Arabic language influence on the Spanish language

Arabic influence on the Spanish language overwhelmingly dates from the Muslim rule in the Iberian Peninsula between 711 and 1492. The influence results mainly from the large number of Arabic loanwords and derivations in Spanish, plus a few other less obvious effects.


Chronological map showing linguistic evolution in southwest Europe

The Spanish language, also called Castilian, is a Romance language that evolved from the dialects of Roman Vulgar Latin spoken in the Iberian peninsula. The first documents written in a language with some features specific of modern Spanish are ascribed to a number of documents from different monasteries in the area of Burgos and La Rioja [1] in what is now northern Spain. However, Toledo in central Spain, which became the capital of the early Kingdom of Castile during its southward expansion, is where Spanish began to appear in a written form recognizable today. The pre-existing Mozarabic dialect of this region (i.e. the Romance present during Muslim rule) is therefore likely to have also had an important formative influence on modern Spanish.

The lexical influence of Arabic reached its greatest level during the Christian Reconquista, when the emerging Kingdom of Castile conquered large territories from Moorish rulers particularly in the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries. These territories, which included the former Taifa of Toledo, had large numbers of Arabic speakers, as well as many who spoke local Romance dialects (Mozarabic language) that were heavily influenced by Arabic, both influencing Castilian. It is possible that Arabic words and their derivatives had also been priorly brought into Castilian by Mozarab Christians who emigrated northwards from Al Andalus in times of sectarian violence, particularly during the times of Almohad and Almoravid rule in the 12th and 13th centuries. As such, Arabic can be considered to have had a formative influence on the Spanish language.

The degree to which the Arabic language percolated through the Iberian Peninsula varied enormously from one period and area to another and is the subject of academic debate. However, it is generally agreed that, in much of the peninsula, Arabic was used among the local elites, Muslims and Christians, and that the prevalent vernacular in many areas was Mozarabic, a continuum of Arabic-influenced local Romance dialects. Only the southern third of the peninsula became totally Arabized as both Mozarabic and Christianity were extinguished following the Almoravid and Almohad periods. [2]

Much of the Arabic influence upon Spanish came through the various Arabized Romance dialects that were spoken in areas under Moorish rule, known today by scholars as Mozarabic. This resulted in Spanish often having both Arabic and Latin derived words with the same meaning. For example, aceituna and oliva (olive), alacrán and escorpión (scorpion), jaqueca and migraña (migraine), alcancía and hucha (piggy bank).

The influence of the Arabized Mozarabic and of Arabic itself is more noticeable in the Spanish dialects from regions with a longer history of Moorish domination than those where it was shorter-lived. For this reason, the dialects of the southern half of the country, known collectively as castellano meridional or Southern Castilian, seem collectively to show a higher degree of preference for Arabisms. Northern Spanish dialects tend to prefer Romance synonyms to terms of Arabic origin, such as the Romance calendario vs. Arabic almanaque, hucha vs. alcancía, espliego vs. alhucema, etc. Because Canarian and all Latin American dialects are mainly derived from Southern Castilian, Spanish words of Arabic origin are common in most varieties of Modern Spanish.

A number of words were also borrowed from Moroccan Arabic principally as a result of Spain's protectorate over Spanish Morocco in the 19th and 20th centuries, although these are of minor significance.

The Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands has also adopted a small number of words from Hassaniya Arabic, principally from Canarian sailors who fish in proximity to the Saharan coast as well as by those Canarians who returned from Western Sahara after the Green March of 1975.

Lexical influence

The influence of Arabic on the Spanish language is fundamentally lexical but its other influences are also briefly examined in this article. It is estimated that there are about one thousand Arabic roots,[3][4] and approximately three thousand derived words, for a total of around four thousand words[3][5][6] or 8%[7] of the Spanish dictionary - the second largest lexical influence on Spanish after Latin.[8] See Influences on the Spanish language for more on how the number of Arabisms in Spanish has been estimated. The exact number of words of Arabic origin and their derivatives in Spanish is not known, and many words not included on this list are regionalisms: words which are used in certain parts of Spain and/or Latin America but are generally unknown elsewhere.

The high point of Arabic word use in Spanish was in late medieval times and has declined since then, but hundreds are still used in normal conversation. A larger majority of these words are nouns, with a number of verbs and adjectives derived directly from these nouns, e.g. alquilar (to rent) and alquilado (rented) from alquiler (rent), most of which are excluded from this list. There is also one preposition: hasta ("until"), and one adverb: he. There has been little influence on the basic grammatical structure of the language.[9]

List of words of Arabic origin

This is an open list of Spanish words acquired directly from Classical and Andalusi Arabic, listed in alphabetical order. This list includes the Spanish meaning of the word as well as the Arabic etymology. No fixed standard of Arabic transliteration is used.

Rationale for inclusion

Due to the large influence of Arabic on Spanish vocabulary, this list is relatively restrictive:

  • This list has been edited to include only words which are considered to appertain to the Spanish language and the Hispanic culture and society. Arabic words which may be understood by Spanish speakers, but remain foreign to the Hispanic civilisation such as Ayatolá, Yihad, or Chiita, are excluded from this list.
  • Only words which have passed directly from Arabic are included. Arabic words which entered the Spanish language through other, non-Iberian, Indo-European languages (such as Ayatolá, Beduino, Sofá, or sorbete) are not included. Included as exceptions to this rule are álcali and álgebra, words of Arabic origin which are thought to have entered Spanish through "Low Latin"[10]—as suggested by their initial stress (the Arabic definite article al- is not normally borrowed as a stressed syllable).
  • Generally, only Spanish root words are listed, derivations (including nouns, verbs or adjectives) not being included. For example, aceite (from az-zeit, oil) is included but not aceitería, aceitero, aceitón or aceitoso. On the other hand, aceituna (olive) is included since it derives not from az-zeit but from az-zeituna in Arabic, even though the root of the Arabic word is the same. Aceituno (olive tree), on the other hand, would not be included, since it shares the same root as aceituna. For this reason a significant number of verbs and adjectives are excluded from this list. An exception to this rule may be made when the derived word is much more commonly used than the root word, when the meaning of the derivative has no evident connection with the root word or when it is not clear that one is derived from the other (e.g. horro and ahorrar).
  • Words derived from Mozarabic are not included (Mozarabic being fundamentally a Romance language), unless the Mozarabic word is itself derived from classical or Andalusi Arabic.
  • Words acquired from Berber or Hebrew (or other Afro-Asiatic languages) are not included.

The etymology and meaning of most of these words can be verified on the site of the Real Academia de la Lengua Española, although a small minority are only available in other sources or past editions of this dictionary.

Many of these words will be unfamiliar to many Spanish speakers because their use is restricted to certain regions of Spain or Spanish-speaking countries or they are no longer in regular use. For example, the word for Arabic-derived word for "jewel" alhaja is very common in Mexico whereas in Spain it is restricted to rural areas of the southern half of the country, the alternative Spanish term joya being much more common. On the other hand the Arabic derived term for fruit juice zumo is the standard term in Spain whereas in Latin America the Latin-derived jugo or agua are generally used. The Arabic term alberca in Spain refers to agricultural water deposits, whereas in Mexico it is the common term used for swimming pool as opposed to piscina elsewhere or pileta in Argentina.

Note: the Spanish words beginning "a-" or "al-" is from the Arabic definitive article "al-" (-الْ) referring to the grammatical article English "the".

A (Ababol to Alguaza)

  1. ababol: poppy, in Aragon, Navarre, Albacete and Murcia. From Andalusian Arabic Happapáwr, a fusion from the Arabic plural al-ḥabūb (الْحَبُوب), the generic term for "seeds, beans or grains", and the Latin papāver.
  2. abacero: owner of an abacería, small food shop. From Andalusi Arabic *ṣaḥb uz-zād (صاحب الزاد‎) "owner of supplies."
  3. abadí: descendant/lineage of Mohammed ben Abad, founder of the Taifa Kingdom of Seville in the 11th century AD. From Andalusi Arabic 'abbādī (عبّادي).
  4. abalorio: cheap jewellery or jewellery beads. From Andalusi Arabic and Arabic al-ballūriy[u] (الْبَلُّورِيُِّ) "[made of/ like] glass or clear as crystal". Ultimately from Greek βήρυλλος, "beryl"
  5. abarraz: stavesacre (Delphinium staphisagria), a medicinal plant. From Andalusian Arabic ḥább arrás (حب الرأس‎) "head seeds."
  6. abasí: pertaining to the Abbasid dynasty, which overthrew the Umayyads in the 8th century.
  7. abelmosco: musk seeds, an aromatic plant. From Andalusi Arabic ḥabb al musk (حب المسك‎) literally "musk seeds." Classical Arabic ḥabbu 'l musk.
  8. abencerraje: used in expression: "Zegríes y abencerrajes", "partisans of opposite interests". The Abencerrajes (in Arabic aban as-sarráǧ) was an Arabic family of the Kingdom of Granada, rivals of the Zegríes in the 15th century.
  9. abenuz: ebony. From Arabic abanūs (أَبَنُوس) of the same meaning but in Arabic referring to the "black wood" of the tropical tree.
  10. abismal: screw in head of a spear. From Arabic al-mismar (الْمِسْمَر) "nail." [11]
  11. abitaque: a cut of wood used in construction of a certain shape and dimension. From Arabic aṭ-ṭabaqah (الطَّبَقَة) "layer" or "intermediate chamber" or "group, standard, type"
  12. acebibe: raisin. From Arabic az-zabīb (الزَّبِيب) of the same meaning but also "dried grape" or "currant" [= Ribes, genus of berry plants, e.g. blackcurrant, redcurrant and white currant]
  13. acebuche: wild olive tree, or wood from such a tree. From Andalusi Arabic azzabbúǧ.
  14. aceche: copper, iron or zinc sulphate. From Andalusi (Hispanic) Arabic *azzáj, < az-zāj, < . From Classical Arabic az-zāj (الزَّاج), meaning vitriol - sulphuric acid or a sulphate.
  15. aceifa: Muslim summer military expedition. From Arabic aṣ-ṣayf (الصَّيْف), "summer".
  16. aceite: oil. From Arabic az-zayt (الزَّيْت) "oil".
  17. aceituna: olive. From Arabic az-zaytūn (الزَّيْتُون) "olive".
  18. aceituní: precious cloth from the Orient. From Arabic az-zaytuni, a possible adaptation of the Chinese city Tsö-Thung[citation needed].
  19. acelga: Chard. From Arabic as-salq (السَّلْق) of the same meaning.
  20. acémila: beast of burden; tax formerly paid in Spain. From Arabic az-zamilah "beast of burden", most likely stemming the Arabic scientific term for "pack-animal", "aḍ-ḍābatu 'l-ḥaml (الذَّابَةُ الْحَمْل)"
  21. acemite: wheat husk; a type of wheat porridge. From Arabic semolina, as-samid (السَّمِيد).
  22. acenefa: see cenefa.
  23. aceña: watermill. From Arabic as-saniyah "the lifter."
  24. acequia: irrigation canal. From Arabic as-saqiyah (الساقية‎) "the irrigator."
  25. acerola: fruit of the trees Malpighia emarginata or M. glabra, generally found in the Americas, of the Malpighiaceae family. This should be differentiated from the European Service Rowan Tree (Sorbus domestica), family Rosaceae. From Arabic zu 'rūrah (زعرورة‎). Originally from Syriac za‘rārā.
  26. acetre: bucket or cauldron used to extract water from a well; small cauldron used to spray holy water in Christian liturgy. From Arabic as-saṭl (السطل‎).
  27. aciar: (or acial): instrument used to keep farm-animals still by squeezing their ear or snout. From Arabic az-ziyār.
  28. acíbar: aloe (both the plant and its bitter juice); bitterness, grief, distaste. From Arabic aṣ-ṣabir (الصَّبِر).
  29. acicalar: to clean or polish (Acicalarse in reflexive form); to make oneself look good by combing, shaving etc. From Arabic aṣ-ṣaql (الصَّقْل), an instrument used for polishing things.
  30. acicate: spurs or the spikes on spurs; incentive. From Arabic (Muzil) as-siqaT "what takes away weaknesses."
  31. acidaque: Muslim dowry. From Arabic aṣ-ṣadāq (الصّداق), dowry in Islamic law.[citation needed]
  32. acimut: azimuth, an astronomical concept - the angle with which the meridian forms a vertical circle which passes through a point in the globe. From Arabic as-sumut (السُّمُوت) plural of samt سَمْت.
  33. ación: handle on the stirrup. From Arabic as-suyūr (السُّيُور), plural of sayr (سَيْر) "strap" or "belt"
  34. acirate: line of soil used to separate different plots of land; path between two lines of trees. From Arabic aṣ-ṣirāṭ (الصِّرَاط).
  35. acitara or citara: thin wall, normally on a bridge. From Arabic as-sitārah (السِّتَارَة), wall to avoid falls - possibly from the Arabic for curtain, drapes or "hangings".
  36. achacar: to blame. From Arabic tashakkà (تشكى‎): to complain or to blame.
  37. adafina: pot used by Jews to cook. It is buried in embers on Friday night, where it cooks until Saturday. From Arabic: dafina (دفينة‎) "buried", alternative meaning "hidden treasure"
  38. adalid: leader; general of Spanish militia. From Arabic dalil (دليل‎).
  39. adaraja: each of the gaps made by the bricks in a horizontally unfinished wall. From daraja (درجة‎).
  40. adarga: leather shield. From Arabic daraqah.
  41. adárgama: flour, rarely used today. From Arabic darmaka.
  42. adarme: small portion of something; type of measurement. From Arabic dirham (درهم‎).
  43. adarvar: to shock. From Arabic dharb (ضرب‎) "blow."
  44. adarve: wall of a fortress; protection, defense. From Arabic dharb (ضرب‎)
  45. adaza: sorghum. From Arabic duqsah.[citation needed]
  46. adefera: a small, square wall or floor tile. From Arabic add-ddafeera.
  47. adehala: that which is granted or taken as obligatory with the price in the leasing or sale of a property. From Mozarabic ad ihala and originally from Arabic ihala "offering credit."
  48. adelfa: oleander. From Arabic ad-difla (الدِّفْلَى) of the same meaning.
  49. ademán: gesticulation which expresses the will to do something. From Arabic adh-dhamān (الضَّمَان), literally meaning legal guarantees. The change of meaning is due to the exaggerated promises and gesticulations which were offered in such a plea.
  50. ademe: wooden structures used to strengthen tunnels in mines. From Arabic da'm (دَعم), meaning "buttress, support, fortify, pillar, hold up".
  51. aderra: cord used to press grapes or olives in order to obtain their juice. From Andalusi Arabic ad-dirra a noose or cord used to punish those who were guilty of fraud.[citation needed]
  52. adiafa: present or refreshment given to sailors when back from a voyage. From Arabic Diyafa (adh-dhiyāfah الضِّيَافَة) "present of hospitality", the word for "accommodation, hospitality, housing" or "hospitable reception"
  53. adivas: a disease provoking throat inflammation in animals. From Arabic aD-Dibbah "wolverine", which is the old Arabic name for this disease. Most likely the disease lupus, aḍ-ḍa'ab (الذَّأَب)
  54. adive: a type of canid similar to a fox. From Arabic aḍ-ḍi'b (الذِّئْب).
  55. adobe: brick made from clay. From Arabic aṭ-ṭūbah (الطُّوبَة, from Coptic tôbe) of the same meaning, and from ad-dabba.
  56. adoquín: paving-stone, cobble; block. From Arabic Dukkan bench of rock or wood.
  57. ador: in regions where water for irrigation is restricted and shared out by local authorities, irrigation-time for each farm/field. From Arabic dawr.
  58. aduana: customs house; customs. From Arabic diwaan (ديوان‎).
  59. aduar: semi-permanent rural settlement, normally used for Gypsies, Bedouins or Amerindians in South America. From Bedouin Arabic duwwar.
  60. adúcar: type of silk made from the outside of the silk-worm's cocoon. From Andalusi Arabic Haduqa.
  61. adufe: tambourine used by Spanish Muslims. Originally from Arabic ad-duff (الدُّفّ), the generic word for tambourine.
  62. adul: in Morocco, assessor of the Cadí (see under letter C, another Arabic loanword). From Arabic ‘adl (عَدْل), "honorable, trustworthy person" or "fair, impartial".
  63. adula: see dula.
  64. adunia: (adverb) lots. From Andalusi Arabic addunya, originally from classical Arabic ad-dunyā (الدُّنْيَا) "the (whole) world", "the material world"
  65. adutaque: same meaning as adárgama. From Arabic ad-duqāq (الدُّقَاق) "fine flour" or "flour meal".
  66. afán: effort; desire; zeal. From afanar.
  67. afanar: to steal; to work with passion. From Arabic al-fanā‘ (فناء) "extinction, extinction, destruction, vanishing", the notion, emotion of "annihilation through passion", used in poetry or to describe a type of madness
  68. aguajaque: the whitish resin of fennel. From Arabic aw-washaq "contaminated with water."
  69. agüela: Income from interest on loans assigned in public documents; Renta de los derechos sobre préstamos consignados en documento público. From Arabic Hawalah.
  70. ajabeba: Moorish flute. From Classical Arabic ash-shabbābah (الشَّبَّابَة), the generic word for "flute, clarinet".
  71. ajaquefa: Roof. Same origin as Azaquefa (see the word).
  72. ajaraca: Ornamental loop in Andalusian and Arabic architecture. From Andalusi Arabic Ash-sharakah "loop".
  73. ajarafe: terrace. From Classical Arabic saraf "commanding height."
  74. ajebe: Alum; Para rubber tree. From Arabic ash-Shabb.
  75. ajedrea: plant in the genus Satureja (family Lamiaceae), about 30 cm in height, with many branches and dark, narrow leaves. It is cultivated as an ornamental in gardens. From Arabic assariyya or assiriyya, ultimately from Latin satureia.
    Ajedrez, chess
  76. ajedrez: chess. From Arabic ash shatranj (الشطرنج) which is from Persian Shatranj from the Sanskrit Chaturang (four armed) as was the shape of the original chess board in India
  77. ajenuz: nutmeg flower or Roman Coriander (Nigella sativa). From Andalusi Arabic Shanuz and ultimately Classical Arabic Shuniz.
  78. ajimez: bent; window divided in the center by a vertical divider; salient balcony done of wood and with lattice windows. From Arabic samis.
  79. ajomate: pluricellular alga formed by very thin filaments, without knots, bright and of intense green color. It abounds in fresh waters of Spain. From Classical Arabic gumam.
  80. ajonjolí: sesame; herbaceous, annual plant of the family of the Pedaliaceae, a meter high, straight stem, serrate and almost triangular leaves, white or rosy corolla, and fruit with four delicate, yellowish, oily and edible capsules and many seeds. From Classical Arabic gulgulan "sesame."
  81. ajorca: bangle; type of gold hoop, silver or another metal, used by the women to adorn the wrists, arms or the feet. From Classical Arabic shuruk, ultimately from the word shirāk "strap."
  82. ajorrar: To drag, to tow. See Jorro.
  83. ajuagas: equine animal ulcers. From Classical Arabic shuqaq.
  84. ajuar: dowry, a collection of household and personal items (clothes, furniture, jewelry etc...) which women in Spain traditionally prepare from a young age for the day in which they marry and move in with their husband. From Arabic Shawar.
  85. alacena: cupboard. From Classical Arabic ẖizānah (خزانة).
  86. alacet: foundation of a building. From Classical Arabic asas (أساس).
    Alacrán, scorpion
  87. alacrán: scorpion. From Classical Arabic aqrab (عقرب) of same meaning.
  88. aladar: Tuft of hair which falls on either side of the head. From Arabic idar.
  89. aladroque: Anchovy. From Andalusi Arabic Al Hatruk, "big mouthed".
  90. alafa: wage; pay. From Classical Arabic alafah "subsistence allowance."
  91. alafia: grace; pardon; mercy. From Andalusian Arabic al afya ultimately from Classical Arabic afiyah (عافية) "health."
  92. alahílca: tapestry to adorn the walls. Perhaps of alailaca from Andalusian Arabic ilaqa, and this of Classical Arabic ilāqah (علاقة) perhaps meaning "hanger."
  93. alajor: Tax which was paid to owners of land where buildings were built. From Arabic Ashur, period of ten days before Easter when debts were paid and alms were given.
  94. alajú: Andalusian cake made of almonds, nuts, pine nuts, bread, spices and cooked honey. From al Hashu "filling".
  95. alamar: A type of decorative attachment which is buttoned on clothing. From Andalusi Arabic Alam, decoration (in clothes).
  96. alambique: alembic, alchemical still consisting of two vessels connected by a tube, used for distilling chemicals. From Arabic al-anbiq "the cup/container holding water", in turn from Greek.
  97. alambor: Two meanings in Spanish with two different etymologies. 1) Embankment, from Andalusi Arabic Harabul "rim", from classical Arabic verb Hawwala, "to alter". 2) Type of orange tree. From Catalan l'ambor, singular of els zambors, derived from Andalusi Arabic Azzambu.
  98. alamín: Village judge who decided on irrigation distribution or official who measured weights. From Arabic al-amin.
  99. alamud: Steel bar used to close windows. From Arabic amud.
  100. alaqueca: A type of blood-coloured quartz. From Arabic 'aqiq.
  101. alárabe: Arab. From Andalusi Arabic, maintaining the definite article al arabi.
  102. alarde/alardear: To boast/to show off. From Arabic "show" (ala?ard العرض)
  103. alarife: 1) Architect 2) Builder (in mining) 3) Astute or quick witted person (in Argentina and Uruguay). From Arabic al 'arif: The expert.
  104. alarije (uva): A type of grape. From Arabic al'aris.
  105. alaroz: Crossbar which divides a window or a door. From Arabic al'arud: Obstacle placed to block entry.
  106. alaroza: Fiancée or newly wed wife. From Arabic Andalusi Arabic al-arusa.
  107. alatar: Drug, spice or perfume dealer. From Arabic al attar.
  108. alatrón: Nitrate foam. From Arabic an-nattrun.
  109. alazán/alazano: Reddish cinnamon coloured, used commonly to describe sorrel-coloured horses. From Arabic al-as·hab. From Andalusian Arabic الاسهاب, from Arabic اَصْهَب (aṣ·hab, "reddish, reddish-brown").
  110. alazor: safflower. From Arabic al-usfur.
  111. albacara: Wall around a fortress, within which cattle were normally kept. From Arabic bab al-baqqara "The cattle gate/door". baqara (بقرة) means "cow" in Arabic.
  112. albacea: Executor (of a will). From Andalusi Arabic Sahb al Wassiya (صاحب الوصية); "The owner of the will".
  113. albacora: Albacore. From Arabic al-bakura "premature" or al-bakrah "young camel."
  114. albadena: Type of tunic or silk dress. From Arabic badan: Type of shirt which covers the torso.
  115. albahaca: Basil. From Arabic al-habaqah.
  116. albahío: Pale yellowish colour, used commonly for cattle. From Arabic bahi: "Shining".
  117. albalá: Official document. From Arabic al-bara'ah.
  118. albaida: Anthyllis cystoides (Flowering plant). From Arabic al-baida: "The white one".
  119. albanega: 1) Net used for hair. 2) Rabbit trap. From Arabic al-baniqa.
  120. albañal: Sewer. From Andalusi Arabic al-ballá: "swallower".
  121. albañil: Construction worker. From Andalusi Arabic al-banni. Originally from classical Arabic banna.
  122. albaquía: The remainder. From Arabic al-baqi (الباقي) of the same meaning.
  123. albarán: Invoice. From Arabic al-bara'ah.
  124. albarazo: Vitiligo. From Andalusi Arabic Al-Barash.
  125. albarda: Pack-saddle. From Arabic al-barda'ah.
  126. albardán: Clown or fool. From Andalusi Arabic albardán: "insolent". Originally from Classical Arabic bardan: "Idiot (cold headed)".
  127. albardín: Plant endemic to the Spanish steppes, similar in nature and use to Esparto. From Arabic "al-bardi": "papyrus".
  128. albaricoque: Apricot. From Arabic al-barqouq (البرقوق) "plum" or "early-ripe."
  129. albarrada: 1) Clay vase, see alcarraza. 2) Stone wall. From Arabic al-barradah: "the cooler".
  130. albarrán: 1) Farm boy 2) Shepherd 3) Person with no fixed residence. From Andalusi Arabic al-barrani: "Outsider".
  131. albatoza: Small, covered boat. From Arabic al-gattosha: grebe. Due to the Arabic custom of giving names of birds to vessels.
  132. albayalde: Cerrusite. From Arabic al-bayad.
  133. albéitar: Vet. From Arabic al-baytar.
  134. albenda: Decorated white linen. From Arabic al-band.
  135. alberca: Water deposit for irrigation. In Mexico and Honduras it is also the term of choice for swimming pool. From Arabic al-birka.
  136. albérchigo: Apricot tree. From Andalusi Arabic al-bershiq.
  137. albihar: Mayweed. From Arabic al-bahar.
  138. albitana: 1) Fence to protect plants in gardening. 2) Prolongation of the keel or stern post of a ship. From Arabic al-bitana.
  139. alboaire: The craft of decorating churches and domes with "azulejos". From Andalusi Arabic al-buhaira: lagoon.
  140. albogue: Single-reed clarinet used in Spain. From Arabic al-bûq (البوق): The horn or the trumpet.
  141. alboheza: Malva, from Andalusi Arabic al-hubayza.
  142. albohol: Morning glory, from Andalusi Arabic al-hubuul: "rope".
  143. albollón: Drainage or sewage. From Mozarabic Ballaón and ultimately from Classical Arabic balla'ah.
  144. albóndiga: Meatball; ball. From Arabic al-bunduqa (البندقة) "the ball," from Greek (κάρυον) ποντικόν (káryon) pontikón, "Pontic [nut]."
  145. albórbola: Joy, celebratory noise. From Arabic walwalah.
  146. alborga: Matweed sandal. From Arabic albúlḡa.
  147. albornía: A type of large vase. From Arabic barniya.
  148. albornoz: Bath-robe. From al-burnos (البرنس); "(bath)robe".
  149. alboronía: A type of Andalusian vegetable stew. From Arabic al buranniya "Buran's (stew)." Buran was the wife of Caliph Ma'moun.
  150. alboroque: 1) A present or gratuity given in exchange for a service. 2) The kind treatment and lavish attention offered and received in anticipation of a commercial transaction. From Andalusi Arabic al-borok, possibly ultimately from Classical Arabic arbun.
  151. alboroto: Riot, joy. Comes from arabism alborozo (joy), from andalusí Arabic al-burúz derived from Classical Arabic al-burūz, "military parade previous to a campaign"; or related to Latin volutāre.
  152. alborozo: Extreme chaos or happiness. From Andalusi Arabic al-buruz: "Military parade prior to an expedition".
  153. albotín: Turpentine Tree. From Arabic butm of the same meaning.
  154. albricias: 1) Term used to congratulate someone. 2) Present or gift provided to a bringer of good news. From Arabic bushra.
  155. albudeca: A bad watermelon. From Andalusi Arabic al batiha.
  156. albufera: Lagoon. From Arabic al buhaira.
  157. albur: This term has a wide range of meanings: 1) Flathead mullet (Spain and Cuba), 2) A card combination in a card game known as Banca, 3) A chance occurrence on which an enterprise hedges its bets, 4) An expression which has a double or hidden meaning (Mexico and Dominican Republic) 4) An amorous affair (Nicaragua), 5) A lie, slander or rumour (Puerto Rico and Honduras). From Arabic al-boori.
  158. alcabala: 1) A tax on commercial transactions. 2) Police checkpoint outside cities and on main roads (Colombia and Venezuela). From Andalusi Arabic al qabala.
  159. alcabor: Hollow interior of a chimney or oven. From Arabic al qabw.
  160. alcabtea: A type of linen. From Arabic al qubtiya, meaning "Egyptian" or "Coptic".
  161. alcacel or alcacer: 1) Green barley 2) A barley field. From Arabic al qasil.
  162. alcachofa: Artichoke. From Arabic al-ẖarshoof of the same meaning.
  163. alcaduz: Water pipe. From Arabic Qâdûs (قادوس) meaning "water-wheel scoop".
  164. alcafar: Limbs of a cuadruped (normally a horse). From Arabic al kafal.
  165. alcahaz: Birdcage. From Arabic qafaṣ (قفص) of the same meaning
  166. alcahuete: Accomplice, pimp, a person who helps another in a love affair, specially an illicit one; gossipy person. Alcahuete comes from Hispanic Arabic alqawwad (the messenger), and this from Classical Arabic qawwad. This "messenger" carried messages to a married woman's lover. By extension it became commonly known as any person who sets up a love affair, generally illicit.
  167. alcaicería: an establishment where silk farmers presented their produce, under the rights reserved to the Muslim rulers in Granada and other towns of the Nasrid Kingdom. From Andalusi Arabic Al-Qaysariya, originally from the Latin Caesarea.
  168. alcaide: a term historically referred to various positions of government authority. In modern Spanish commonly refers to a prison warden. From Arabic al qa'id, "military commander".
  169. alcalde: Mayor. From Arabic al-qadi (the judge). Qadi comes from the verb qada (to judge).
  170. álcali: Alkali. From Arabic qalawi (قلوي) of the same meaning thru Medieval Latin.
  171. alcaller: Clay artisan or his helper. From Andalusi Arabic al qallal.
  172. alcamiz: An obsolete term referring to a list of soldiers. Its etymology is an erroneous transmission of at-taymiz, "Military inspection" in Andalusi Arabic and "Distinction" in Classical Arabic.
  173. alcamonías: Seeds used in spice mixes such as anisseed or cumin. It is also a now obsolete expression referring to the act of hiding things. From Arabic kammuniya, a cumin-based concoction.
  174. alcana: Henna or Henna tree. From Arabic, hinna.
  175. alcaná: Commercial street or neighbourhood. From Arabic qanaah: "Drains or water pipes".
  176. alcancía: Clay money box, penny or piggy bank. From Andalusi Arabic alkanzíyya, derived from classical Arabic kanz: "treasure".
  177. alcándara: Hook used to hang clothes or fowl. From Arabic Kandarah.
  178. alcandía: Sorghum. From Andalusi Arabic qatniyya.
  179. alcandora: A type of shirt. From Arabic qandura.
  180. alcanería: A now obsolete rural term for a type of artichoke. From Andalusi Arabic al-qannariya, an Arabic rendering of the Latin cannaria.
  181. alcanfor: Camphor. From Andalusi Arabic Al-Kafur.
  182. alcántara/alcantarilla: Drain. From Arabic al-qantarah meaning "bridge".
  183. alcaparra: Caper. From Andalusian Arabic al-kaparra. Via Latin and Greek.
  184. alcaraván: Stone-Curlew. From Andalusian Arabic al-karawan.
  185. alcaravea: Caraway. From Andalusi Arabic al-Karawiya.
  186. alcarceña: Name given to the Ervil and the Carob. From Andalusi Arabic al-kershana, meaning "the big bellied", due to the plants causing a swelled stomach when consumed in large quantities.
  187. alcarraza: A type of clay container similar to a Spanish Botijo. From Andalusi Arabic al-karraza. Ultimately from Persian Koraz.
  188. alcarria: Of uncertain Arabic etymology. Refers to a flat highland with little vegetation.
  189. alcatenes: A type of medicine which is mixed with copper sulfate to treat ulcers. From Arabic al-qutn.
  190. alcatara (or alquitara): Alembic. From Arabic root for the verb "to distill" qattara.
  191. alcatifa: Thin carpet or underlay for carpet. From Arabic al-qatifa.
  192. alcatraz: Cormorant. From Arabic القطرس al-qaṭrās, meaning "sea eagle".
  193. alcaucil: Artichoke. From Spanish Andalusi Arabic alqabsíl[a], that comes from Mozarab diminutive kapićéḻa, and this from Spanish Latin capĭtia, "head". Standard Latin, caput-itis.
  194. alcaudon: Shrike. From Andalusi Arabic al-kaptan.
  195. alcavela/alcavera: Mob, herd, family, tribe. From Arabic al-qabila.
  196. alcayata: Metallic hanger or hook. From Andalusi Arabic al-kayata, originally from Latin Caia
  197. alcazaba: Palace. From Arabic al-qasbah, (قصبة), "the quarter".
  198. alcázar: Citadel; palace. From Arabic al-qasr (القصر) "the citadel," from Latin castrum, "castle," same etymology with Spanish term castro.
  199. 'alcazuz (or orozuz)
  200. alcoba: Alcove. From Arabic al-qubba "the vault" or "the arch."
  201. alcohela
  202. alcohol: From Arabic al-kuhul (الكحول), fine powder of antimony sulfide used as eye makeup.
  203. alcoholar
  204. alcolla
  205. alcor
  206. alcora[citation needed]
  207. alcorcí
  208. alcorque
  209. alcorza
  210. alcotán
  211. alcotana
  212. alcrebite
  213. alcuacil[citation needed]
  214. alcubilla
  215. alcuña
  216. alcuza
  217. alcuzcuz
  218. alchub[citation needed]
  219. aldaba
  220. aldea/aldeano: Village / Villager.
  221. aldiza
  222. alefriz
  223. aleja
  224. alejija
  225. alema
  226. alerce
  227. aletría
  228. aleve/alevoso/alevosía: from Hispanic Arabic al'áyb and the latter from Classical Arabic áyb, "defect, blemish, or smudge of infamy"
  229. aleya
  230. alfaba
  231. alfábega
  232. alfadía
  233. alfaguara: Geyser. From Arabic fawwâra (فوارة): "spout, fountain, water jet".
  234. alfahar/alfaharería
  235. alfaida
  236. alfajeme
  237. alfajor: Sweet almond shortbread. From Spanish Arabic fašúr, and this from Persian afšor (juice).
  238. alfalfa: alfalfa hay. From Hispanic Arabic alfáṣfaṣ[a], from Classical Arabic fiṣfiṣah, and this from Pelvi aspast.[12]
  239. alfaneque: 1) A type of bird, from Arabic al-fanak 2) A tent, from Berber afarag.
  240. alfanje: A type of sword. From Arabic al-janyar "dagger".
  241. alfaque
  242. alfaqueque
  243. alfaquí
  244. alfaquín
  245. alfaraz
  246. alfarda: Two meanings; from Arabic al-farda and from Arabic al-fardda.
  247. alfarero: potter.
  248. alfardón
  249. alfareme
  250. alfarje
  251. alfarrazar
  252. alfaya
  253. alfayate
  254. alfazaque
  255. alféizar: Window ledge. From Arabic al-hayzar, "The one which takes possession".
  256. alfeñique: 1) Weakling. 2) A type of sweet consumed in Spain and Mexico. From Andalusi Arabic Al-Fanid. Ultimately from Persian and Sanskrit.
  257. alferecía
  258. alferez
  259. alferraz
  260. alferza: Piece, known as Vizir in other languages, corresponding to the modern chess "queen" (though far weaker), from which modern chess developed in medieval Spain. From Andalusi Arabic Al Farza, ultimately from Persian Farzan, "the guardian".
  261. alficoz
  262. alfil: Bishop, in chess. From Arabic al-fiyl (الفيل) "The elephant."
  263. alfilel/alfiler
  264. alfinge
  265. alfitete
  266. alfiz
  267. alfolí
  268. alfombra: Carpet. Two meanings; from Arabic al-jumra and from Arabic al-humra.
  269. alfóncigo: Pistachio. From Arabic al-fustuq.
  270. alfóndiga
  271. alforfón
  272. alforja: Saddlebag. From Arabic al-khurj ( الخرج ) "saddle-bag", portmanteau.
  273. alforre
  274. alforrocho
  275. alforza
  276. alfóstiga
  277. alfoz: Neighborhood, district. From Arabic hauz (حوز) meaning "Precinct" or "City limits".
  278. algaba
  279. algadara
  280. algaida
  281. algalaba[citation needed]
  282. algalia
  283. algalife[citation needed]
  284. algar
  285. algara
  286. algarada
  287. algarabía: Incomprehensible talk; gabble; gibberish. From Arabic al-'arabiya: "Arabic".
  288. algarivo
  289. algarazo: Short rainstorm. From Arabic al 'ard: "cloud".
  290. algarrada
  291. algarrobo: Carob. From Arabic al-kharouba "the carob."
  292. algavaro
  293. algazafán[citation needed]
  294. algazara
  295. algazul
  296. álgebra: Algebra. From Latin algebræ from Arabic al-jabr, meaning "completion, rejoining", from the name of al-Khwarizmi's book Hisab al-jabr w’al-muqabala "The Calculus of Completion and Equality."
  297. algodón: Cotton. From Arabic "al-qúţun (قطن)", meaning "The cotton", "Egyptian", "Coptic".
  298. algorfa
  299. algoritmo: algorithm, comes from the name of Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, محمد بن موسى الخوارزمي, famous mathematician, through its Latinized prounuciation Algorithmi.
  300. algorza:
  301. alguacil: Sheriff. From Arabic "al-wazîr (الوزير)", meaning "Minister".
  302. alguaquida: fuel for a fire. From Arabic waqîda (وقيدة) meaning "Fuel"
  303. alguaza: Window or door hinge.From Arabic wasl "juncture".

A (Alhadida to Azumbre)

  1. alhadida: Old Spanish term for Hadith.[citation needed]
  2. alhaite: Jewel. From Arabic al hayt "string". الخيط
  3. alhaja: Jewel. From Arabic al-hajah "the valuable thing." الحاجة
  4. alhamar: Red mattress or bed cover. From Arabic hanbal, "fur bedcover". Also from Arabic Alhamar / Al-Ahmar "red".
  5. alhamel: Beast of burden or human porter, in Andalusian Spanish. From Arabic hammal. الحامل، حمّال
  6. alhamí: Stone bench normally covered with azulejos. Refers to the Grenadine town of Alhama.
  7. alhandal: Colocynth. From Arabic Alhandhal. الحنظل
  8. alhanía: 1) Bedroom 2) Cupboard 3) A type of small mattress. From Andalusi Arabic al haniyya, "alcove".
  9. alhaquín: Weaver. From Arabic plural Al Hayikeen, "weavers". الحيّاكين
  10. alharaca: Violent reaction to a small issue. From Arabic haraka. حركة
  11. alhavara: Flour. From Arabic huwara.
  12. alhelí: Aegean Wallflower. From Arabic hiri.
  13. alheña: Spanish word for Henna and the plant from which it is derived.
  14. alholva: Fenugreek. From Arabic hulbah.
  15. alhorí: Same meaning and etymology as more commonly used term alfolí.
  16. alhorre: 1) Feaces of a newborn child. From Arabic hur, "feaces". 2) Common skin rash in babies, nappy rash. Commonly used in expression "Yo te curaré el alhorre!" when threatening to beat a child. From Arabic shakatu el hurr, "skin infection".
  17. alhorría: (or ahorría): Expression used for when a slave is freed. From Arabic al-hurriya, "freedom".
  18. alhucema: Lavender. From Arabic huzama.
  19. alhuceña: Woodruff. From Arabic uhshina.
  20. aliara: Drinking horn. From Andalusian Arabic al fiyara.
  21. alicante: Vernacular name of two different types of poisonous snakes present in Spain and Northern Mexico respectively. From Arabic al aqrab, "scorpion".
  22. alicatar: To till. From Arabic qat, "to cut".
  23. alicate: Pliers. From Arabic laqaat, "tongs".
  24. alidada: Alidade. From Andalusian Arabic al'idada.
  25. alifa: Sugar cane, two years old, in Andalusian and Mexican Spanish. From Arabic halifa "successor".
  26. alifafe: 1) Light indisposition. 2) Type of tumor which develops on the legs of horses from excessive work. From Arabic ifash "sowing bag".
  27. alifara
  28. alijar
  29. alimara
  30. alioj
  31. alirón
  32. alizace
  33. alizar
  34. aljaba
  35. aljabibe
  36. aljama
  37. aljamía/aljamiado: Medieval Romance Spanish or Mozarabic written in Arabic script.
  38. aljaraz
  39. aljarfa
  40. aljébana
  41. aljerife
  42. aljez
  43. aljibe
  44. aljófar/aljofarar
  45. aljofifa
  46. aljor (or aljez)
  47. aljuba
  48. aljuma
  49. añagaza
  50. almacabra
  51. almacén: Deposit, dry goods store. From Arabic al-majzan of makhzan (المخزن) "the storage" or "the depot."
  52. almacería
  53. almáciga
  54. almadén
  55. almádena
  56. almadía
  57. almadraba: Tuna fishing in Andalusia and particularly in Cadiz province. From Andalusi Arabic Al-madraba, "place where to hit", in reference to the fishing technique.
  58. almadraque
  59. almagazén
  60. almagra
  61. almahala
  62. almaizar
  63. almaja
  64. almajaneque
  65. almajar
  66. almajara
  67. almalafa
  68. almanaque: almanac (see etymology section in the article for further discussion). From Andalusian Arabic almanáẖ "calendar", from Arabic munāẖ "caravan stop", or from Greek almenichiakon "calendar."
  69. almancebe: type of river fishing net, from Spanish Arabic al-manṣába, bank.
  70. almarada
  71. almarbate
  72. almarcha
  73. almarjo
  74. almarrá
  75. almarraja or almarraza
  76. almártaga: two meanings, from al-marta'a and al martak.
  77. almástica
  78. almatroque
  79. almazara: Olive press. From Arabic "al-ma'sarah" (المعصرة), "juicer".
  80. almazarrón
  81. almea: two meanings, from almay'a and alima.
  82. almejía
  83. almenara: two meanings, from al-manara and al-minhara.
  84. almez
  85. almíbar: sugar syrup, juice concentrate.
  86. almicantarat
  87. almijar
  88. almijara
  89. almijarra
  90. almimbar
  91. alminar
  92. almiraj/almiraje/almiral[citation needed]
  93. almirez
  94. almirón: Dandelion. From Andalusian Arabic al mirun.
  95. almizate
  96. almizcle/almizque
  97. almocadén
  98. almocafre
  99. almocárabe
  100. almocela
  101. almocrebe
  102. almocrí
  103. almodón
  104. almófar
  105. almofariz
  106. almofía
  107. almofrej/almofrez
  108. almogama
  109. almogávar
  110. almohada: Pillow, from Arabic al-makhada with the same meaning.
  111. almohade
  112. almoharrefa
  113. almohaza
  114. almojábana
  115. almojama: see mojama
  116. almojarife
  117. almojaya
  118. almona
  119. almoneda: Sale or auction. From Arabic munadah.
  120. almoraduj/almoradux
  121. almorávide
  122. almorí
  123. almoronía: see alboronía.
  124. almotacén
  125. almotalafe
  126. almotazaf/almotazán
  127. almozala/almozalla
  128. almud
  129. almuédano
  130. almuerzo: Lunch. Arabic al- + Latin morsus (bite).
  131. almunia: an agricultural settlement, from المُنية meaning desire. (see Article in Spanish).
  132. alpargata
  133. alpechín
  134. alpiste
  135. alquería: Farmhouse. From Arabic al-qaria "the village."
  136. aloque
  137. aloquín
  138. alpargata
  139. alquequenje
  140. alquería
  141. alquermes
  142. alquerque: Two meanings, from al-qirq and al-qariq.
  143. alquez
  144. alquezar
  145. alquibla
  146. alquicel
  147. alquiler: Rent. From Arabic Al kira' (الكراء)
  148. alquimia: alchemy, from Arabic al-kīmiyā' (الكيمياء‎ or الخيمياء‎) via Medieval Latin alchemia, from the Late Greek term khēmeía (χημεία), also spelled khumeia (χυμεία) and khēmía (χημία), meaning 'the process of transmutation by which to fuse or reunite with the divine or original form'.
  149. alquinal
  150. alquitira
  151. alquitrán: tar, from Arabic اَلْقِطْرَان al-qitran.
  152. alrota
  153. altabaca
  154. altamía
  155. altramuz: Lupin bean. From Arabic at-turmus.
  156. alubia: Pea, bean. From Arabic lubiya.
  157. aludel
  158. aluquete/luquete
  159. alloza
  160. amán
  161. ámbar: amber, from Arabic ʿanbar عنبر‎, meaning "anything that floats in the sea", via Middle Latin ambar.
  162. ámel
  163. amín
  164. amirí
  165. anacalo
  166. anacora
  167. anafaga
  168. anafalla/anafaya
  169. anafe
  170. anaquel
  171. andorra
  172. andrajo
  173. anea
  174. anejir
  175. anorza[citation needed]
  176. anúteba
  177. añacal
  178. añacea/añacear
  179. añafea
  180. añafil
  181. añagaza
  182. añascar
  183. añazme
  184. añicos[citation needed]
  185. añil: Ultimately from Sanskrit nilah, "dark blue".
  186. arabí
  187. arancel
  188. arbellón/arbollón
  189. archí
  190. argadillo
  191. argamandel
  192. argamula
  193. argán
  194. argel
  195. argolla
  196. arguello/arguellarse
  197. arije
  198. arimez
  199. arjorán
  200. arnadí
  201. arrabá
  202. arrabal
  203. arracada
  204. arráez
  205. arrayán
  206. arrecife
  207. arrejaque/arrejacar
  208. arrelde
  209. arrequife
  210. arrequive
  211. arriate
  212. arricés
  213. arroba
  214. arrobda[citation needed]
  215. arrocabe
  216. arrope
  217. arroz: Rice.
  218. áscar/áscari
  219. asequi[citation needed]
  220. asesino: Assassin. From Arabic hashshshin "someone who is addicted to hashish (marijuana)." Originally used to refer to the followers of the Persian Hassan-i-Sabah (حسن صباح), the Hashshashin.
  221. atabaca
  222. atabal
  223. atabe
  224. atacar: To tie, to button up. From Andalusi Arabic tákka, originally from classical Arabic tikkah, ribbon used to fasten clothes.
  225. atacir
  226. atafarra/ataharre
  227. atafea
  228. atahona
  229. atahorma
  230. ataifor
  231. ataire
  232. atalaya
  233. atalvina
  234. atambor
  235. atanor
  236. atanquía
  237. ataracea
  238. atarazana
  239. atarfe
  240. atarjea
  241. atarraga
  242. atarraya
  243. ataúd: Coffin.
  244. ataujía
  245. ataurique
  246. atifle
  247. atijara
  248. atíncar
  249. atoba
  250. atocha
  251. atracar: To assault, to burgle, to dock a boat, to get stuck, to gorge oneself with food, to cheat, to get stuck. From Arabic Taraqa, "To rise".
  252. atoque[citation needed]
  253. atríaca/atriaca
  254. atún: Tuna.
  255. atutía
  256. auge: surge, rise, boom.
  257. aulaga
  258. avería
  259. azabache
  260. azabara
  261. azacán
  262. azacaya
  263. azache
  264. azafate/azafata
  265. azafrán: Saffron. From Arabic اَلزَّعْفَرَان az-za`farān, from Persian زعفران zaferān or زرپران zarparān gold strung.
  266. azahar: White flower, especially from the orange tree. From Spanish Arabic azzahár, and this from Classic Arabic zahr, flowers.
  267. azalá
  268. azamboa
  269. azándar
  270. azaque: Alms-giving or religious tax in Islam. From Arabic zakāt (Arabic: زكاة [zæˈkæː], "that which purifies"[1]). See article zakat.
  271. azaquefa: Covered portico or patio. From Andalusi Arabic assaqifa, "portico", originally from Arabic as-saqf (السَّقْف), meaning "roof" or "upper covering of a building".
  272. azar: Luck; chance. From Arabic az-zahr "the dice" or North African Arabic az-zhar "luck".
  273. azarbe
  274. azarcón
  275. azarja
  276. azarnefe
  277. azarote[citation needed]
  278. azófar
  279. azofra/azofrar
  280. azogue: Two meanings, from az-za'uq and from as-suq.
  281. azolvar
  282. azorafa
  283. azote: Smacking, beating, scourge. From Arabic sawṭ.
  284. azotea: Flat roof or terrace. From Andalusi Arabic assutáyha, diminutive of sath, "terrace" in Classical Arabic.
  285. azoya[citation needed]
  286. azúcar: Sugar. From Arabic (سكر) sukkar of the same meaning, from Persian shekar.
  287. azucarí
  288. azucena
  289. azuche
  290. azud
  291. azufaifa/azufaifo
  292. azul: Blue. From Arabic lāzaward, ultimately from Sanskrit.
  293. azulaque (or zulaque)
  294. azulejo: Handpainted glazed floor and wall tiles, from Arabic az-zellīj (الزليج), a style of mosaic tilework made from individually hand-chiseled tile pieces set into a plaster base, from zalaja (زَلَجَ) meaning "to slide". See also alboaire and alhamí.
  295. azúmbar
  296. azumbre: Measurement for liquids equivalent to around two litres. From Del Andalusi Arabic aTTúmn, and this from Classical Arabic: Tum[u]n, "an eighth".


  1. babismo: Babism. From Arabic باب "door."
  2. babucha: Slippers. From Arabic Baboush, derived from Persian "Papoosh" literally meaning "foot covering". The transition from Persian "p" to Arabic "b" occurs due to lack of the letter p in the Arabic alphabet. "Pa-" in Persian means foot and "poosh" means covering. Persian "pa" or foot shares the same root with other Indo-European languages, i.e. Latin pede[m], French "pied", Spanish "pie" and "pata", etc.
  3. badal: Cut of meat from the back and ribs of cattle, close to the neck. From Andalusi Arabic bad'a "Calf muscle" derived from classical Arabic bad'ah "piece".
  4. badán: Trunk of an animal. From Arabic badan.
  5. badana: 1) Sheepskin, 2) Hat lining, 3) Lazy person. From Arabic bitana, "lining".
  6. badea: 1) Watermelon or melon of bad quality. 2) Insipid cucumber, 3) Weak person, 4) Unimportant thing. From Arabic battiha "bad melon".
  7. badén: Dip in land, road, sidewalk or ford. From Arabic batin "sunken" (land).
  8. bagarino: Free or hired sailor, as opposed to a press-ganged or enslaven one. Same origin as baharí.
  9. bagre: a freshwater fish that has no scales and has a chin. From Arabic baghir or baghar.
  10. baharí: Bird of prey. From Arabic bahri: "from the sea".
  11. baja: Pasha, Turkish officer or governor of high rank. From Arabic basha ultimately from Turkish pasha of the same meaning.
  12. baladí: 1) Unimportant thing or matter. 2) Something of the land our country. From Arabic baladiy "From the country".
  13. balaj/balaje: Purple ruby. From Arabic Balahshi: From Balahshan (region in central Asia where these stones are found).
  14. balate
  15. balda (and baldío)
  16. baldar
  17. balde: 1) Free. 2) Without cause. 3) In vain. From Arabic batil "false" or "useless."
  18. bancal
  19. baño
  20. baraka: Heavenly providence or unusual luck. From Moroccan Arabic. Recently introduced word.
  21. barbacana
  22. barcino
  23. bardaje
  24. bardoma/bardomera
  25. barragán
  26. barrio/barriada: Area, district or neighbourhood in a town. From Arabic barri "outside".
  27. bata: either from Arabic batt or French ouate.
  28. batán
  29. batea
  30. baurac
  31. bayal
  32. belez
  33. bellota: Acorn, the fruit or seed of the oak tree. From Arabic balluta of the same meaning.
  34. ben
  35. benimerín
  36. benjui
  37. berberí
  38. berberís
  39. bereber
  40. berenjena/berenjenal: eggplant, aubergine, from Arabic بَاذِنْجَان (bāḏenjān), from Persian بادنجان (bâdenjân) of the same meaning.
  41. bezaar/bezoar
  42. biznaga
  43. bocací
  44. bodoque/bodocal
  45. bófeta
  46. bórax
  47. borní
  48. boronía
  49. botor
  50. bujía
  51. bulbul
  52. burche
  53. buz
  54. buzaque


  1. cabila: Tribe of Berbers or Bedouins. From Arabic qabila "tribe."
  2. cachera
  3. cadí: From Arabic qādiy / qādī (قَاضِي), a "judge", type of public officer appointed to hear and try causes in a court of justice; same etymology with alcalde.
  4. cadira
  5. café: Coffee. From Arabic qahwa (قهوة) of the same meaning.
  6. cáfila
  7. cafiz (or cahiz)
  8. cafre
  9. caftán
  10. cáid (same origin as alcaide)
  11. caimacán
  12. cala
  13. calabaza: Pumpkin or squash. From Arabic qerabat (قربات), plural of qerbah (قربة), meaning wineskin.
  14. calafate/calafatear
  15. calahorra
  16. calí: same root as álcali.
  17. cálibo/calibre
  18. cambuj
  19. camocán
  20. canana: Cartridge belt.
  21. cáncana/cancanilla
  22. cáncano
  23. cande: in azúcar cande.
  24. canfor
  25. caraba
  26. cárabe
  27. cárabo: Owl; dog. Taken from Arabic qaraab and kalb "dog" (kalaab "dogs"), respectively.
  28. caracoa
  29. caramida
  30. caramuzal
  31. caravana
  32. caravasar
  33. carcajada/carcajear
  34. carcax
  35. carmen/carme: From Spanish Arabic kárm, and this from Classical Arabic karm, vine.
  36. carmesí: Crimson, bluish deep red. From Arabic quirmizi.
  37. carmín
  38. carraca
  39. carrafa
  40. cártama/cártamo
  41. catán
  42. catifa
  43. cazurro
  44. cebiche
  45. cebtí
  46. ceca
  47. cedoaria
  48. cegatero
  49. cegrí
  50. ceje
  51. celemí/celemín/celeminero
  52. cenacho
  53. cendolilla
  54. cenefa
  55. ceneque
  56. cení
  57. cenia
  58. cenit: zenith, from Arabic samt سَمْت, same etymology with acimut.
  59. cequí
  60. cerbatana
  61. cero: Zero. From Arabic sifr of the same meaning.
  62. cetís
  63. ceutí
  64. chafariz
  65. chafarote
  66. chaleco
  67. charrán
  68. chifla
  69. chilabai: From Moroccan Arabic.
  70. chiquero
  71. chirivía
  72. chisme: Gossip.
  73. chivo
  74. choz
  75. chupa
  76. chuzo
  77. cianí
  78. cibica
  79. cica
  80. cicalar
  81. cicatear
  82. cicatero: different root to cicatear.
  83. ciclán
  84. ciclar
  85. ciclatón
  86. cid
  87. cifaque
  88. cifra/cifrar
  89. címbara
  90. cimboga
  91. cimitarra
  92. circón
  93. citara
  94. civeta/civeto
  95. coba/cobista
  96. cofa
  97. coima
  98. coime
  99. colcótar
  100. cora
  101. corán: from qur'aan (قرآن), the Muslim Holy Book.
  102. corbacho
  103. corma
  104. cotonía
  105. cubeba
  106. cúrcuma
  107. curdo
  108. cuscuta

D, E

  1. dado: Dice, cube or stamp. From Classical Arabic a'dad "numbers."
  2. daga - dagger
  3. dahír
  4. daifa
  5. dante
  6. darga (adarga): Shield.
  7. dársena: Dock / basin.
  8. daza
  9. descafilar
  10. destartalado
  11. dey
  12. dirham
  13. diván: Divan / couch. From Arabic from Persian دیوان dēvān (="place of assembly", "roster"), from Old Persian دیپی dipi (="writing, document") + واهانم vahanam (="house"). This is a recent loanword and directly entered Spanish via Persian, as [v] sound in دیوان dēvān is a modern Persian pronunciation.[citation needed]
  14. droga: Drug.
  15. druso
  16. dula/dular
  17. edrisí
  18. ejarbe
  19. elche
  20. elemí
  21. elixir, from al-ʾiksīr (الإكسير) through Medieval Latin, which in turn is the Arabization of Greek xērion (ξήριον) "powder for drying wounds" (from ξηρός xēros "dry").
  22. embelecar/embeleco
  23. emir (or amir)
  24. encaramar
  25. enchufar/enchufe: 1) To plug in/plug; 2) To connect, 3) To offer an unmerited job or a post through personal connections. From Andalusi Arabic Juf derived from Classical Arabic jawf "stomach; internal cavity".
  26. engarzar: To set/thread.
  27. enjalma
  28. enjarje
  29. enjeco
  30. escabeche: Pickle or marinade. From Arabic as-sukbaj. Originally from Persian Sekba.
  31. escafilar (see descafilar)
  32. escaque/escaquear
  33. espinaca: Spinach.
  34. exarico

F, G

  1. faca
  2. falagar
  3. falca
  4. falleba
  5. faltriquer: Pocket.
  6. falúa/faluca
  7. fanega/hanega
  8. fanfarrón
  9. faranga (or haragán): Lazy, idler, loafer.
  10. farda
  11. fardacho
  12. farfán
  13. fárfara
  14. farnaca
  15. farota
  16. farruco: Insolent or "cocky". From Andalusian Arabic Farrouj, "Cock".
  17. felús
  18. fetua
  19. fez
  20. fideo
  21. filelí
  22. foceifiza
  23. fondolí
  24. fondac/fonda
  25. foz
  26. fulano: "any one" without naming, X of people. From Arabic Fulan.
  27. fustal
  28. fustete
  29. gabán
  30. gabela
  31. gacel/gacela
  32. gafetí
  33. galacho
  34. galanga
  35. galbana
  36. gálibo
  37. galima
  38. gandula/gandula
  39. gañan
  40. garbi: Sirocco wind.
  41. garama
  42. garbino
  43. gardacho
  44. garfa
  45. gárgol
  46. garra
  47. garrafa
  48. garrama
  49. garroba
  50. gazpacho
  51. gilí
  52. gomer
  53. granadí
  54. grisgrís
  55. guadamací
  56. guájara
  57. guájete
  58. guala
  59. guarismo: figure, character. From the name of Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, محمد بن موسى الخوارزمي, famous mathematician, through its Latinized prounuciation Algorithmi, same etymology with algoritmo.
  60. guifa
  61. guilla
  62. gumía
  63. gurapas

H, I

  1. habiz: Donation of real estate under certain conditions to muslim religious institutions. From Classical Arabic: ḥabīs: amortized.
  2. habús: Same meaning as habiz has in Morocco. From Arabic ḥubūs, "property belonging to the deceased used for charity".
  3. hachís: Hashish. From Classical Arabic Hashish, "grass". This is a recent loanword influenced by written form , wherein hachís is pronounced [xaˈt͡ʃis], since <h> is always silent in the beginning of Spanish, and [x] (voicless velar fricative) which is closer to [h] did not exist yet in Old Spanish; the [ʃ] sound in Arabic like in the word hashish existed in Old Spanish, that evolved to [x] in Modern Spanish ([h] in other dialects of Modern Spanish) and [ʃ] in loanwords in Spanish is pronounced either [t͡ʃ] or [s].
  4. hacino: Miser or from Andalusian Arabic ḥazīn".
  5. hadruba: Hump (on someone's back): From Andalusian Arabic ḥadúbba.
  6. hafiz: Guard or minder. From Andalusian Arabic ḥāfiẓ.
  7. hálara: Same meaning and etymology as fárfara. 1) Interior lining of egg. 2) Coldsfoot. From Andalusian Arabic falḡalála.
  8. hallulla: 1)A type of bread or bun consumed in Spain and parts of Latin America. 2) Nausea (Eastern Andalusia only)[13] From Andalusian Arabic ḥallún.
  9. hamudí: Descendants of Ali Ben Hamud, founders of the Málaga and Algericas Taifas during the 11th century.
  10. haragán: 1) Someone who refuses to work. 2) In Cuba and Venezuela, a type of mop. From Andalusian Arabic: khra kan: "Was shit".
  11. harambel: See "arambel".
  12. harbar
  13. harén
  14. harma
  15. harón
  16. Hasaní
  17. hasta: "Until". From Arabic hatta (same meaning). Influenced by Latin phrase 'ad ista'[14]
  18. hataca
  19. hazaña
  20. he: Adverb used in following manner: "he aquí/ahí/allí": Here it is/there it is. From Arabic haa.[14]
  21. hégira
  22. hobacho/hobacha
  23. holgazán: Lazy person. From Arabic Kaslan. Influenced by Holgar.
  24. holgar
  25. hoque/oque
  26. horro/horra
  27. imam, imán
  28. imela
  29. islam

J, K

  1. jabalí : Wild Boar. From Arabic jebeli: From the mountains. Perhaps originally from Khanzeer Jebelí: Mountain Pig.
  2. jabalón
  3. jábega
  4. jabeca
  5. jabeque
  6. jabí : A type of apple and type of grape. From Andalusi Arabic sha‘bí, a type of apple.
  7. jácara
  8. jácena
  9. jacerino
  10. jadraque
  11. jaez
  12. jaguarzo
  13. jaharí
  14. jaharral
  15. jaharrar
  16. jaima
  17. jaique
  18. jalear
  19. jalma (or enjalma)
  20. jaloque
  21. jamacuco
  22. jametería
  23. jámila
  24. japuta
  25. jaque
  26. jaqueca: Migraine. From Arabic Shaqiqa, with same meaning.
  27. jáquima
  28. jara
  29. jarabe: Syrup. From Arabic Sharab. Usually in the context of cough syrup or linctus.
  30. jaraíz
  31. jarcha
  32. jareta
  33. jaricar
  34. jarifo/jarifa
  35. jarquía
  36. jarra: Pitcher or other pot with handle(s). From ǧarrah, same as English jar.
  37. jatib
  38. jazarino/jazarina
  39. jazmín: jasmine. From Arabic yasmin then from Persian word the same word
  40. jebe
  41. jeliz
  42. jemesía
  43. jeque: From Arabic shaikh or sheikh, older
  44. jerife: From Arabic sharif, noble, respected.
  45. jeta: Snout, face, cheek (in both literal and figurative sense). From Arabic khatm: "snout".
  46. jifa
  47. jinete
  48. jirafa: giraffe. From ziraffa of the same meaning.
  49. jirel
  50. jofaina: a wide and shallow basin for domestic use. From ǧufaynah.
  51. jofor
  52. jorfe
  53. joroba
  54. jorro
  55. juba/aljuba/jubón
  56. julepe
  57. jurdía
  58. jurel
  59. kermes

L, M

  1. laca: resinous substance tapped from the lacquer tree. From Arabic lak, taken from Persian lak, ultimately from Sanskrit laksha literally meaning "one hundred thousand" referring to the large number of insects that gather and sap out all the resin from the trees.
  2. lacre
  3. lapislázuli: lapis lazuli, a deep blue mineral. From Arabic lazaward (لازورد) from Persian lagvard or lazward, ultimately from Sanskrit rajavarta literally meaning "ringlet of the king."
  4. latón: brass. From Arabic latun from Turkish altın "gold."
  5. laúd: lute. From Arabic al 'ud (العود) "the lute."
  6. lebeche: Southeasterly wind on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. From Andalusi Arabic Labash.
  7. lebení: a Moorish beverage prepared from soured milk. From Arabic labani (لباني) "dairy."
  8. leila: from Arabic layla (ليلة) "night."
  9. lelilí: Shouts and noise made by moors when going into combat or when celebrating parties. From Arabic lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh (لا إله إلا الله): There is no god but Allah; Ya leilí (ياليلي) : Night of mine; ya ʿayouni (يا عيوني) : My eyes.
  10. lima: lime. From Arabic limah of the same meaning.
  11. limón: lemon. From laymoon (ليمون), derived from the Chinese word limung.
  12. loco: crazy. From Arabic lawqa "fool."
  13. macabro
  14. macsura
  15. madraza
  16. magacén
  17. magarza/magarzuela
  18. maglaca
  19. maharon/maharona
  20. maharrana/marrana/marrano
  21. mahozmedín
  22. maimón
  23. majareta
  24. majzén
  25. mamarracho
  26. mameluco
  27. mamola
  28. mandeísmo
  29. mandil
  30. maquila
  31. marabú
  32. maravedí
  33. marcasita
  34. marchamo
  35. márfega
  36. marfil
  37. marfuz/a
  38. margomar
  39. marjal
  40. marlota
  41. marojo
  42. maroma
  43. marrano pig; cf. Arabic muharram "forbidden".
  44. marras
  45. márraga
  46. masamuda: (adj) Individual from the Berber Masmuda tribe, from which originate the Almohades, a movement which ruled Spain and North Africa in the 12th century. From Arabic: Masamuda.
  47. matafalúa
  48. matalahúga/matalahúva: Aniseed, from Andalusi Arabic habbat halwa, "sweet seed".
  49. mártaga
  50. máscara
  51. matarife
  52. mate
  53. matraca
  54. matula
  55. mauraca
  56. mazamorra: Word to designate a number of bread or cereal based dishes typical of Southern Spain and parts of Latin America. From Andalusi Arabic Pishmat.
  57. mazapán
  58. mazarí
  59. mazarrón
  60. mazmodina
  61. mazmorra: Dungeon. From Arabic matmura "silo".
  62. mazorca: corn cob; roll of wool or cotton. From Andalusi Arabic: Masurqa, derived from classical Arabic Masura (ماسورة) : a tube used as a bobbin (sewing) .
  63. meca: Place which is attractive because of a particular activity. From Arabic Makkah (مكة).
  64. mechinal
  65. mejala
  66. mejunje
  67. mendrugo: Piece of dry or unwanted bread, often reserved to give to beggars. From Andalusi Arabic Matruq "Marked/Touched".
  68. mengano/mengana: Expression of similar meaning as fulano or zutano, used always after the former but after the latter, meaning "whoever". From Arabic man kan meaning "whoever".
  69. mequetrefe: Nosy or useless person. From Andalusi Arabi qatras meaning person of boastful demeanor.
  70. mercal
  71. metical
  72. mezquino
  73. mía: A military term, formerly designating a regular native unit composed of 100 men in the Spanish protectorate of northern Morocco; by analogy, any colonial army. From Arabic Miʿah: one hundred (مئة).
  74. mihrab:
  75. miramamolín
  76. moaxaja
  77. mogataz
  78. mogate
  79. moharra: tip of the sword. From muharraf meaning;; "beached".
  80. moharracho
  81. mohatra
  82. mohedal
  83. mohino
  84. mojarra: Refers to fish in the Gerreidae order. From Arabic muharraf.
  85. mojama (originally almojama): Delicacy of phoenician origin from the region of Cadiz. It consists of filleted salt-cured tuna. From the Arabic al mushama: "momified or waxed".
  86. mojí
  87. momia
  88. mona
  89. monfí
  90. morabito
  91. moraga
  92. morapio
  93. mozárabe
  94. mudéjar
  95. muftí
  96. mujalata
  97. mulato: Perhaps from Muwallad, as with the Muladi. Walad (ولد) means, "descendant, offspring, scion; child; son; boy; young animal, young one". According to DRAE, from latin mulus mulo (mule), in the sense of hybrid.
  98. mulquía: Owned/Property. From "Mulkiyya"
  99. muslim / muslime: (Adjective) Muslim.[15] A rare alternative to musulmán. From Arabic Muslim (مسلم).

N, O, P, Q

  1. nabí: Prophet among arabs. From Arabic nabiy.
  2. nácar: Innermost of the three layers of a seashell. From Catalan nacre, derived from Arabic naqra, small drum.
  3. nácara: Type of small metallic drum used historically by the Spanish cavalry. Same etymology as nacar.
  4. nadir: Nadir, the point on the celestial sphere opposite the zenith directly below the observer. From nadheer.
  5. nádir: In Morocco, administrator of a religious foundation.
  6. nagüela: Small hut for human habitation. From Andalusi Arabic nawalla: hut.
  7. naife: High quality diamond. From Andalusi Arabic nayif. Originally from classical Arabic na'if: excellent.
  8. naipe: Playing card. From Catalan naíp. Originally from Arabic ma'ib.
  9. naranja: Orange. from Arabic nāranja, fr Persian nārang, fr Sanskrit nāranga, fr a Dravidian language akin to Tamil naŗu "fragrant".
  10. narguile
  11. natrón
  12. nazarí: Related to the Nasrid kingdom or dynasty of Granada.
  13. neblí: Subspecies of the peregrine falcon, valued in the art of falconry. Possibly from Andalusi Arabic burni.
  14. nenúfar: Water-lily. From Arabic naylufar from Persian nilofer, niloofar, niloufar.
  15. nesga:
  16. noria: Watermill, Ferris wheel. From Arabic na'urah.
  17. nuca: Nape of the neck. From Arabic nuḵāʿ منخع, نخاع.
  18. ojalá: "I hope"; "I wish that...". From law šhaʾ allāh "If God wills." [16]
  19. ¡ole! (or olé): The most famous expression of approval, support or encouragement, said to have come from wa-llah و الله, "by Allah!". However, its proposed Arabic origin is disputed and it is described as "falsos arabismos" (false Arabisms) by the Spanish Arabist Federico Corriente in his Diccionario de Arabismos y Voces Afines en Iberorromance.[17][18]
  20. omeya: adj. Related to the Umayyad.
  21. orozuz
  22. ox: Expression to scare away wild and domesticated birds. From Andalusi Arabic Oosh.
  23. papagayo
  24. quermes
  25. quilate/quirate: Carat or Karat. From Andalusi Arabic Qirat.
  26. quilma
  27. quina: Galbanum (a type of aromatic gum resin. From Classical Arabic al qinnah.
  28. quintal: weight unit of about 46 kg. In its current use under the metric system, it represents 100 kg. From Arabic Qintar قنطار "referring to a large number similar objects or an object which is large in its size.

R, S, T

  1. rabadán
  2. rabal
  3. rabazuz
  4. rabel
  5. rábida
  6. rafal
  7. rafe
  8. ragua
  9. rahez
  10. ramadán
  11. rambla
  12. rauda
  13. rauta
  14. real: Military encampment; plot where a fair is organized; (in Murcia region) small plot or garden. From Arabic rahl: camping.
  15. rebato
  16. rebite
  17. recamar
  18. recua
  19. redoma
  20. rehala
  21. rehalí
  22. rehén: Hostage or captive. From Arabic رَهِين, captive, ransom.
  23. rejalgar: realgar. From Andalusi Arabic reheg al-ghar: "powder of the cave"
  24. requive
  25. resma
  26. retama
  27. rincón: Corner. From Andalusi Arabic rukan, derived from classical Arabic Rukn, or perhaps related to French recoin.
  28. robda
  29. robo (or arroba)
  30. roda
  31. romí/rumí
  32. ronzal
  33. roque: rook (chess piece), from Arabic روخ rukh, from Persian رخ rukh.
  34. sajelar
  35. salema
  36. sandía: Watermelon. From Arabic Sindiya "from Sindh (province of Pakistan)".
  37. sarasa: Homosexual or effeminate man. From "Zaraza".
  38. sarraceno
  39. sebestén
  40. secácul
  41. serafín
  42. siroco
  43. sofí
  44. sófora
  45. soldán
  46. soltaní
  47. sufí
  48. sura
  49. tabal (or atabal)
  50. tabaque
  51. tabefe
  52. tabica
  53. tabique
  54. taca
  55. tafurea
  56. tagarino/tagarina
  57. tagarnina
  58. taha
  59. tahalí
  60. tahona
  61. tahúr
  62. taifa: Refers to an independent Muslim-ruled principality, an emirate or petty kingdom, of which a number formed in the Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia) after the final collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba in 1031. Used in numerous expressions. Can also mean 1) a faction 2) a group of people of ill judgement. 3) un reino de Taifas (a kingdom of Taifas) can also refer to a chaotic or disorderly state of affairs. From classical Arabic Ta'ifah: faction.
  63. tajea
  64. talco
  65. talega
  66. talvina
  67. támara
  68. tamarindo
  69. tambor
  70. tara
  71. taracea
  72. taraje: Salt Cedar. From Arabic Tarfah.
  73. tarasí
  74. tarbea
  75. tarea: Task. From Arabic ṭaríḥaand root طرح, "to throw".
  76. tareco
  77. tarida
  78. tarifa
  79. tarima
  80. tarquín
  81. tarraya
  82. taza: cup. From Tasa.
  83. tértil
  84. tíbar
  85. tochibí
  86. tomín
  87. toronja
  88. toronjil
  89. trafalmejas
  90. truchimán/na
  91. trujamán/na
  92. tuera
  93. tumbaga
  94. Tunecí
  95. turbit
  96. turquí (in Azul Turquí)
  97. tutía (or atutía)

V, X, Y, Z

  1. vacarí: from Arabic baqari (بقري) "bovine."
  2. valencí: Uva Valencia. A type of grape from Murcia region in South East Spain.
  3. velmez: from Arabic malbas (ملبس) "clothing."
  4. verdín: Spontaneous growth of grass or sprouting. From Arabic bardi (Same etymology as albardín). Influenced by Spanish word "Verde".
  5. visir: vizier. From Arabic wazir (وزير) "minister," recent loanword. Same etymology with alguacil.
  6. yébel: from Arabic jabal, "mountain"; same etymology with jabalí.
  7. zabalmedina: in the Middle Ages, judge with civil and criminal jurisdiction in a city. From Arabic Sahib al Medina "Chief of the City."
  8. zabarcera: women who sells fruits and other food. Same origin as abacero
  9. zabazala: imam who leads Islamic prayer. From Arabic SaHb aS-Salah "Leader of prayer."
  10. zabazoque: same meaning as almotacén. From Arabic SáHb as súq "Leader of the Market."
  11. zábila: aloe vera (used mainly in Latin America) From Andalusi Arabic sabíra, originally from classical Arabic Sibar, same etymology with acíbar.
  12. zabra: type of vessel used in the Bay of Biscay in the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Age. From Arabic zauraq.
  13. zacatín: in some villages, a square where clothes are sold. From saqqatin, plural of saqqat: seller of clothes.
  14. zafar: a number of meanings in Spain and Latin American countries: To free, to untie, to ignore, to unknit among others. From Arabic azaHa: to take away.
  15. zafarí: Granada zafarí: a type of pomegranate. Higo zafarí: a type of fig. From Arabic Safr.
  16. zafariche: Structure used for placing clay urns. Same etymology as jaraíz (see above).
  17. zafio: Uncouth. From Andalusi Arabic Fellah safi: "Mere peasant".
  18. zafrán: See Azafran.
  19. zaga: Backside of something. Cargo on the back of a truck. From Arabic Saqah: Rear, rearguard.
  20. zagal: boy. From Andalusian Arabic zaḡál, traditional Arabic zuḡlūl. Same meaning.
  21. zagaya (or azagaya)
  22. zagua
  23. zaguán: hall. From Andalusian Arabic istawán, traditional Arabic usṭuwān(ah).
  24. zagüía
  25. zaharrón
  26. zahén
  27. zahón
  28. zahora: (Mainly used in Spanish region of La Mancha): Large meal accompanied by dancing or partying. From Arabic Islamic term suhoor.
  29. zahorí
  30. zaida
  31. zaino
  32. zala
  33. zalamelé
  34. zalea/zalear
  35. zalema/zalama
  36. zalmedina: Same meaning and origin as zabalmedina.
  37. zalona
  38. zamacuco
  39. zambra: Traditional festivity of the Moriscos in Spain which is maintained by the Gypsy community of Sacromonte, Granada. From Andalusi Arabic Zamra, originally from classical Arabic Zamr.
  40. zanahoria: carrot, presumably from Andalusi Arabic safunariyya, Classical Arabic: isfanariyya.
  41. zaque: Leather recipient for wine or extracting water from a well. Drunken person. From Andalusi Arabic zaqq. Originally from classical Arabic ziqq.
  42. zaquizamí
  43. zaragüelles
  44. zaranda/zarandillo/zarandaja
  45. zarandear: To shake vigorously / push around / toss about. From Zaranda.
  46. zaratán: Breast cancer. From the Arabic saratan: crab.
  47. zarazán:
  48. zarco
  49. zarracatín
  50. zarzahán
  51. zatara
  52. zéjel
  53. zoco: market in an Arab country. From Arabic suuq, market.[citation needed] Not to be confused with other meanings of zoco.
  54. zofra
  55. zorzal: Thrush, intelligent person. From Andalusi Arabic Zurzal, originally from classical Arabic zurzur.
  56. zubia: Place where a large amount of water flows. From Arabic Zubya.
  57. zulaque
  58. zulla
  59. zumaque: sumac. From Arabic simaq of the same meaning.
  60. zumo: fruit juice. From Arabic zum.
  61. zuna: Sunnah, from Arabic Sunnah
  62. zurriaga or zurriago: Refers to a type of whip and to a lark. From Andalusi Arabic surriyaqa

Words with a coincidental similarity to Arabic and false arabisms

  • el: The Spanish definite articles el / la / lo / los / las, like most definite articles in the Romance languages, derive from the Latin demonstratives ille / illa / illud. The similarity to the Arabic article al is a mere coincidence. The exact Spanish article al is a contraction of a el, translated as "to the."
  • usted: The formal second-person pronoun usted is derived from a shortening of the old form of address Vuestra merced, as seen in dialectal Spanish vosted, Catalan vostè, etc. Usted is the remaining form from a number of variants used in Renaissance Spanish, such as Usté, Uced, Vuesa Merced, Vuesarced, Vusted, Su Merced, Vuesasted or Voaced.[19] The possibility of a link with the Arabic word ustādh ('mister'/'professor'/'doctor') seems very remote.
  • paella: It is commonly believed in certain Arabic countries that the rice dish paella comes from the Arabic baqiya (meaning leftovers). The Spanish pronunciation of paella is similar to the Arabic "baqiya", particularly where the latter is pronounced with a silent qaaf as in a number of eastern Arabic dialects. Nevertheless, the word paella is a Catalan word of Latin origin and refers to the pan in which it is cooked, with Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese cognates Padilla, Padella, Poêle and Panela.
  • alrededor: This is commonly mistaken by learners of Spanish as an Arabic loanword because of al. The term, meaning "around", is a compound form of al + rededor, wherein al is a Spanish term itself, a contraction of a el, translated as "to the", rededor is a variant of derredor and redor, meaning surrounding, which evolved from Latin retrō, meaning "back".

Other influences

The Verb–subject–object (VSO) sentence structure

As in most Romance languages, word order in Spanish is primarily governed by topicalization and focalization. This means that in practice the main syntactic constituents of a Spanish sentence can be in any order. However, as all Romance languages, Spanish is classified in linguistic typology as an SVO language, because this order of constituents is considered the most unmarked one.

In 1981, Spanish philologist Rafael Lapesa hypothesized that VSO sentence orders being more frequent in Spanish and Portuguese than other Romance languages was likely due to a Semitic (presumably Arabic) input in the language. Lapesa at the time considered that the topic had not been sufficiently investigated and required a more rigorous comparative study of Spanish with other Romance and Semitic languages.[20]

A 2008 study concludes that, although the earliest documentation written in Spanish (13th century) can be analysed as having a VSO order, this does not affect documents written after that time.[21]

A 2012 comparative study of Spanish, Italian and French showed French to be the most strictly Subject–verb–object (SVO) language of the three followed by Italian. In terms of constituent order, Spanish is the least restricted among the three languages, French is the most restricted, and Italian is intermediate. In the case of French, this is the result of a historical process, as old French was less restricted in word order. As for the VSO order, it is absent from both French and Italian, but not from Spanish.[22]

The suffix í

Arabic has a very common type of adjective, known as the nisba or relationship adjective, which is formed by adding the suffix -ī (masc.) or ية -iyya (fem.) to a noun. This has given Spanish the suffix -í (both masc. and fem.), creating adjectives from nouns which indicate relationship or belonging. Examples are marbellí, ceutí, maghrebí, zaragocí, andalusí or alfonsí.


A number of expressions such as "¡Ole!" (sometimes spelled "olé" ), possibly from wa'llah, or ojalá, from law sha'a Allah, have been borrowed directly from Arabic. Furthermore, many expressions in Spanish might have been calqued from their Arabic equivalent. Examples would be si Dios quiere, que Dios guarde or bendito sea Dios.


The Idafa was a feature of the Mozarabic dialects which had a major formative on modern Spanish. Although this morphological structure is no longer in use, it is still widely present in toponyms throughout Spain including names of recent origin such as the suburban colonies of Ciudalcampo and Guadalmar in Madrid and Malaga respectively.

Toponyms (place names) in Spain of Arabic origin

There are thousands of place names derived from Arabic in the Iberian peninsula including provinces and regions, cities, towns, villages and even neighborhoods and streets. They also include geographical features such as mountains, mountain ranges, valleys and rivers. Toponyms derived from Arabic are common in Spain except for those regions which never came under Muslim rule or where it was particularly short-lived. These regions include Galicia and the Northern coast (Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque country) as well as much of Catalonia, Navarre and northern Aragon. Regions where place names of Arabic origin are particularly common are Balearics, Eastern Coast (Valencia and Murcia) and Andalusia. Those toponyms which maintained their pre-Islamic name during the Muslim period were generally Arabized, and the mark of either the old Arabic pronunciation or the popular pronunciation from which it derived is noticeable in their modern names: e.g. Hispalis - Ishbiliya - Sevilla.

Major towns, cities and regions

  • Albarracín City of Aragón. Derived from Al Banū Razin, name of the Berber family of the town.
  • Alcalá de Henares City in the Community of Madrid. Derived from al-qal'a (القلعة), meaning citadel or fortress. Henares also comes from the Arabic name for river: nahar.[citation needed]
  • Alcántara (several places) from Arabic al qantara (القنطرة), meaning "the bridge".
  • Alcarria Large plateau region east of Madrid covering much of Guadalajara as well as part of eastern Madrid and northern Cuenca. From Arabic al-qaryat.
  • Axarquía Eastern region of Málaga province, From Arabic Ash-sharquía(الشرقية): The eastern/oriental (region).
  • Andalucía Most populated and 2nd largest autonomous community in Spain. Derived from الأندلس, Al Andalus, the Arabic name for Muslim Iberia, ultimately from Vandal.
  • Albacete city and province of Castilla-La Mancha. Derived from Arabic Al-Basit (البسيط) (the plain).
  • Algarve Region of southern Portugal. From Arabic Al-Gharb (الغرب), the west.
  • Algeciras City and port in Cadiz province. Derived from Al Jazeera Al Khadra (الجزيرة الخضراء) meaning the green island.
  • Almería City and province of Andalucía. From Al-Meraya, the watchtower.
  • Alpujarras (originally Alpuxarras) Region extending South of Granada into Almería. From Arabic al-basharāt: The grasslands.[23]
  • Calatayud City of Aragón. Derived from Qal'at Ayyūb (Arabic قلعة أيوب) meaning "(Ayyūb's) Job's Fortress".
  • Gibraltar British overseas territory and name given to surrounding area in Southern Spain (Campo de Gibraltar). From Arabic (جبل طارق pronounced Jebel Tariq), "Mountain of Tariq", or Gibr al-Tariq meaning "Rock of Tariq".
  • Guadalajara City and province of Castilla la Mancha. From Wādī al-Ḥijārah (Arabic وادي الحجارة), River or canyon of Stones.
  • Jaén City and province of Andalusia From Arabic Jayyan, crossroads of caravans.
  • Medina-Sidonia: Town and municipality in Cadiz province, from Madina, city.
  • Tarifa town in Cadiz province, Andalusia. Originally Jazeera Tarif (جزيرة طريف): the island of Tarif. Derived from the first name of the Berber conqueror Tarif ibn Malik.
  • La Sagra, an arid region between Toledo and Madrid. Name derived from Arabic Sahra صحراء "desert".
  • Úbeda, a town in Jaén province, Andalusia. From the Arabic Ubadat el Arab.
  • Sanlúcar de Barrameda, a city in the northwest of Cádiz province, Andalusia. "Sanlúcar" may have derived from the Arabic shaluqa (شلوقة), the Arabic name for the Levant wind called sirocco or jaloque; "Barrameda" was derived from bar-am-ma'ida, an Arabic phrase for "water well of the plateau".

Geographical features

Given names and surnames

Given names

Almudena (from the Virgin of Almudena, patroness of Madrid, Spain) and Fátima (derived from Our Lady of Fátima) are common Spanish names rooted in the country's Roman Catholic tradition, but share Arabic etymologies originating in place names of religious significance. Guadalupe, a name present throughout the Spanish-speaking world, particularly in Mexico, also shares this feature.

A few given names of Arab origin have become present in the Spanish-speaking world. In Spain, this coincided with a more flexible attitude to non-Catholic names, which were highly discouraged during the first decades of the Francoist dictatorship.[24] Arabic names that have been present in Spain for many decades include Omar and Soraya. Zaida has also present in Spain, perhaps after Zaida of Seville, the mistress or wife of King Alfonso VI of Castile in the 11th century. A number of streets throughout Spain bear the name of this Muslim princess. Zahira and Zaira are also popular girls' names of Muslim origin. It is in the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in the African continent where Arabic given names are common.


Surnames of indirect Arabic origin, such as Medina, Almunia, Guadarrama or Alcaide, are common and often refer to toponyms or professions, but they are not of Arabic origin, properly speaking. Few Arabic surnames explicitly denote Arabic origin since in the 15th and the 16th centuries, religious minorities were required to change their surnames upon baptism to escape persecution. The Muslim minority was specifically compelled to convert and adopt Christian surnames by a series of royal decrees in the 16th century, when Morisco leader Muhammad Ibn Ummaya, for example, was born to the Christian name Fernando de Córdoba y Valor.

Exceptions to the general rule are rare, but one is the surname "Benjumea" or "Benjumeda", which denotes ancestry from the Ummayad nobility. Currently, fewer than 6,000 Spaniards have this surname. Another, even less common, surname denoting Muslim lineage is "Muley", which is still present in the Spanish South East, and was maintained for its noble lineage.[25]

See also


  1. ^ newspaper El Mundo, 7-nov-2010: La RAE avala que Burgos acoge las primeras palabras escritas en castellano (in Spanish)
  2. ^ "Mozarabs: Resistance and Accommodation". Retrieved 7 March 2021.
  3. ^ a b Dworkin, Steven N. (2012). A History of the Spanish Lexicon: A Linguistic Perspective. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 83. ISBN 0199541140.
  4. ^ Martínez Egido, José Joaquín (2007). Constitución del léxico español. p. 15.
  5. ^ Versteegh, Kees (2003). The Arabic language (Repr. ed.). Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 228. ISBN 0748614362.
  6. ^ Lapesa, Raphael (1960). Historia de la lengua española. Madrid. p. 97.
  7. ^ Quintana, Lucía; Mora, Juan Pablo (2002). "Enseñanza del acervo léxico árabe de la lengua española" (PDF). ASELE. Actas XIII: 705.: "El léxico español de procedencia árabe es muy abundante: se ha señalado que constituye, aproximadamente, un 8% del vocabulario total"
  8. ^ Macpherson, I. R. (1980). Spanish phonology. Manchester: Manchester University Press. p. 93. ISBN 0719007887.
  9. ^ La extraordinaria riqueza de nuestros arabismos
  10. ^ Corominas, Joan (1973). Breve diccionario etimológico de la lengua castellana (Madrid: Gredos)
  11. ^ "📌 abismal". Los diccionarios y las enciclopedias sobre el Académico (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  12. ^ see DRAE the Royal Academy Dictionary
  13. ^ "El español hablado en Andalucía". grupo.us.es. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  14. ^ a b The Diccionario de la Lengua Española of the Real Academia Española
  15. ^ DRAE: 'muslime'
  16. ^ http://buscon.rae.es/draeI/SrvltConsulta?TIPO_BUS=3&LEMA=ojalá DRAE entry
  17. ^ Kaye, Alan S. "Two Alleged Arabic Etymologies". Journal of Near Eastern Studies. 64 (2): 109–111. doi:10.1086/431686.
  18. ^ Corriente, Federico (1999). Diccionario de Arabismos y Voces Afines en Iberorromance (Dictionary of Arabisms and Related Words in Ibero-Romance). Gredo. pp. 485–596.
  20. ^ Historia de la lengua española, Madrid, Gredos (8.ª reimp. de la 9.ª de corr. y aum. 1981; 1.ª ed. 1942), Lapesa, R. (1995), § 36.6. El orden de palabras normal en la frase árabe y hebrea situa en primer lugar el verbo, en segundo el sujeto y a continuación los complementos. Como en español y portugués el verbo precede al sujeto con mas frecuencia que en otras lenguas romances, se ha apuntado la probabilidad de influjo semítico. La hipótesis necesitaría comprobarse con un estudio riguroso del orden de palabras español en sus distintas épocas y niveles, parangonado con el de las demás lenguas románicas, el árabe y el hebreo. Tal estudio no existe aún; las comparaciones parciales que hasta ahora se han hecho no son suficientes
  21. ^ Sobre el orden de constituyentes en la lengua medieval: la posición del sujeto y el orden básico en el castellano alfonsí, Cahiers d'Études Hispaniques Médiévales , p 208, (2008).
  22. ^ https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303989485_Word_order_in_French_Spanish_and_Italian_A_grammaticalization_account
  23. ^ entry for بشرات in almaany.com
  24. ^ Mundo, Beatriz Díez BBC. "España: "Cómo Franco influyó, entre otras cosas, en el nombre de mi madre"". BBC News Mundo (in Spanish). Retrieved 4 September 2019.
  25. ^ https://rua.ua.es/dspace/bitstream/10045/17610/1/Sharq%20Al-Andalus_13_09.pdf

Suggestions for further research

In the English language, search the online catalogs of United States university libraries using the Library of Congress (LC) subject heading, "Spanish language foreign elements".

When searching Spanish language Web sites, use the subject term, "arabismos".

Selected reference works and other academic literature

These works have not necessarily been consulted in the preparation of this article.

  • Abu-Haidar, J. A. 1985. Review of Felipe Maíllo Salgado, Los arabismos del castellano en la baja edad media (consideraciones históricas y filológicas). Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 48(2): 353-354. University of London. JSTOR 617561
  • Cabo Pan, José Luis. El legado del arabe. Mosaico 8:7-10. Revista para la Promoción y Apoyo a la Enseñanza del Español. Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia del Reino de España, Consejería de Educación y Ciencia en Bélgica, Países Bajos y Luxemburgo. [Article with convenient, short word lists, grouped by theme. In PDF. Refer to Mosaico's portal page. ]
  • Corominas, Joan. 1980-1991. Diccionario crítico etimológico castellano e hispánico. Madrid: Gredos. The first edition, with the title Diccionario crítico etimológico de la lengua castellana (1954–1957) includes an appendix that groups words according to language of origin.
  • Corriente, Federico. 2003. Diccionario de arabismos y voces afines en iberorromance. (2nd expanded ed.; 1st ed. 1999) Madrid: Gredos. 607 p.
  • Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy). Diccionario de la lengua española (DRAE), online.
  • Maíllo Salgado, Felipe. 1991/1998. Los arabismos del castellano en la Baja Edad Media : consideraciones históricas y filológicas. Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca. 554 p. [2nd ed., corrected and enlarged; 1st ed. 1983]
  • Ibid. 1996. Vocabulario de historia árabe e islámica. Madrid: Akal. 330 p.
  • Marcos Marín, Francisco 1998 Romance andalusí y mozárabe: dos términos no sinónimos. Estudios de Lingüística y Filología Españolas. Homenaje a Germán Colón. Madrid: Gredos, 335-341.
  • Ibid. 1998 Toledo: su nombre árabe y sus consecuencias lingüísticas hispánicas. Revista del Instituto Egipcio de Estudios Islámicos en Madrid, XXX, 1998, 93-108.
  • Sola-Solé, Josep María. 1983. Sobre árabes, judíos y marranos y su impacto en la lengua y literatura españolas. Barcelona: Puvill. 279 p.
  • Spaulding, Robert K. 1942/1971. How Spanish Grew. Berkeley: University of California Press. Chapter 5: "Arabic Spain", pp. 53–62.
  • Toro Lillo, Elena. La invasión árabe. Los árabes y el elemento árabe en español. In the Cervantes Virtual Library. Includes a brief list of historical sound changes. Useful bibliography.

Selected resource pages of universities and research institutes

External links

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