20+ Words Of Arabic Origin In Spanish

20+ Words Of Arabic Origin In Spanish

There is barely a language within Europe which has no borrowed vocabulary. In many cases, the borrowed words come from completely different cultural environments interacting with the European continent throughout history. Some of the influences were peaceful and entered Europe via trade routes. Other ones came with the conquerors and brought devastations first rather than linguistic interchanges. And, of course, most of those influences are combined.

Warriors And Architects

It´s not hard to guess that Spanish is a prime example of those ambiguous linguistic influences. And it´s almost obvious that I am talking about Arabic influence on the Spanish language. From 718 to 1492 most of the Iberic Peninsula was under the rule of several Muslim kingdoms. This period, ended by the Reconquista, has put a huge impact on Spanish culture, science, architecture and language. So, if you are learning Spanish on the beginner´s level and wondering why so many Spanish words start with “al”, this post is for you!

Alcohol and More

The words of Arabic origin in Spanish make up between 5% and 10% of the vocabulary. Some of them are present in everyday communication and describe ordinary things like fruits and vegetables, furniture and parts of a house etc. Other ones are terms from chemistry, physics, astronomy, mathematics and arts. So it was a headache for me to pick up the most common of the thousands of words useful for an average Spanish learner. But I tried to do my best, and yes, we will start with a headache!

JAQUECA

migraine, severe headache

TAHÚR

gambler, cardsharp

AZOTEA

1) terrace roof

2) head (coll.)

ALCOBA

bedroom

TORONJA

grapefruit

ALBARICOQUE

apricot

ZANJA

ditch, trench

AJEDREZ

chess

BARRIO

neighbourhood

SANDÍA

watermelon

ADUANA

customs

ALGODÓN

cotton

BERENJENA

aubergine, eggplant

GUITARRA

guitar

HAZAÑA

a feat, great deed, heroic deed

ALCALDE

mayor

TAREA

task

ALFOMBRA

carpet

JINETE

horseman, rider

JABALÍ

wild boar

ALMOHADA

pillow

What are your favourite words of Arabic origin in Spanish? Feel free to share your thoughts to contact@lingvosofo.com!

Share With Freinds