This is a list of
English language words whose origin can be traced to the Spanish language as "Spanish loan words". Words typical of " Mock Spanish" used in the United States are listed separately.
abaca via Spanish
abacá from Tagalog abaká
abalone from Spanish
abulón, from Ohlone aluan or Rumsen awlun.
adios from Spanish 'adiós' meaning "goodbye" < latin
ad deus "to god" (short for "a Dios seas", "a Dios seades", literally, "may (you) be (commended) to God")
Egyptian via Arabic "Al-tub"
aficionado from past participle of
aficionar, to inspire affection, from afición affection, from Latin affection-, affectio, from afficere .
alcatraz, see below.
Alcatraz (meaning "
gannet") from Arabic غطاس al-ġaţţās ("the diver")
alidade via French, Spanish
alidada and Medieval Latin alhidade from Arabic العهدة al-idada, "the revolving radius"
el lagarto, "the lizard" < latín lacartus < lacertus.
alpaca via Spanish, from
Old French alutel, via Spanish and Medieval Latin from Arabic الأثال al-ʾuṯāl, "the sublimation vessel"
amigo from Spanish and/or Portuguese
amigo, "friend"; from Latin amicus meaning "friend," derived from amare ( to love). amole
Mexican Spanish from Nahuatl
amolli meaning "soap root." 
amontillado from the village of Montilla "little mount", Province of Córdoba, Spain
ancho from Mexican Spanish
(chile) ancho, "wide (chili)" < latin amplus
anchovy from Spanish
anchoa or more probably Portuguese anchova meaning "bluefish"; from Genoese or Corsican dialect; ultimately from Latin apua meaning "small fish" and Greek Αφυε aphye meaning "small fry" or from Basque anchuva meaning "dry" 
Angeleno from American Spanish
Apache from Mexican Spanish from
Yavapai meaning "people" or from 'epache Zuni apachu meaning "enemy" 
armada "armed [fleet]" from the
Spanish navy, La armada española
armadillo, "little armored one"
arroyo, "stream" < arrugium
avocado alteration of Spanish
aguacate, from Nahuatl ahuacatl.
ayahuasca via Spanish from Quechua ayawaska meaning "soul vine."
banana from Spanish or
Portuguese banana, probably from a Wolof word, or from Arabic بأننا “ba’ nana” fingers  
bandolier from Spanish bandolero, meaning "band (for a weapon or other) that crosses from one shoulder to the opposite hip" and bandolero, loosely meaning "he who wears a bandolier"
, from Spanish, taken from Caribbean Taínos barbacoa barbacu, cooking set-up with wood tray at a height over fire
barracuda May have come from barraco, meaning overlapping tooth
barranca from Spanish
barranca or barranco, ravine
barrio from Spanish
barrio, "neighborhood", from Arabic بري barri, wild
bastonada, from Spanish bastón, cane
bodega from Spanish and/or Portuguese
bodega, meaning cellar < latin-greek aphothekam.
bolero from Spanish
bonanza meaning "prosperity" < latin bonantia < bonus "good".
bonito from Spanish
bonito, meaning "beautiful" < latin bonus "good".
brisa "cold northeast wind" or from Frisian briesen - to blow (wind) 
bronco meaning "coarse"
vaquero meaning "cowboy", ultimately from Latin "vaccarium" "cowboy" ( vacca "cow").
burrito diminutive of
burro, a dish originally from Northern Mexico, literally "little donkey"
burro from burro, "donkey" < latin burricus "small horse".
caballero from Spanish
caballero meaning "knight/gentleman", from caballo, "horse", Celtic caballos "horse".
cabana from Spanish
cabaña or Portuguese cabana < latin < capanna; both meaning "cabin"
cacique from Spanish, from Taíno
cacike or Arawak kassequa, both meaning a chief
cafetería, "coffee store"
Vulgar Latin calafodiuma "to dig a protected place" and Louisiana French calabouse, from Spanish calabozo 
caldera from Spanish
caldera meaning "cauldron" from Latin caldaria, "cooking pot."
California place name first seen in print in 1510 Spanish novel '
Las sergas de Esplandián' by Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo
camarilla, "small room" diminutive of cámara "room" < latin camara.
camino a path or road, from Celtic cammanos "road".
cannibal from Spanish
caníbal, alteration of caríbal, from Caribe
canoe from Spanish
canoa, from Haitian canaoua
cañón with same meaning. Derived from caño, "a pipe, tube, gorge, tube;" ultimately from Latin canna meaning "reed." 
carabao from Spanish from
Visayan language kalabaw, from Malay language kerabau.
caramba from Spanish, meaning "heck"; expression of dread, displeasure, or disapproval, euphemism for
carbonada, from carbón meaning "coal"
cargo from the verb
cargar meaning "to load"
Caribbean from Spanish
Caribe, from name of Carib Indians of the region.
cazabe, from Taíno caçábi
caudillo, from Latin capitellium "head" meaning "leader"
cedilla, archaic spelling zedilla (little z)
chaparral from Spanish,
chaparro loosely meaning small evergreen oak, from Basque txapar, "small, short"
chaps from Mexican Spanish
chaparreras, leg protectors for riding through chaparral
chayote from Spanish, literally: "squash", from Nahuatl
chayotl meaning "spiny squash"
chicha from Spanish
chicha, from Kuna chichab, meaning "maize" or from Nahuatl chichiatl, "fermented water."
chicle "gum", from Nahuatl tzictli "squishy stuff" or Mayan tsicte. 
chile from Spanish
chile, from Nahuatl chilli
chipotle from Spanish, smoked jalapeño, from Nahuatl
chocolate from Spanish
chocolate, from Nahuatl xocolatl meaning "hot water" or from a combination of the Mayan word chocol meaning "hot" and the Nahuatl word atl meaning "water."
Choctaw from the native name
Chahta of unknown meaning but also said to come from Spanish chato (="flattened") because of the tribe's custom of flattening the heads of male infants. 
cienega or cienaga from
ciénaga, "swamp" < latin caenus "mud" and native suffix -aka, caénaka.
cigar from Spanish
cigarro meaning "fag (UK), stogie, stogy", from Mayan sicar or sic, "tobacco"
cigarette from French
cigarette "little weed", diminutive of French cigare "stogie", from Spanish cigarro meaning "fag (UK), stogie, stogy."
cilantro from Spanish
cilantro < latin coriandrum, "coriander"
coca from Spanish,
coca meaning "coke", from Quechua kuka
cockroach from Spanish
cocoa or cacao from Spanish
cacao, from Nahuatl cacáhuatl
cojones from Spanish
cojones < latin coleones meaning "balls, testicles", to denote courage
Colorado from Spanish
colorado < latin coloratus, red or colored
comrade from French
camarade meaning "friend", from Spanish camarada < latin camara "room", "pal, mate"
condor from Spanish, from Quechua
conquistador meaning "conqueror", from conquista < latin conquisita, "conquest"
coquina, dim. form of "concha" meaning seashell; a sedimentary rock of NE Florida
cordillera, "range" < cordel "cord".
corral meaning "pen, yard" from Portuguese curral meaning "pen" of unknown; perhaps ultimately from Afrikaans kraal or from Vulgar Latin currale loosely meaning "enclosure for vehicles." 
bullfight (literally: "raced")
coyote from Spanish
coyote, from Nahuatl coyotl
cowboy from Spanish
vaquero, an individual who managed cattle while mounted on horseback, from vaca, "cow", from Latin vacca
creole from French
créole, from Spanish criollo, from Portuguese crioulo, raised in the house
crimson from Old Spanish
cremesín, via Medieval Latin cremesinus from Arabic قيرميزل qirmizI, from Persian قرمز qermez kermes; ultimately from Sanskrit कृमिज krmi-ja meaning "worm-made." 
crusade blend of
Middle French croisade and Spanish cruzada; both ultimately from Latin crux, crucis "cross"
cuadrilla "group of people" diminutive of cuadro "square" < latin quadrus.
cumbia from Spanish cumbia, a popular dance (for couples) originating in Colombia.
Daiquiri, a port city in eastern Cuba
dengue from Spanish
dengue meaning "fever", from Swahili dinga, "seizure"
derecho from Spanish
derecho meaning "straight" or "masculine of right side" < latin directum, a widespread and long-lived convection-induced straight-line windstorm
descamisado from Spanish
descamisado, "without a shirt" < camisa "shirt" < celtic kamisia.
desperado from Spanish
doubloon from Spanish doblón : meaning "two-sided" for two-headed coin ("doble" is double in Spanish < latin duplex).
El Dorado from
El Dorado, literally, "the golden one"
El Niño from
El Niño de la Navidad, literally, "the Christmas child" due to the warming of Pacific waters seemed to warm around Christmas
embarcadero a boat dock, from barca "rowboat".
embargo from Spanish
embargar, to "seize" or "impound" < latin imbarricare.
escabeche, "pickle" < Arabic assukkabáǧ.
escopeteros from Spanish escopetero, "musketeer", from escopeta "shotgun" < italian schioppetto.
Federales, "federal police"
fiesta from the Spanish
fiesta meaning "party" < latin festa
Flamenco "Spanish genre of music and dance typical of the gypsies". From Dutch
flaming "from Flanders" (in the past it was believed that the gypsies were of German origin)
La Florida, the flowery or plant-filled place or pascua florida, "flowery Easter."
flotilla diminutive of flota, "fleet"
galleon from Spanish "galeón" (a large sailing ship having three or more masts, from the 15th to 18th century)
gaucho from Mapuche "Argentine cowboy"
gracias from Latin expression
gratias agere ("to give thanks")
gringo probably from
griego ("Greek"), in reference to the language ( cf. Greek to me), and originally referring to any type of foreigner
guacamole via American Spanish from Nahuatl
ahuaca-molli ("avocado sauce") 
guerrilla from Spanish obsolete meaning "small war" or current meaning "fire-armed group" (raised out of unbalanced democracy) from guerra "war" < Gothic werra "war" ( Spanish pronunciation: ) [ɡeˈriʎa]
habanero from 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.
hacienda from Old Spanish
hackamore from Spanish
hola Spanish greeting, equivalent to "hello"
. Also came from Latin hispanic Hispania, the whole Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) called by Romans.
hombre from Spanish
hombre, "man" < medieval homre < latin hominis
hoosegow from Spanish
juzgado, courthouse, from juzgar < latin iudicare "to judge"
hurricane from Spanish huracán, from Taíno hurákan; akin to Arawak kulakani, thunder
Inca via Spanish
inca, from Quechua Inka, literally: "lord, king." 
incomunicado, without communication (in the mountains, in the jail,...), "in solitary confinement."
iguana from Spanish iguana from Arawak iwana.
jade from Spanish
piedra de ijada, "stone of flank."
jalapeño from Spanish, a type of spicy
chilli named after Jalapa de Enríquez, a town in Mexico, and the capital of the state of Veracruz
jerky via Spanish
charqui, from Quechua ch'arki, "dried flesh"
junta from Spanish junta literally "joint"; a board of joint administration; sometimes used to refer to military officers command in a coup d'état. As an adjective, it means "together".
key from Spanish cayo, from Taíno cayo (this is English 'key'/'cay'/'quay' as in an island, reef or a linked series of them, not the 'key' with which one locks/unlocks doors)
La Niña "The little girl", complementary weather pattern to (
q.v.) El Niño
la reata, meaning "the strap, rein, or rope" from reatar ("to tie again") from atar "to tie (up);" from Latin aparte, "to join." 
American English from Spanish lazo meaning "tie; or rope" ultimately from Latin laqueum, "noose, snare." 
Latino English short for the Spanish word
latinoamericano, formed by latino "related to the Latin empire and language" and americano "from the Americas"
llama via Spanish
llama, from Quechua llama
Llanos from Spanish
llano "plain" < latin planus; vast tropical grassland plain situated to the east of the Andes in Colombia and Venezuela.
loco, "mad" or "crazy"
Lolita from the diminutive for Lola, short for Dolores
macho "male, brave" < latin masculus, the property of being overtly masculine.
majordomo via Spanish
mayordomo or Italian maggiordomo (both meaning "butler") from Latin maior domus meaning "mayor of the place."
mano, "hand". Stone handtool
manzanilla from Spanish
manzanilla, a natural tea for some superficial pains. The word is diminutive of manzana "apple"
marijuana from Spanish
marihuana meaning cannabis.
maroon from the Spanish
cimarrón, which was derived from an Arawakan root
matador meaning "killer" from matar ("to kill") probably from Arabic مات mata meaning "he died", also possibly cognate with Persian مردن mordan, "to die" as well as English "murder." Another theory is that the word "matador" is derived from a combination of the Vulgar Latin mattāre, from Late Latin mactare (to slaughter, kill) and the Latin -tor (which is cognate with Greek τορ -tōr and Sanskrit तर -tar-.) 
merengue a type of music and dance originating in the Dominican Republic
mesa, table < latin mensa. The corresponding Spanish word to a flat top mountain is meseta
mescal from Spanish
mezcal, from Nahuatl mexcalli
mesquite from Mexican Spanish
mezquite, from Nahuatl mizquitl
mestizo "racially mixed" < latin mixticius "mixed" or "mongrel", in Spanish, refers to a person of mixed European and Native American descent.
mojito dim. formed from "mojado" (wet or dripping) probably referring to the mint leaves in the well known
mole also from Spanish as Guacamole, from Nahuatl
molle or molli ("sauce")
montaña, a mountain
mosquito, literally "little fly" < mosca "fly" < latin musca.
mulatto from Spanish or Portuguese
mulato meaning "octoroon, sambo" from mulo "mule" > "hybrid". in Spanish, refers to a person of mixed European-African descent.
mustango, mestengo, mestencoor mesteño, "without known master or owner" (archaic)
mustee from mestizo, "racially mixed."or "mongrel"
Nacho, a nickname for the given name Ignacio, inventor of the snack
nada from "nada" meaning " nothing."
Negro from Spanish, Portuguese, or Italian
negro, "black", from Latin nigrum (nom. niger) and Greek νέγρος négros, both meaning "black.". In Spanish it might be derogatory (depending on intonation and facial expression on some Latin countries). 
Nevada ("snowy") after the Sierra Nevada ("snowy mountains")
nostromo from nuestro amo, "our master".
olé an interjection, an expression of approval or triumph, similar to the
Italian bravo (capable), by spectators of bull fights or football (soccer) matches
oregano from orégano, "marjoram"
pachuco, "fancy-dresser." or "unsuitable or bad-looking attire"
paella from Spanish
paella, from Valencian paella "pan" and the dish name. Originated in Latin patella, also meaning "pan."
palmito, "palm heart, little palm", diminutive form of the word for palm.
pampa via Spanish, from Quechua
papaya, akin to Arawak papáia
páramo from Spanish
páramo ( moorland)
patio, inner courtyard, "an open paved area adjacent to a home"
pecadillo, "small sin"
peccary from Spanish
pecarí, from Carib pakira or paquira. 
peon from Spanish
peyote from Spanish, from Nahuatl
Philippines via Spanish
Filipinas from Latin Philippinae, "islands of king Philip II of Spain"; ultimately from Greek Φιλιππίναι Philippinai from the Greek phrase Φίλος ίππος Νησιά Fílos Íppos Ni̱sí, "Islands of the Horse Friend."
pimento or pimiento from
pimiento, " pepper."
piña colada from Spanish
piña ( pineapple), and colada, which means strained, from the Spanish verb colar ("to strain")
piñata from piñata ("jug, pot") from Latin
pinea, "pine cone." or "birthday batting-pony game for kids" 
piñon or pinyon from
pinta, "he/she/it paints"; also archaic Spanish for pintada, "painted"
pintar, "to paint"; a white horse with a coat "painted" in large patterns of any other color.
placer mining from
placer, "sand bank" or "pleasure"
platina, "little silver" (now platino)
playa, "beach" < latin plagea
plaza, " public square, spot or place" < latin platea.
politico from Spanish or Italian
político meaning "politician, political agent;" ultimately from Latin  politicus meaning "of citizens or the state, civil, civic," from Greek πολιτικός ( Ancient Greek: πολῑτικός) politikos, "of citizens or the state," from πολίτης (plural: πολίτες) polites ( citizen) from πόλις polis, "city." 
poncho, from Araucanian pontho meaning "woolen fabric." or "Short of Proper name Alfonso" 
potato from Peninsular Spanish
patata, itself from batata, " sweet potato", from Taíno and papa, "potato" from Quechua
potrero, archaic term for "tongue of land"
pronto from Spanish "soon, prompt"
pronunciamiento proclamation, "military coup d'état", usually establishing a military dictatorship (often a junta)
puma from Spanish "cougar, panther", from Quechua
pueblo via Castilian pueblo from Latin populus (" people") or "Population of Country-side or outskirts".
quesadilla meaning a traditional Mexican dish made with tortillas and cheese, diminutive of queso, cheese.
quetzal from 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.
quinoa via Spanish
quinua, from Quechua kinwa
quinceañera from Spanish
quince años, literally: "fifteen-year-old-girl"; a girl's fifteenth birthday celebration similar to a "sweet sixteen"; with special rituals in South America.
Quixotism/Quixotic from fictional character
as in " Don Quixote tilting at windmills"
quirt from Spanish cuarta literally: "quarter"; a short horseman's whip, from "one fourth" (of a vara)
rancho, a very small rural community, smaller than a town; also a very humble dwelling in South American Spanish.
remuda from Mexican Spanish
remudar, to exchange (horses)
renegado, "turncoat, heretic, disowned"
rumba synomyn of Big-Party
rincón, "meadow" or "corner-side"
robalo from Spanish
róbalo meaning "bass, sea wolf," a tropical marine game and fish food
roble from Spanish
roble, "oak tree" < latin roboris.
rodeo and verb rodear (to go around) or "go-after and animal"
rumba from rumba or "farra" synomyn of Big-Party
saguaro, from Piman
sarabande from French
sarabande in turn from Spanish zarabanda
sabana, "veld", from Taíno zabana
savvy from Spanish or Portuguese
sabe, "knows"; sabio, "wise, learned" < latin sapidus "with sapience".
shack perhaps from Mexican Spanish
jacal meaning "hut", from Nahuatl xacalli
sherry from Old Spanish
Xerés , modern Spanish [ʃeˈɾes] Jerez . [xeˈɾeθ]
sierra, a mountain range
Sierra Nevada literally "snowy mountains"
siesta, "nap", from Latin Sexta [hora] "sixth hour"
sombrero (literally, shade maker), "hat"
estibador (literally, one who stuffs), "ship loader"
stockade from a French derivation of the Spanish
suave meaning "charming, confident, and elegant" < latin suavis "sweet".
taco, "plug" or from Portugues  Bat
tamale from Spanish
tamales, pl. of tamal, from Nahuatl tamalli meaning dumpling made from corn flour
tango from Spanish
ten-gallon hat from Spanish
tan galán meaning "so gallant (looking)"; alternate theory is the gallon of Texas English here is a misunderstanding of galón meaning braid
temblor Spanish for trembling, or earthquake; from
temblar, to shake, from Vulgar Latin *tremulāre, from Latin tremulus
tequila, from the town Tequila, where the beverage originated
telenovela or telenovella from
telenovela, "soap opera" or to some extent "TV-drama-show"
tilde from Spanish ' symbol above some vowels
tobacco from Spanish (Nahuatl influenced)
tomatillo from Spanish
tomatillo, "small tomato" (see Physalis philadelphica)
tomato from Spanish
tomate, from Nahuatl xitomatl
tornado from Spanish
tronada, "thunderstorm", influenced by tornar, "to turn"
tortilla, literally "small cake". In Mexico is a type of thin flatbread made of finely ground wheat flour. Now is called "omelet" in Spain
tostada (toast) and tostada (tortilla) from
tuna from Spanish
atún, from Arabic تون tun, from Latin thunnus, from Greek θύννος, thynnos (=tuna fish)
turista from turista, "tourist" as either gender M/F
vamos, meaning "let's go"
vanilla from Spanish
vainilla, diminutive of Latin vaina, from vagina meaning "pod" 
vaquero from the Spanish word
vertigo from the Spanish word
vicugna via Spanish, from Quechua
vigilante from Spanish vigilante, meaning "watchman." < latin vigiliā "sleepless night, vigil".
wop from Italian guappone, from Spanish guapo, "handsome" or "attractive".
yerba buena from Spanish yerbabuena meaning "good herb" (infused in Tea which has a Mint smell) < latin erbam bonam
Zorro from Spanish zorro, a fox, originally "smart" (of Basque origin)
See also [ edit ]
References [ edit ]
Harper, Douglas. "amole". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "anchovy". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "Apache". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "banana". . Online Etymology Dictionary
^ Dan Keppel,
Banana, Hudson Street Press, 2008; p. 44.
Harper, Douglas. "breeze". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "calaboose". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "canyon". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "Choctaw". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "corral". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "crimson". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "guacamole". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "Inca". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "lariat". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "lasso". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "Negro". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "peccary". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "pinata". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "politico". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "politic". . Online Etymology Dictionary
Harper, Douglas. "poncho". . Online Etymology Dictionary
"taco", Wordreference.com translation
Harper, Douglas. "vanilla". . Online Etymology Dictionary
External links [ edit ]