Home Language Learning 35 Spanish Phrases Utilized in English You Must Know!

35 Spanish Phrases Utilized in English You Must Know!

35 Spanish Phrases Utilized in English You Must Know!


scrabble word fiesta

The next 35 Spanish phrases are roughly frequent in American English. They’re utilized in Spanish virtually each day, so if you’re a local English speaker who needs to talk Spanish, it’s a superb start line!

Even in case you already know these phrases, you will need to perceive the variations in the best way they’re used between the 2 languages, particularly in case you ever plan on utilizing them in Spanish!

All through this checklist it is possible for you to to see and study how we native Spanish audio system use (or don’t!) these phrases, and you can be given, when obligatory, a fast clarification in regards to the variations between the English and Spanish meanings. On the finish of the publish, you need to know if you should use any one in every of these phrases in a Spanish-speaking setting or in case you would do higher to maintain quiet.

All these phrases have roughly the identical which means and utilization in Spanish and English these days.



an image of fans

1. Aficionado

In English, it’s somebody who could be very fascinated by and enthusiastic a couple of specific topic. I’ve seen a rise in using this phrase in English recently. You used to have soccer followers, now you might have sports activities aficionados. 

What’s funniest for me is the truth that in Spanish we extra usually use the phrase “fan” than aficionado. 

2. Alcalde

Alcalde (mayor, Justice of the Peace) has a Spanish origin.

Nonetheless, watch out the place you utter it as a result of it means “pimp” in Latin America!

3. Amigo

In English, amigo is used to handle or confer with a good friend predominantly in Spanish-speaking areas. Amigo comes from the Spanish phrase amigo, which comes from the Latin phrase amicus (good friend), which is derived from the verb amare (to like). Possibly that is why we love everyone in Spain!

4. Buckaroo

The phrase buckaroo comes from Spanish vaquero (cowboy), which is an individual who manages cattle whereas mounted on horseback. The phrase vaquero derived from the phrase vaca (cow), which was borrowed from Latin (vacca — cow).

5. Caballero

Caballero, which has the which means of knight or gentleman in English, comes from the Spanish phrase caballero. A caballero is somebody who rides a caballo (horse), caballo comes from the Latin caballus (horse).

6. Cannibal

In English, a cannibal is an individual who eats the flesh of different human beings. Cannibal comes from the Spanish phrase caníbal, which is only a variation of the phrase caríbal, which in flip derives from the phrase Caribe (Caribbean, Carib). 

7. Conquistador

Conquistador comes from Spanish conquistador, which is derived from conquista (conquest). Conquista was the results of borrowing the Latin phrase conquisita, which suggests conquest.

8. Desperado

Desperado is an adaptation of the Spanish phrase desesperado, which suggests determined.

By the best way, try these Spanish-speaking singers and take heed to Marta Sánchez’s track “Desesperada.” Attractive at its greatest!

9. Matador

Matador actually means “an individual who kills.” It comes from the Spanish infinitive matar (to kill, to slaughter).

Curiously sufficient, folks in Spain are inclined to keep away from utilizing the phrase matador. They usually say torero (bullfighter), which is mainly an individual who fights toros (bulls).

10. Peon

Peon comes from Spanish peón, which is used to explain any sort of laborer. Think about an individual who has to work arduous to earn their cash, who comes dwelling stuffed with grime and drained as a mug. There you might have your peón.


an image of albatros

11. Albatross

It’s a big white fowl with lengthy, robust wings that lives close to the ocean. 

Arabic had the phrase al-gattas, which suggests “the diver.” From there, Spanish acquired the phrase alcatraz (gannet), which entered English as albatross. Then a bizarre factor occurred, Spanish borrowed this phrase again from English, thus giving us our present-day Spanish albatros!

12. Burro

The Spanish burro derived from Latin burricus, which suggests “small horse.” 

13. Zorro

Zorro comes from the Spanish zorro, which is fox. Foxes are recognized for being intelligent, and you’ll say of somebody that they’re un zorro as a result of they’re simply too sensible!


two men in sobreros playing musical instruments and singing

14. Bandolier

The phrase bandolier comes from the Spanish bandolera, which is a band that crosses from one shoulder to the alternative hip the place bandoleros used to place their weapons, and in addition bandolero (one who wears a bandolera, i.e., most likely a bandit).

Nonetheless, in case you put on one thing throughout your chest these days, you say in Spanish llevar algo en bandolera (to hold throughout the shoulder).

15. Sombrero

The phrase sombrero comes from Spanish sombrero, which suggests, actually, “shade maker.” Straightforward!


wine shop

16. Bodega

Bodega comes from Spanish bodega (cellar), which derived from Latin-Greek aphotheca. It’s attention-grabbing that the phrase aphotheca entered many different languages with the which means of pharmacy (take for example the Polish phrase apteka — pharmacy). 

17. Hacienda

The phrase hacienda, which means property, comes from the Outdated Spanish phrase fazienda. There are numerous Spanish phrases beginning with h- that used to start with f- in Outdated Spanish. 

Meals and Drink

chorizo sausage on the chopping board

18. Cacao

Cocoa comes from Spanish cacao, which derived from Nahuatl cacáhuatl. If you recognize some Spanish, you need to acknowledge this phrase, because it has given us one other, additionally scrumptious, meals: el cacahuete (the peanut). Manteca de cacahuete (peanut butter), anybody?

19. Chorizo

A chorizo is a spiced pork sausage most likely recognized worldwide. 

That being stated, there’s one other which means of the phrase that’s not so scrumptious. A chorizo is a thief, and it has been constantly used to explain some Spanish politicians prior to now few years. 

20. Daiquiri

Daiquiri comes from the title Daiquiri, a port metropolis in Jap Cuba.

Daiquiris comprise rum, numerous rum. Cuba’s most well-known alcoholic drink is rum… I’m simply connecting some dots right here.

21. Oregano

Oregano entered English through Spanish orégano, which suggests oregano or marjoram.

22. Tapas

The phrase tapas comes from the phrase tapar (to cowl). Again within the Center Ages, when you could possibly not discover a single tavern with out flies, these little bugs had an inclination to style the drinks served. I suppose they acquired drunk and died contained in the beverage… Till one sensible particular person thought it might be attention-grabbing to cowl the glass with one thing in between sips. They began utilizing a loaf of bread, then chorizo was added… You’ll be able to think about the remainder.

If you wish to know different curious info in regards to the origin of tapas, I like to recommend you go to this web page.

23. Vanilla

Vanilla comes from Spanish vainilla, which in flip comes from Latin vaina (pod).

As you might already know, the Spanish suffix -illo/-illa is used as a diminutive, so a vainilla could be a small vaina.

24. Yerba buena

Yerba buena comes from Spanish yerbabuena, which, actually translated, means “good herb.”

Music and Dance

man and woman dancing tango on the street

25. Flamenco

Flamenco is a type of music genres you both love or hate.  Even folks from the South of Spain, the place flamenco originated, are divided into flamenco lovers and flamenco… not lovers.

The phrase flamenco is used to outline a sort of music and dance carried out primarily by folks of Gypsy origin. The phrase flamenco comes from the Center Dutch phrase vlaminc (which suggests “from Flanders”), as a result of prior to now there was a principle that stated Gypsies have been of Germanic origin.

26. Rumba

Rumba comes from Spanish rumba, which is that not possible dance all my associates have mastered to perfection and I’m not even capable of describe.

If you happen to like rumba, I actually advocate you get aware of the rumba catalana. I like it!

27. Tango

Tango is a type of horny phrases the Spanish language has given the world. Without cost.

Whether or not you understand how to bop a tango or not, simply keep in mind it’s a phrase of Spanish origin. If you wish to pronounce it accurately in Spanish, it needs to be stated tan-goh


dressed up in a party clothing people laughing

28. Fiesta

I nonetheless haven’t met an individual in the entire world who doesn’t know or has not heard in regards to the phrase fiesta. 

What’s true is that the phrase fiesta entered English by way of Spanish. We even have fiesta (get together), which comes from Latin festa.

29. Siesta

Siesta comes from Latin sexta hora (the sixth hour). The sixth hour refers back to the prayer time at midday (six hours after daybreak), however Spanish siesta begins after consuming lunch, which might usually be 3 or 4 p.m.

If you’re in Spain, keep in mind that almost all outlets are closed throughout siesta time, which suggests if you must purchase one thing, you’ll have to wait till round 6 p.m.!

30. Adobe

Adobe is written precisely the identical each in English and Spanish. Adobe comes from the Arabic phrase al-tob, which suggests one thing alongside the strains of “mud brick.”

There’s one distinction between the English and the Spanish, although: pronunciation. Do not forget that in Spanish we usually learn phrases precisely how they’re written, so we are saying ah-dóh-beh.

31. Corralito

Corralito comes from the Spanish phrase corral, which, like in English, is a pen or farmyard. Initially, the phrase corralito was used to outline a closed playground the place kids might safely play with out escaping.

Nonetheless, the brand new definition of the phrase says {that a} corralito is a state of affairs the place a authorities closes the banks (the playground) so that cash (the kids) can’t be withdrawn (i.e., can’t escape). 

32. Campaign

Campaign is a mix of the Center French croisade and Spanish cruzado. Each phrases got here from Latin crux, crucis (cross).

Possibly you’ll be able to perceive now why the Stations of the Cross, or the Manner of the Cross, are referred to as Through crucis, and the way the phrase campaign has developed the which means it has right now from its place in historical past.

33. Galleon

Galleon comes from Spanish galeón, which is a big crusing ship with three or extra masts.

It’s attention-grabbing how the phrase in Spanish has its accent on the final syllable, whereas in English it’s on the primary one. 

34. Lolita

I used to be so stunned after I found this phrase is definitely of Spanish origin!

Lolita is the diminutive type of Lola, which in flip is brief for Dolores (a feminine correct noun which means “pains, sorrows”). That this phrase, intently associated to faith, ended up which means what it means right now is unusual to say the least.

35. Telenovela

The phrase telenovela is a fusion of two Spanish phrases: televisión (TV) and novela (novel). Watching a telenovela is certainly like watching a guide be scenified in your TV. Nonetheless, there’s a distinction between studying a novel and watching a telenovela. If you happen to select the latter, you’ll be able to very nicely spend six months of your life ready for the massive climax to occur!

These days, the phrase telenovela may also be utilized in Spanish to speak about folks whose lives look like a TV cleaning soap opera, stuffed with drama, cliffhangers and love tales that may go away you breathless:

Su vida parece una telenovela. ¡Se ha divorciado 4 veces ya! (Her life appears to be like like a telenovela. She has been divorced 4 occasions already!)

If you happen to take pleasure in studying a brand new language with movies like telenovelas, you’ll be able to strive FluentU. FluentU is a language studying web site and app that turns genuine, partaking video—like film trailers, music movies, commercials and galvanizing talks—into immersive classes. All movies are curated particularly for language learners by language consultants, so that you don’t have to trawl the web looking for really genuine (and level-appropriate) movies. Plus, you’ll be able to assessment what you study within the movies with multimedia flashcards and personalised quizzes. 


So there you might have it. 35 tremendous superior phrases of Spanish origin which have traveled time and house and have landed in American English.