List of Spanish words of various origins

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This is a list of Spanish words of various origins. It includes words from Australian Aboriginal languages, Balti, Berber, Caló, Czech, Dravidian languages, Egyptian, Hungarian, Ligurian, Mongolian, Slavic (such as Old Church Slavonic, Polish, Russian, and Croatian). Some of these words existed in Latin as loanwords from other languages. Some of these words have alternate etymologies and may also appear on a list of Spanish words from a different language.

Australian Aboriginal languages[edit]


  • polo= polo: from English polo (1872), from Balti polo, "ball," from the same family as Tibetan bo-lo "ball."



Dravidian languages[edit]

  • abalorio = glass bead: from Arabic al-ballūri (البلوري) "of the crystal," from al "the," + ballūr "crystal, beryllium," from Ancient Greek beryllos (βήρυλλος) (l and r switched places through metathesis: ballūr from beryllos), from brullion, from Prakrit veruliya (भेरुलिय), from Pāli veuriya (भेउरिय); possibly from or simply akin to a Dravidian source represented by Tamil veiruor, viar (வெஇருஒர்; விஅர்), "to whiten, become pale."[1]
  • brillante = brilliant, diamond: from brillar "to shine," see brillar below
  • brillar = to shine: possibly from Latin beryllus, "beryllium," from Ancient Greek beryllos (βήρυλλος), see abalorio above
  • mango= mango: from English mango, from Portuguese manga, from Tamil mānkāy (மன்கய்) "mango fruit," from mān "mango tree" + kāy "fruit."
  • mangosta = mongoose: from French mangouste, from Portuguese mangús, from Marathi mangūs (मंगूस) "mongoose," of Dravidian origin.
  • paliacate= handkerchief: shortened from pañuelo de Paliacate, "handkerchief from Paliacte," from Spanish name for Pulicat, a town in the Tiruvallur District, in the state of Tamil Nadu, India. The Spanish pañuelo de Paliacate is a partial calque of French mouchoirs de Paliacate (1788).

The Real Academia Española (Spanish Royal Academy) notes that Paliacate comes from the nahualt language. Pal: colour Yacatl: nose.

  • paria= pariah, outcast: from Tamil paraiyan "pariah," literally "one who plays the drum," (the pariahs of south India were originally a caste of Untouchables that played drums [2]), from parai drum, possibly from parāi to speak.





  • hoz = sickle: from Latin falx "sickle, scythe," possibly from Ligurian. For the change from f in falx to h in hoz see here.


  • mongol = a Mongol: from Mongolian Mongol "a Mongol," documented first in Chinese měng-kǔ, from uncertain source.

Slavic languages[edit]


  • vampire = vampire and vamp = a dangerously attractive woman: from Austrian German Vampyre "vampire," which in turn was borrowed from Serbian вампир (vampir), "vampire", "undead".


  • pistola = a pistol: from German Pistole "pistol," from Czech pištal, "pistol, tube."

Old Church Slavonic[edit]


  • polaco = a Polack: from Polish pol- "field, wide and flat territory."
  • polka



See also[edit]


  • "Breve diccionario etimológico de la lengua española" by Guido Gómez de Silva (ISBN 968-16-2812-8)
  1. ^ Harper, Douglas (2001). "Online Etymology Dictionary".