• Etymology / La etimología

    Trace the history to discover how these words came to be a part of the English language.
    Note: Nahuatl is the native language of the Aztec people.

    Information courtesy of Online Etymology Dictionary at etymologyonline.com.  
  • armadillo


    - from the Spanish word armadillo, a form of armado meaning "armored"

    - from the Latin word armatus meaning "to arm"


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  • alligator

    - from the Spanish words el lagarto meaning the "lizard"
    - from the Latin word lacertus
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  • almond

    - from the Spanish word almendra 
    - from the Old French word almande
    - from the Vulgar Latin word amendla
    - from the Latin word amygdala
    - from the Greek word amygdalos meaning "almond tree" 
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  • armadillo


    - from the Spanish word armadillo a form of armado meaning "armored"
    - from the Latin word armatus meaning "to arm"

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  • banana

    - from the West African word banana
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  • barrio


    - from the Spanish word barrio meaning "district or suburb"

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  • bizarre

    - from the French word bizarre meaning "odd, fantastic"
    - perhaps from the Basque word bizar meaning "beard" due to the idea that a bearded Spanish soldier 
       might have seemed strange to the French
    Note: The Basque region is located in the north of Spain and the southwest of France.
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  • breeze

    - from the Old Spanish word briza meaning "cold northeast wind"
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  • California

    - from the name of an imaginary kingdom in the Spanish novel
       Las sergas de Espladián written by Garcia Ordoñez de Montalvo 
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  • chipotle

    - from the Mexican-Spanish meaning smoke-dried jalepeño chili
    - from the Nahuatl words xilli meaning "chili" plus poctli meaning "smoke"
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  • chocolate

    - from the Nahuatl word xocolatl
    - from the Nahuatl words xococ meaning "bitter" plus atl meaning "water"
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  • comrade

    - from the Modern French word camarade
    - from the Spanish word camarada meaning "chamber mate (roommate)"
    - from the Latin word camera 
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  • cotton

    - from the Old French word coton
    - from the Old Spanish word coton
    - from the Arabic word qutn 
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  • coyote

    - from the Mexican-Spanish word coyote
    - from the Nahuatl word coyotl
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  • crusade

    - from the Spanish word cruzada meaning "marked with a cross"
    - from the Latin word crux meaning "cross"
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  • espadrille


    - from the Greek word sparton meaning "a rope made of spartos" which is an imported fiber known as Spanish grass
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  • Florida

    - from the Spanish word Pascua meaning "flowering Easter"
    - from the Spanish name for Palm Sunday because the peninsula was discovered on that day
    - from the Latin word floridus meaning "flower"
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  • hammock

    - from the Spanish word hamaca meaning "fish net"
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  • hurricane


    - a partial adoption from the Spanish word huracan found in the Historia General y Natural de las Indias by Gonzalo Fernandez de Oviedo y Valdés
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  • mustang

    definition: small, half-wild horse of the American prairie
    - from the Mexican-Spanish word mestengo meaning "an animal that strays"
    - from the Spanish word mestengo meaning "wild, stray or ownerless"
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  • orange

    - from the Old French orenge
    - from the Italian arancia; originally narancia
    - from the Arabic naranj
    - from the Persian narang
    - from the Sanskrit naranga meaning "orange tree"
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  • plaza

    - from the Spanish word plaza meaning "square or place"
    - from the Vular Latin word plattia
    - from the Latin word platea meaning "courtyard or broad street"
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  • potato

    - from the Spanish word patata
    - from the Caribbean word batata meaning "sweet potato"
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  • ranch

    - from the American-Spanish word rancho meaning "small farm or group of farm huts"
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  • rodeo


    - from the Spanish word rodear meaning "to go round or surround"; also a pen for cattle at a fair or market
    - from the Latin word rotare meaning "to go around"
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