List of Spanish words of Indigenous American Indian origin

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This is a list of Spanish words that come from Indigenous languages from America, it is called "americanism". It is further divided into words that come from Arawakan, Aymara, Carib, Mayan, Nahuatl, Quechua, Tarahumara, Tupi, and uncertain (the word is known to be from America, but the exact source language is unclear). Some of these words have alternate etymologies and may also appear on a list of Spanish words from a different language.

Alphabetic list[edit]

A[edit]

  • aguacate (Nahuatl awakatl)
  • ajolote (Nahuatl axolotl)
  • alpaca (Quechua allpaqa)
  • amate (Nahuatl amatl)
  • ambú
  • atole (Nahuatl atolli)

B[edit]

  • barbacoa
  • batata
  • bejuco
  • biznaga
  • bohío
  • boricua
  • borinqueño

C[edit]

  • cacahuate/cacahuete (Nahuatl kakawatl)
  • cacao (Nahuatl)
  • cacique
  • cacomistle, cacomiztle, cacomixtle (Nahuatl kakomixtli)
  • caimán
  • calpulli (Nahuatl kalpulli)
  • camelo
  • camote (Nahuatl kamohtli)
  • campechano
  • cancha (Quechua kancha)
  • caníbal
  • canoa
  • caoba
  • capulín
  • caraota
  • caribe
  • caribú
  • carioca
  • caraqueño
  • catre
  • caucho
  • casabe, cazabe
  • ceiba
  • chacra
  • chayote (Nahuatl chayotl)
  • chía
  • chicle (Nahuatl tsikitl)
  • chichimeca (Nahuatl chichimeka)
  • chilacayote (Nahuatl)
  • chile, chili (Nahuatl chilli)
  • Chile
  • chileno
  • chinchilla
  • chirimoya
  • choclo (ear of corn)
  • chocolate (Nahuatl xokolatl)
  • cigarro
  • condor (Quechua kuntur)
  • coyote (Nahuatl koyotl)
  • cuate

E[edit]

  • ejote
  • elote (Nahuatl elotl)

G[edit]

  • gaucho from Quechua and Mapuche (Mapudungu) "Argentine cowboy"
  • guacamaya, guacamayo
  • guacamole (Nahuatl awakamolli <awakatl+molli>)
  • guaco, huaco
  • guagua ('child', Quechua wawa)
  • guajolote (Nahuatl huehxōlōtl)
  • guarábana
  • guanaco (Quechua wanaku)
  • guano
  • guaraní
  • guayaba
  • güiro

H[edit]

  • Haiti (Ayiti)
  • hamaca
  • henequén
  • hicaco
  • hule
  • huracán

I[edit]

  • iguana
  • inca (Quechua inka)
  • ixtle (Nahuatl)

J[edit]

  • jacal
  • jaguar (Guaraní)
  • jíbaro
  • jícama (Nahuatl xikámatl)
  • jícara
  • jitomate
  • jobo

L[edit]

  • lempira
  • loro
  • llama (Quechua)(animal)

M[edit]

  • macana
  • macanudo
  • maguey
  • maiz
  • mamey
  • mandioca (Nheengatu/Guaraní manio'k / mandio)
  • mangle
  • maní
  • maraca
  • maracuyá
  • mate ('drink')
  • maya
  • mecate (Nahuatl mekatl)
  • mesquite
  • milpa (Nahuatl milpan)
  • mixteco (Nahuatl mixtekatl)
  • mole ('sauce', Nahuatl molli)

N[edit]

  • nahua
  • náhuatl
  • nana
  • nene
  • nigua
  • nopal (Nahuatl nopalli)

Ñ[edit]

  • ñandú
  • ñapa, yapa

O[edit]

  • ocelote (Nahuatl ocelotl)
  • ocote (Nahuatl okotl)
  • olmeca (Nahuatl olmekatl)

P[edit]

  • palta
  • pampa (Quechua)
  • papa
  • papaya
  • patata
  • pécari
  • petaca
  • petate
  • pinole
  • popote
  • poroto
  • potosí
  • pozole
  • pulque
  • puma (Quechua)

Q[edit]

  • quechua
  • quetzal (Nahuatl)
  • quiltro
  • quisqueyano

S[edit]

  • sabana
  • sealey
  • sonsote, cenzotle
  • soroche

T[edit]

  • tobacco
  • taco
  • tamal (Nahuatl tamalli)
  • tamandua
  • tapioca
  • tapir
  • tarahumara
  • tepehuán (Nahuatl)
  • tequila (Tecuilah)
  • tiburón
  • tiza
  • tolteca
  • tomate (Nahuatl tómatl)
  • tucán
  • tuna
  • tuza (Nahuatl)

V[edit]

  • vicuña

Y[edit]

Z[edit]

  • zacate (Nahuatl zakatl)
  • zapallo
  • zapote (Nahuatl zapotl)
  • zapoteca (Nahuatl zapotekatl)
  • zarigüeya
  • zopilote (Nahuatl zopilotl)

List by language of origin[edit]

Arawakan[edit]

Iguana Cocoa Barbecue Hurricane Hammock Savannah Tobacco Papaya Canoe Potato Jamaica Guava

Aymara[edit]

Carib[edit]

  • arepa = a typical maize bread ; a pancake, a thin cake, fried or roasted made of maize flour (from Carib arepa)
  • canoa = a typical dugout canoe made by the native Amerindians (from Carib kanawa)
  • curiara = a typical dugout canoe made by the native Amerindians (from Carib kurijara)

Mayan[edit]

chuco = adv (comp)

Nahuatl[edit]

Quechua[edit]

Quechuan /ˈkɛtʃwən/, also known as runa simi ("people's language"), is a Native South American language family spoken primarily in the Andes, derived from a common ancestral language. It is the most widely spoken language family of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, with a total of probably some 8 million to 10 million speakers

Tarahumara[edit]

Tupi–Guarani languages[edit]

Yaqui[edit]

  • buqui = boy/child
  • bichi = nude

uncertain derivation[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • "Breve diccionario etimológico de la lengua española" by Guido Gómez de Silva (ISBN 968-16-2812-8)