14 Spanish Words Almost All English Speakers Use


Throughout the world as people of different languages have intermingled, words from both sides have been adopted into each of their everyday vocabulary. Such is true for many Spanish words, many more than listed here.

Naturally, Spanish words for different types of food, such as tacoand burrito, are as every bit common to the everyday lexicon in America as is English words like hamburger. But food items aside, many Americans have no idea that words they use every day to describe things are actually Spanish words. Let’s check out a few!

1. Bravo

This comes from Old Spanish.

2. Cafeteria

Derived from the Spanish word cafetería.

3. Canyon

Derived from the Spanish wordcañón, in which the sound of the middle ñ, a letter from the Spanish alphabet, where the mark above the n means that the letter must be pronounced “n-yo,” similarly to the pronunciation of español(pronounced espanyol).

4. Chihuahua

The name of a dog breed named after Mexican city and state.

5. Cigar, cigarette

Derived from the Spanish word cigarro.

6. Marijuana

Derived from Spanish, usually mariguanaor marihuana.

7. Mosquito

In both English and Spanish this blood-thirsty pest has the same name.

8. Patio

In Spanish, the word most often refers to a courtyard.

9. Pinto

A Spanish word for “spotted” or “painted” that is used primarily in English to describe the spotted pinto beans or the spotted, painted look of the pinto horse, now known as the American Paint Horse breed.

10. Pronto

From a Spanish adjective or adverb meaning “quick” or “quickly,” Pronto has been adopted by English speakers, used frequently in the idiom: “Make it pronto!”

11. Ranch

Taken from the Spanish Rancho,which often means the English equivalent of ranchin Mexican-Spanish. It can also refer to a settlement or a camp.

12. Rodeo

This word derives from the Spanish word rodear,meaning to surround, and from rueda, meaning wheel.

13. Tango

The first known use of this word is 1913, and is generally referred to as American Spanish, referring to the ballroom dance of Latin American origin.

14. Vanilla

This comes from the Spanish word vainilla or the earlier Spanish vaynilla, which refers to the vanilla plant and fruit, and was originally borrowed from New Latin.