used in geology)from Spanish caldera, "=cauldron"
Californiaplace name first seen in print in 1510 Spanish novel 'Las sergas de Esplandián' by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo
camarillafrom camarilla ="small room"
caminofrom camino a path or road, from caminar to walk
cannibalfrom Spanish caníbal, alteration of caríbal, from Caribe
canoefrom Spanish canoa, from Haitian canaoua
canyonfrom cañón
carabaofrom Spanish from Visayan language, from Malay language.
carambafrom Spanish ; expression of dread, displeasure, or disapproval, euphemism for carajo ="penis"
carbonado from carbonada, from carbón ="coal"
cargo from cargo, carga ="load"
Caribbeanfrom Spanish Caribe, from name of Carib Indians of the region.
cassava from cazabe, from Taino caçábi
caudillofrom caudillo
cedillafrom cedilla, archaic spelling zedilla (little z)
chaparralfrom Spanish, chaparro = small evergreen oak, from Basque "txapar"
chapsfrom Mexican Spanish chaparreras, leg protectors for riding through chaparral
chayotefrom Spanish, from Nahuatl chayotl
chichafrom Spanish chicha, from Colombia native American language chichab, ="maize"
chiclefrom chicle, from Nahuatl tzictli
chilefrom Spanish chile, from Nahuatl chilli
chipotlefrom Spanish, smoked jalapeño, from Nahuatl chilpoctli
chocolatefrom Spanish chocolate, from Nahuatl xocolatl
chorizo from chorizo
churros from churros
cigar from Spanish cigarro, from Mayan sicar, sic (="tobacco")
cigarettefrom French cigarette, diminutive of French cigare, from Spanish cigarro
cilantrofrom Spanish cilantro', "coriander"
cocafrom Spanish, coca, from Quechua kúka
cockroachfrom Spanish cucaracha
cocoa or cacaofrom Spanish cacao, from Nahuatl cacáhuatl
cojonesfrom Spanish cojones, to denote courage
Coloradofrom Spanish colorado, red or colored
comradefrom French camarade, from Spanish camarada
condorfrom Spanish, from Quechua cuntur
conquistador from conquistador, from conquista="conquest"
coquinafrom coquina, dim. form of "concha" = seashell; a sedimentary rock of NE Florida
cordillerafrom cordillera
corralfrom corral
corridaa bullfight
coyotefrom Spanish coyote, from Nahuatl coyotl
creolefrom French créole, from Spanish criollo, from Portuguese crioulo, raised in the house
crimsonfrom Old Spanish cremesín, from Arabic qirmizI, from qirmiz kermes
crusadeblend of Middle French croisade & Spanish cruzada; both ultimately from Latin cruc-, crux cross
cumbiafrom Spanish cumbia, a popular dance (for couples) originating in Colombia, Panama and Argentina
daiquirifrom Daiquiri, a port city in eastern Cuba
denguefrom Spanish dengue, from Swahili dinga, = "seizure"
desperado from Spanish desesperado, desperate
El Doradofrom El Dorado, literally, "the golden one"
El Niñofrom El Niño de la Navidad, literally, "the Christmas child" due to the warming of Pacific waters seemed to warm around Christmas
Embarcadero from embarcadero a boat dock
embargofrom Spanish embargar ="to bar"
escabechefrom escabeche
Floridafrom La Florida, the flowery or plant-filled place
guerrillafrom spanish "small war"
habanerofrom the Spanish for the name of the Cuban city of La Habana, which is known as Havana in English. Although it is not the place of origin, it was frequently traded there.
haciendafrom Old Spanish facienda
hackamorefrom Spanish jaquima
hombrefrom Spanish "hombre" same as man and he-man: macho or very strong, tough, and masculine man.
hoosegowfrom Spanish juzgado, courthouse, from juzgar, to judge
hurricanefrom Spanish huracán, from Taino hurákan; akin to Arawak kulakani, thunder
Inca from Spanish inca, from Quechua
incommunicado from incomunicado
iguanafrom Spanish iguana from Arawak
jade from Spanish piedra de ijada
jaguar from Spanish jaguar from Guaraní yaguar
jalapeñofrom Spanish, a type of spicy chilli named after Jalapa de Enríquez, a town in Mexico, and the capital of the state of Veracruz
jerkyfrom Spanish charqui, from Quechua ch'arki, ="dried flesh"
junta or juntofrom Spanish junta, a group of leaders, usually military officers in a coup d'état. As an adjective it means "together".
keyfrom Spanish cayo, from Taino (this is English 'key'/'cay'/'quay' as in an island, reef or a linked series of them, not the 'key' with which you lock/unlock)
lariatfrom la reata, = the strap, rein, or rope
lassofrom Spanish lazo
llamafrom Spanish llama, from Quechua llama
locofrom loco, =mad, crazy
Lolitafrom the diminutive for Lola, short for Dolores
machofrom macho, brave, the property of being overtly masculine. In Spanish is masculinity
mesafrom mesa, table. The corresponding Spanish word to a flat top mountain is meseta
mescalfrom Spanish mezcal, from Nahuatl mexcalli
mesquitefrom Mexican Spanish mezquite, from Nahuatl mizquitl, from Arab "mezquita"
mestizofrom mestizo
mojitodim. formed from "mojado" = dipped, or wet, probably referring to the mint in the drink
molefrom Spanish, from Nahuatl molli (="sauce")
Montanafrom montaña, a mountain
mosquitofrom mosquito, literally "little fly"
mulattofrom Spanish or Portuguese mulato
mustangfrom mestengo or mesteño, ="without known master or owner" (archaic)
musteefrom mestizo
nachofrom Nacho, a nickname for the given name Ignacio, inventor of the snack
nadafrom "Nada", introduced by E. Hemingway, slang, ="nothing".
negrofrom Spanish or Portuguese negro, ="black"
Nevadafrom Nevada literally "snowy"
oléan interjection, an expression of approval or triumph, similar to the Italian bravo, used by spectators of bull fights or football (soccer) matches
oregano from orégano
pachuco from pachuco
paella from Spanish paella, from Catalan paella (saucepan)
palmettofrom palmito, diminutive form of the word for palm.
pampafrom Spanish, from Quechua pampa, =plain
papayafrom japaya, akin to Arawak papáia
patiofrom patio, inner courtyard, ="an open paved area adjacent to a home"
peccadillofrom pecadillo, ="small sin"
peccaryfrom Spanish pecarí, from Guaraní
peonfrom Spanish peón (="laborer")
peyotefrom Spanish, from Nahuatl peyotl (="caterpillar")
Philippinesfrom Latin ="islands of king Philip II of Spain", in Spanish Filipinas
piccadillfrom picadillo
pimento or pimientofrom pimiento
pinta from pinta
piña colada from Spanish piña = pineapple and colada, which means strained, from the Spanish verb colar (to strain)
Piraguafrom the combination of Spanish words Piramide = "pyramid" and Agua = "water"
piscofrom pisco
placer miningfrom placer, ="sand bank"
platinumfrom platina, ="little silver" (now "Platino")
playafrom playa
plazafrom plaza',' ="public square, spot or place"
ponchofrom poncho, from Araucanian
posadafrom posada
potatofrom European Spanish patata, itself from batata, = "sweet potato", from Taino and papa, "potato" from Quechua
prontofrom spanish "immediately"
pronunciamentofrom pronunciamiento proclamation, ="military coup d'état", usually establishing a military dictatorship (often a junta)
pumafrom Spanish, from Quechua
punafrom puna, from Quechua
quadroonfrom cuarterón
quechuafrom Spanish, from Quechua qishwa, valley of temperate weather
quesadilla from quesadilla, diminutive of "queso" = cheese.
Quetzalfrom Spanish, from Nahuatl "quetzalli": a group of colourful birds of the trogon family found in tropical regions of the Americas. It also may refer to Guatemalan quetzal, the currency of Guatemala.
quinoafrom Spanish quinua, from Quechua kinua
savannafrom sabana, from Taino zabana
savvyfrom Spanish or Portuguese sabe, "knows"
shackperhaps from Mexican Spanish jacal, from Nahuatl xacalli
sherryfrom Old Spanish Xerés , modern Spanish Jerez
sierra from sierra, a saw
siesta from siesta, ="nap", maybe lusism, from Latin Sexta
silo from silo
sombrerofrom sombrero (literally, shade maker), ="hat"
stampedefrom estampida
stockadefrom a French derivation of the Spanish estocada
taco from taco
tamale from Spanish tamales, pl. of tamal, from Nahuatl tamalli, dumpling made from corn flour
tangofrom Spanish tango.
tapiocafrom tapioca
ten-gallon hatfrom Spanish tan galán = how gallant (looking); alternate theory is the gallon of Texas English here is a misunderstanding of galón = braid
tequila from tequila
tilde from tilde
tobaccofrom Spanish tabaco
tomatillofrom Spanish tomatillo, ="small tomate" (see Physalis philadelphica)
tomatofrom Spanish tomate, from Nahuatl xitomatl
toreadorfrom toreador
torerofrom torero, from toro ="bull"
tornadofrom Spanish tornado
tortillafrom tortilla, "little torta" = cake. Currently means "omelet" in Spain; in Spanish America = small cake of either corn meal or wheat flour
tunafrom Spanish atún, from Arabic tun, from Latin thunnus, from Greek θύννος, thynnos (=tuna fish)
turistafrom turista ="tourist"
vamoosefrom vamos, meaning "let's go"
vanillafrom Spanish vainilla, diminutive of vaina,="pod"
vicuñafrom Spanish, from Quechua wikunna
vigilantefrom Spanish vigilante, meaning watchman
wranglershortened from Spanish caballerango, a groom neigh
Zorrofrom Portuguese/Spanish zorro, a fox, originally "smart"
Source: Wikipedia - List of English words of Spanish origin
More at Spanish Loan Words in English and English Borrows from Spanish