15 words you didn't know were Spanish

Here are some English words you probably did not know were from Spanish


1. Armadillo

The name for this creature made its way into English from the Spanish "armado" (armed) and the diminutive "-illo," according to Dictionary.com.

2. Banana

The word's origins are probably African, but it came to English through Spanish.

3. California

The name is first mentioned in the Spanish romance Garci Ordóñez de Montalvo "Exploits of Espladán," first published in 1510. According to Dictionary.com, the book was influential among the early Spanish explorers, who first used the name California to describe the North American territory

4. Cannibal

When Christopher Columbus arrived in what would become known as the Americas, he encountered an indigenous group that came to be called the Caribs (from which the word "Caribbean" was born). Columbus pronounced the word the group used to describe itself as "caniba," which morphed into its current usage because the early European conquerers thought the Caribs ate their enemies -- an exaggerated myth that has some basis in fact. Caniba became "caníbal" in Spanish and "cannibal" in English.

5. Cafeteria

In Spanish there's an accent on the "i", but it's basically the same word.

6. Cargo

Ultimately derived from the verb "cargar," to carry.

7. Chilli

The word came to English via Spanish, but its origin is Nahuatl, the most-spoken indigenous language of Mexico.

8. Embargo

Means the same thing in Spanish.

9. Florida

Means "land full of flowers" in Spanish.

10. Hurricane

The Spaniards adopted the term from the Caribs, who lived in the Caribbean islands where the tropical cyclones are common.

11. Macho

It means the same thing in Spanish. It can also just mean "male."

12. Montana

This is just a mispronunciation of "montaña," the Spanish word for "mountain."

13. Mustang

From the Spanish "mesteño," meaning a horse roaming free without an owner.

14. Peon

Pretty much the same word in Spanish, meaning laborer.

15. Ranch

An alteration of the Spanish "rancho" adopted in the nineteenth century.


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