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Top 12 English Words That Were Actually Spanish

Top 12 English Words That Were Actually Spanish
Languages worldwide impact each other in various ways; one way is to use similar words or derive desired words from another language. English being the topmost spoken language globally, has a significant impact and a lot of importance in daily life communication. However, since every language has its significance, they have the ability to bring an effect in another language. Even, English is the topmost widely spoken language in the world, however, some of the famous words are not even initially English words. In this article, we are going to talk about some of the famous words in the English language that originated from the Spanish language. There are a lot of words that you might be using without knowing their parent language, for example, tortilla, alligator, and taco, etc. We are going to list the top twelve (12) English words that originally came from the Spanish language.

1. Cafeteria

In the English language, cafeteria means a place like a restaurant or a cafe in school, office, etc, where the customer or the buyer first collects the desired food, sits on tables, and then before leaving the place pays for the food he/she had.

Spanish Word: Cafetería

Meaning in the Spanish language: A place for coffee, or, a store for coffee.

2. California

In the English language, California is a western U.S state.

Spanish Word and Origin: The name “California” derives from the 16th Century, 1510, Spanish romance novel, Las sergas de Esplandián, written by a Spanish author named Garcia Ordonez de Montalvo.

3. Breeze

In the English language it is a breath of wind or a gentle wind.

Spanish Word: Brisa

Meaning in the Spanish language: “Cold Northeast Wind”, small wind.

4. Plaza

In the English language it is a shopping centre

Spanish word: plaza

Meaning in the Spanish language: “public square or open space surrounded by houses,” originally an 1830 word.

5. Alligator

In the English language, alligator is a semi-aquatic reptile with a broader and shorter head than a crocodile.

Spanish Word: el lagarto

Meaning in the Spanish language: reptile, the lizard

6. Arizona

In the English language, Arizona is a Southwestern U.S state.

Spanish Word and Origin: Arisona. Pima, the natives of the area known as the Pimería Alta , or Upper Pima Country within this area, was a place that the Spanish called Arisona known as Arizona.

7. Ranch

In the English language, it is known as a large farm and also as salad dressing sauce.

Spanish word: rancho

Meaning in the Spanish language: the word ranch means a very small rural community

8. Burrito

In the English language, a burrito is a sandwich made with tortilla wrap filled with different ingredients and spices.

Spanish word: burrito

Meaning in the Spanish language: In the Spanish language, the word burrito means ‘little donkey.’

9. Jalapeño

In the English language, jalapeño is known as scorching green chili pepper, used in different kinds of foods.
Spanish Word and Origin: From Xalapa, also spelled as Jalapa, the capital city of Veracruz, Mexico, It is where the pepper was traditionally cultivated. It is also known as spicy green chili pepper, like in the English language.

10. Pina Colada

In the English language, pina colada is a very famous drink in which coconut cream is mixed with pineapple extract.
Spanish Word and Origin: Piña Colada literally means “strained pineapple,” a reference to the freshly pressed and strained pineapple juice used in the drink’s preparation. It is the same drink as described above in the English language.

11. Canyon

The word canyon means a deep valley with a river flowing side by side in the English language.

Spanish Word and Origin: cañón, In the Spanish language, the word means a pipe, tube, and deep valley.

12. Patio

This word is written exactly the same in the Spanish and English languages. The word means inner courtyard or a wide-open space attached to a house with no roof.

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With over 3 years of experience in teaching, Chloe is very deeply connected with the topics that talk about the educational and general aspects of a student's life. Her writing has been very helpful for students to gain a better understanding of their academics and personal well-being. I’m also open to any suggestions that you might have! Please reach out to me at chloedaniel402 [at]