English words of Spanish origin (including yummy food and cowboys)

Spanish has given English a large number of words. Most made their way into the language through US and Mexican contact, and the old Spanish colonies in the US.

Something special that has happened with most Spanish words used in English is that they haven’t change in spelling or meaning, only pronunciation as English has different sounds. And through English they made their way to other languages: few people in the world would have problems understanding what a taco or a rodeo are.

 

Food

mexican-2456038_960_720Many of the Spanish words used in English have to do with food, and now that Mexican and Tex-Mex foods are so popular around the globe they are getting into many other languages too. Burrito, taco, nacho, avocado (from aguacate), guacamole, chocolate, salsa, pimiento, and vanilla (from vainilla) among others all come from Spanish.

However, four food-related words that most people would probably not associate with Spanish are tuna (from atun), anchovy (from anchoa), sherry (from jerez) and jerky (from charqui).

 

Places

The names of many places also come from Spanish. Most would come as no surprise to anyone: Arizona, Colorado, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, El Paso, Texas, San Francisco and so many more. Surprisingly, Phillipines also derives from Spanish.The islands were colonised by Spain and named after king Phillip II, and after their independence they kept the name.

Some other smaller place names that come from Spanish include patio, key/quay (from cayo), ranch (from rancho), bodega, plaza, pueblo, and cafeteria.

 

Weather

Though not a lot some common weather words also derive from Spanish. Three of them refer to winds: breeze (from briza), hurricane (from huracan) and tornado. Temblor is another word of Spanish origin.

 

Cowboy and indigenous lifestyle

The largest number of Spanish words can probably be found in those that are used to describe the cowboy and indigenous lifestyles.

Some are known by most people, but many are only used by those who are part of these lifestyles. A few words that most people can recognise are: creole (from criollo), chaps (from chaparra), canoe (from canoa), lasso (from lazo), rodeo, stampede (from estampida), burro, mustang (from mestengo) and bandolier (from bandolero).

 

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