1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Spanish
  4. >
  5. List of Spanish words with an…


List of Spanish words with an Arabic origin (Updated)

Update: Originally a Spanishdict.com article, I expanded the definitions from the Wikipedia article that (malkeynz) provided on the comment section :)

Then verified all of them using multiple etymological & reference dictionaries.

(All sources are available at the end of the post.)

<h1>Arabic words in the Spanish language //</h1>

aceite: oil / (From Arabic الزيت 'az-zeite')

aceituna: olive / (From Arabic الزيتون‎ 'az-zeituna')

alcohol: alcohol / (From Arabic 'الكحول 'al-kuhul')

alfombra: carpet; rug / (two meanings from 'al-jomra' and 'al-homra')

álgebra: algebra / (From Al-Khwarizmi's book "Hisab 'al-jabr' w’al-muqabala")

algodón: cotton / (From Arabic "al-qútun (القطن)", same meaning )

almohada: pillow / (From Arabic 'al-makhada' w/ same meaning.)

asesinos: assassins / (From Arabic 'al 'ashasheen', someone who's addicted to drugs.)

azar: luck; chance / (From Arabic az-zahr "the dice" or North African Arabic az-zhar "luck".)

azúcar: sugar / (From Arabic (السكر) asukar of the same meaning.)

azul: blue / (Derived from Arabic (ازورد) azurd, in latin 'lapis lazuli' an Afghan precious stone)

café: coffee / (From qahwa (قهوة) of the same meaning.)

cero: zero / (From sifron (صفر) of the same meaning.)

hasta: until / (From Arabic 'hatta' with the same meaning, and Latin phrase: 'ad ista')

jarabe: syrup / (From Arabic 'Sharabe'. Usually in the context of cough syrup or linctus.)

jarra: pitcher or pot / (From arabic 'jarrah', in english jar.)

jirafa: giraffe / (From zirafa, of the same meaning)

lima: lime / (From Arabic limah, of the same meaning)

limón: lemon / (From laymoon (ليمون), derived from the Chinese word limung.)

loco: crazy / (From Arabic lawaq (لَوَق) , meaning "fool.")

naranja: orange / (from Arabic (نارنج) nāranj, fr Persian nārang, fr Sanskrit nāranga)

ojalá: I hope; I wish that.. / (From Insha'Allah "God willing." )

rincón: corner / (From Andalusi Arabic 'rukan', derived from classical Arabic 'Rukn')

taza: cup / (From Arabic 'Tasa' طاسة , meaning Goblet, Cup or Jorum.)

& The most astonishing discovery for me =D

"Adobe" from Arabic 'Attúb' (الطوب) , with the same meaning "mud brick"






Más artículos:





April 6, 2015



Great thread, Aero 2! Well, 8 centuries of Arab presence in Spain have indeed left an indelible mark on the Spanish language, arquitecture and culture. Arabic then was also the language of knowledge and translations. Here is an interesting article (with good sources) about how some Arab words have been integrated into Spanish with a slightly different meaning, and how some have evolved into their current meaning: "Si habla español… ya sabe más árabe del que imagina" (http://www.btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tpv2guides/guides/caleid/index-fra.html?lang=fra&lettr=indx_titls&page=9GLDPO4XAlu8.html). Hope you like it / "Ojalá" te guste :)


I was looking into the history and apparently the Arab presence left a very strong influence in Spain and throughout Europe.


Muy interesante. ¡Gracias por compartir!


Love it! It's fascinating to see how languages share with one another. Shukran!


Never fails to surprise me either =)


they are more like common words, not Arabic-loan words in Spanish. I didn't go through the whole list but for example baño is western-origin word. Bagno is the italian version with the same pronunciation. It has Latin and Ancient Greek roots.



¡Qué interesante! Gracias, Aero02.


I learned recently that "al" is the arabic word for "the". When Arabic words moved into Spanish the "al" went with the word. In some cases the "al" got changed to "a". For example Spanish "azucar" (sugar) came from "al sukkar". That's why there are so many Arabic-origin words that start with "a" or "al" in Spanish.


it didn't get changed to 'a' it's just that in arabic 'al' is sometimes pronounced as 'al' and sometimes as 'a' depending on the letter that proceeds it.


Ah, thanks for that clarification.


Nice job really thanks


Arabic is my first language and i dont recognize most of the words...mmm....but the standard arabic is different than the dialect aaaannnddddd there are manyyyyyy dialects in arabic hahah... thanks though :)


Well, you may not recognize the "Westernized" or phonetic versions of it. Nevertheless, all words are perfectly verifiable on any dictionary.. an online dict like this one can amply do the work.. So no special needs to be a native in that case :)

As for dialects, you're probably right. It is very likely that some of the words are mainly used on specific dialects .. & common sense is that all dialects originated from classical Arabic.. !


true... and yes...allllll dialects originated from classical Arabic but this doesnt mean one can understand all those dialects :) for example, i dont understand tunisians, moroccans, khaliji, and even egyptians when they speak...sometimes, if they're talking slowly, i get 10% of what they're saying...


Elan, This is so fascinating to me. I don't know your native country, but the fact that you have a hard time understanding Tunisians, Moroccans, annd Egyptians is so interesting. The written Arabic, however, must be the same for all these different countries, correct? I had no idea the spoken language was not a common among all Arabic speakers worldwide. Y Buena suerte con tu español también. Gracias.


Talca, I am Lebanese. The Lebanese Arabic dialect is easier and simpler than most of the other Arabic dialects. But Syrian, Palestinian, and Jordanian dialects are close to the Lebanese one, so i get 95-98% of what Syrians, Palestinians, and Jordanians say. I even get 80-90% of the Iraqi dialect when spoken slowly. Some find the Egyptian dialect easy to understand, maybe because they watch a lot of Egyptian shows, movies and listen to Egyptian songs , but i get only 30 to 50% of it when spoken slowly. And as i mentioned in a earlier post, i find it hard to understand Moroccans, Tunisians, Liberians, and Khaliji; i rarely get what they're saying. However, the written Arabic, or modern standard Arabic (MSA), is the same for all countries. All Arabs learn MSA at school. We'd all understand each other if we used MSA in our daily lives, but we dont...personally, i forgot manyyyyyy of the MSA grammatical rules haha; i havent really used it since highschool...but i can read it well still


Elan, I can say that your English is really great. Thanks for enlightening me about Arabic.


Also the word (la cocina)


I thought it was from "culina", the Latin word for "kitchen". I know it's "cucina" in Italian


I think you might be thinking of the reverse, Moroccan Arabic dialect took Couzina from Spanish. But Standard Arabic kitchen is Matbakh.

Learn Spanish in just 5 minutes a day. For free.