Arabic influence on the Spanish language

Arabic influence on the Spanish language has been significant, due to the Islamic presence in the Iberian peninsula between 711 and 1492 A.D. (see Al-Andalus).

Modern day Spanish language (also called castellano in Spanish) first appeared in the small Christian Kingdom of Castile in Northern Spain during this period of Islamic domination over most of the Iberian peninsula. As a result, the language was influenced by Andalusi Arabic practically from its inception. Arabic imprint on the language increased as the Kingdom of Castile expanded into Muslim lands where the Castilian language had never been spoken and as arabized Christians (Mozarabs) from Al Andalus emigrated northwards during times of sectarian violence, and particularly as a result of the Almoravid conquest in the 12th century. Although the degree to which Arabic percolated the peninsula is the subject of academic debate, it is generally agreed that Arabic was used among the local elites and local Arabic-influenced Romance dialects, known collectively as Mozarabic were more prevalent as the vernacular language. Only the kingdom of Granada, under the Nasrid dynasty was totally arabized after many centuries of Muslim rule.

Modern Spanish is thus a mixture of Old Castilian and the Mozarabic dialects which it absorbed. This fusion explains why Spanish has, in many cases, both Latin and Arabic derived words for the same meaning. For example, aceituna and oliva (olive), alacrán and escorpión (scorpion), jaqueca and migraña (migraine) or alcancía and hucha (piggy bank). The imprint of Mozarabic and Arabic is evidently more noticeable in the southern dialects of Peninsular Spanish than in the northern ones.

A small number of words have also been borrowed from Moroccan Arabic both due to geographic proximity, but principally as a result of Spain's protectorate over Spanish Morocco in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Although the influence of Arabic on Spanish is fundamentally lexical, other influences are briefly examined in this article.

Lexical influence

It is estimated that there are over four thousand Arabic loanwords in the Spanish language (including derivations) and well over one thousand Arabic roots, making up around 8% of the Spanish language. This makes Arabic the largest influence on Spanish after Latin.

A majority of these are nouns, with a more limited number of verbs, adjectives, adverbs and prepositions, thus not substantially changing the grammar or basic structure of the language. The exact number of words of Arabic origin in Spanish is not known and many words not included on this list are regionalisms: words which are used in certain parts of Spain and/or Latin America but are generally unknown elsewhere.

List of words of Arabic origin

This is an open list of Spanish words acquired directly from Classical and Andalusi Arabic, listed in alphabetical order. This list includes the Spanish meaning of the word as well as the Arabic etymology. No fixed standard of Arabic transliteration is used.

Rationale for inclusion

Due to the heavy influence of Arabic on Spanish, this list is relatively restrictive:

  • This list has been edited to include only words which are considered to appertain to the Spanish language and the Hispanic culture and society. Arabic words which may be understood by Spanish speakers, but remain foreign to the Hispanic civilisation such as Yihad or Chiita, are excluded from this list.
  • Only words which have passed directly from Arabic are included. Arabic words which entered the Spanish language through other, non-Iberian, European languages (such as Beduino, Sofá or sorbete) are not included.
  • Generally, only Spanish root words are listed, derivations not being included. For example, aceite (from az-zeit, oil) is included but not aceitería, aceitero, aceitón or aceitoso. On the other hand, aceituna (olive) is included since it derives not from az-zeit but from az-zeituna in Arabic, even though the root of the Arabic word is the same. Aceituno (olive tree), on the other hand, would not be included, since it shares the same root as aceituna. An exception to this rule may be made when the derived word is much more commonly used than the root word, when the meaning of the derivative has no evident connection with the root word or when it is not clear that one is derived from the other (e.g. horro and ahorrar).
  • Words derived from Mozarabic are not included (Mozarabic being fundamentally a Romance language), unless the Mozarabic word is itself derived from classical or Andalusi Arabic.
  • Words acquired from Berber or Hebrew (or other Afro-Asiatic languages) are not included.

The etymology and meaning of most of these words can be verified on the site of the Real Academia de la Lengua Española, although a small minority are only available in other sources or past editions of this dictionary.

A (Ababol to Alguaza)

  1. ababol: Poppy. In Aragon, Navarre, Albacete and Murcia. From Andalusian Arabic Happapáwr, a fusion of the Arabic word Hab (حب) "seed" and the Latin papāver.
  2. abacero: owner of an abacería, small food shop. From Andalusi Arabic SaHb azzád (صاحب الزاد) "owner of the supplies."
  3. abadí: descendant/lineage of Mohammed ben Abad, founder of the Taifa Kingdom of Seville in the 11th century AD. From Andalusi Arabic abbadi (عبّادي).
  4. abalorio: cheap jewelery or jewelery beads. From Andalusi Arabic al balluri (البلوري) "made of glass."
  5. abarraz: stavesacre (Delphinium staphisagria), a medicinal plant. From Andalusi Arabic Hab ar-ras (حب الرأس) "head seeds."
  6. abasí: pertaining to the Abbasid dynasty, which overthrew the Umayyads in the 8th century.
  7. abelmosco: musk seeds, an aromatic plant. From Andalusi Arabic Hab el musk (حب المسك) literally "musk seeds."
  8. abencerraje: used in expression: "Zegríes y abencerrajes", which means "partisans of opposite interests". The Abencerrajes (in Arabic aban as-sarráǧ) was an Arabic family of the Kingdom of Granada, rivals of the Zegríes in the 15th century.
  9. abenuz: ebony. From Arabic abanus (أبنوس) of the same meaning.
  10. abismal: screw in head of a spear. From Arabic al-mismar (المسمار) "nail."
  11. abitaque: a cut of wood used in construction of a certain shape and dimension. From Arabic Tabaqa (طبقة) "layer" or "intermediate chamber."
  12. acebibe: raisin. From Arabic zabib (زبيب) of the same meaning.
  13. acebuche: wild olive tree, or wood from such a tree. From Andalusi Arabic azzabbúǧ.
  14. aceche: copper, iron or zinc sulphate. From Arabic zāǧ.
  15. aceifa: Muslim summer military expedition. From Arabic Sa'ifah "harvest" or "summer expedition."
  16. aceite: oil. From Arabic az-zayt (الزيت) "oil."
  17. aceituna: olive. From Arabic الزيتون (az-zaytun) "olive."
  18. aceituní: precious cloth from the Orient. From Arabic az-zaytuni, a possible adaptation of the Chinese city Tsö-Thung.
  19. acelga: chard. From Arabic as-silqa of the same meaning.
  20. acémila: beast of burden; tax formerly paid in Spain. From Arabic az-zamilah "beast of burden."
  21. acemite: wheat husk; a type of wheat porridge. From Arabic as-samid (السميد).
  22. acenefa see cenefa.
  23. aceña: watermill. From Arabic as-saniyah "the lifter."
  24. acequia: irrigation canal. From Arabic as-saqiyah (الساقية)"the irrigator."
  25. acerola: fruit of the tree Malpighia emarginata or glabra, generally found in the Americas, of the Malpighiaceae family. This should be differentiated from the European service tree, Sorbus domestica, family Rosaceae. From Arabic zu 'rūrah (زعرورة). Originally from Syriac za‘rārā.
  26. acetre: bucket or Cauldron used to extract water from a well; small cauldron used to spray holy water in Christian liturgy. From Arabic as-saTl (السطل).
  27. aciar: (or acial): instrument used to keep farm-animals still by squeezing their ear or snout. From Arabic az-ziyār.
  28. acíbar: aloe (both the plant and its bitter juice); bitterness, grief, distaste. From Arabic aS-Sabr (الصّبر).
  29. acicalar: to clean or polish (Acicalarse in reflexive form); to make oneself look good by combing, shaving etc. From Arabic aS-Siqal, an instrument used for polishing things.
  30. acicate: spurs or the spikes on spurs; incentive. From Arabic (Muzil) as-siqaT "what takes away weaknesses."
  31. acidaque: Muslim dowry. From Arabic as-Sidaq, dowry in Islamic law.
  32. acimut: azimuth, an astrological concept - the angle with which the meridian forms a vertical circle which passes through a point in the globe. From Arabic assumut plural of samt.
  33. ación: handle on the stirrup. From Arabic suyūr (سيور), plural of sayr (سير) "strap."
  34. acirate: line of soil used to separate different plots of land; path between two lines of trees. From Arabic SirāT (صراط).
  35. acitara or citara: thin wall, normally on a bridge. From Arabic sitārah (ستارة), wall to avoid falls.
  36. achacar: to blame. From Arabic tashakkà (تشكى): to complain or to blame.
  37. adafina: pot used by Hebrews to cook. It is buried in embers on Friday night, where it cooks until Saturday. From Arabic: dafina (دفينة) "buried."
  38. adalid: leader; general of Spanish militia. From Arabic dalil (دليل).
  39. adaraja: each of the gaps made by the bricks in a horizonally unfinished wall. From daraja (درجة).
  40. adarga: leather shield. From Arabic daraqah.
  41. adárgama:(rarely used today) flour. From Arabic darmaka.
  42. adarme: small portion of something; type of measurement. From Arabic dirham (درهم).
  43. adarvar: to shock. From Arabic darb (ضرب) "blow."
  44. adarve: wall of a fortress; protection, defense. From Arabic darb (ضرب)
  45. adaza: sorghum. From Arabic duqsah.
  46. adefera: a small, square wall or floor tile. From Arabic add-ddafeera.
  47. adehala: that which is granted or taken as obligatory with the price in the leasing or sale of a property. From Mozarabic ad ihala and originally from Arabic ihala "offering credit."
  48. adelfa: oleander. From Arabic ad-difla (الدفلى) of the same meaning.
  49. ademán: gesticulation which expresses the will to do something. From Arabic aD-Daman (الضمان), literally meaning legal guarantees. The change of meaning is due to the exaggerated promises and gesticulations which were offered in such a plea.
  50. ademe: wooden structures used to strengthen tunnels in mines. From Arabic di'mah.
  51. aderra: cord used to press grapes or olives in order to obtain their juice. From Andalusi Arabic ad-dirra a noose or cord used to punish those who were guilty of fraud.
  52. adiafa: present or refreshment given to sailors when back from a voyage. From Arabic Diyafa (ضيافة) "present of hospitality."
  53. adivas: a disease provoking throat inflammation in animals. From Arabic aD-Dibbah "wolverine" - which is the old Arabic name for this disease.
  54. adive: a type of canid similar to a fox. From Arabic di'b (ذئب).
  55. adobe: brick made from clay. From Arabic at-tuba (الطوبة from Coptic tôbe) of the same meaning, and from ad-dabba.
  56. adoquín: paving-stone, cobble; block. From Arabic Dukkan bench of rock or wood.
  57. ador: in regions where water for irrigation is restricted and shared out by local authorities, irrigation-time for each farm/field. From Arabic dawr.
  58. aduana: customs house; customs. From Arabic diwan (ديوان).
  59. aduar: semi-permanent rural settlement, normally used for Gypsies, beduins or Amerindians in South America. From Bedouin Arabic duwwar.
  60. adúcar: type of silk made from the outside of the silk-worm's cocoon. From Andalusi Arabic Haduqa.
  61. adufe:tambourine used by Spanish Muslims. From Arabic Duff (دف).
  62. adul: in Morocco, asessor of the Cadí. From Arabic adl "trustworthy person."
  63. adula: see dula.
  64. adunia: (adverb) lots. From Andalusi Arabic addunya, originally from classical Arabic duniya (الدنيا) "the (whole) world."
  65. adutaque: same meaning as adárgama. From Arabic duqaq (دقاق) "fine flour."
  66. afán: effort; desire; zeal. From afanar.
  67. afanar: to steal; to work with passion. From Arabic fanaaʔ (فناء) "extinction," "annihilation through passion."
  68. aguajaque: the whitish resin of fennel. From Arabic aw-washaq "contaminated with water."
  69. agüela: Renta de los derechos sobre préstamos consignados en documento público. From Arabic Hawalah.
  70. ajabeba: Moorish flute. From Classical Arabic sabbabah.
  71. ajaquefa: Roof. Same origin as Azaquefa.
  72. ajaraca: Ornamental loop in Andalusian and Arabic architecture. From Andalusi Arabic Ash-sharakah "loop".
  73. ajarafe: terrace. From Classical Arabic saraf "commanding height."
  74. ajebe: Alum; Para rubber tree. From Arabic as-Shabb.
  75. ajedrea: plant of the family of the Labiadas, about three decimeters of height, very populated with branches and narrow leaves, of dark color. It is cultivated for adornment in the gardens. From Arabic assariyya or assiriyya, ultimately from Latin satureia.
  76. ajedrez: chess. From Arabic ash shitrang (الشطرنج).
  77. ajenuz: nutmeg flower or Roman coriander (Nigella Sativa). From Andalusi Arabic Shanuz and ultimately Classical Arabic Shuniz.
  78. ajimez: bent; window divided in the center by a vertical divider; salient balcony done of wood and with lattice windows. From Arabic samis.
  79. ajomate: pluricellular alga formed by very thin filaments, without knots, bright and of intense green color. It abounds in fresh waters of Spain. From Classical Arabic gumam.
  80. ajonjolí: sesame; herbaceous, annual plant of the family of the Pedaliaceae, a meter high, straight stem, serrate and almost triangular leaves, white or rosy corolla, and fruit with four delicate, yellowish, oily and edible capsules and many seeds. From Classical Arabic gulgulan "sesame."
  81. ajorca: bangle; type of gold hoop, silver or another metal, used by the women to adorn the wrists, arms or the feet. From Classical Arabic shuruk, ultimately from the word shirāk "strap."
  82. ajorrar: To drag, to tow. See Jorro.
  83. ajuagas: equine animal ulcers. From Classical Arabic shuqaq.
  84. ajuar: a collection of household and personal items (clothes, furniture, jewelry etc...) which women in Spain traditionally prepare from a young age for the day in which they marry and move in with their husband. From Arabic Shawar.
  85. alacena: cupboard. From Classical Arabic ẖizānah (خزانة).
  86. alacet: foundation of a building. From Classical Arabic asas (أساس).
  87. alacrán: scorpion. From Classical Arabic aqrab (عقرب) of same meaning.
  88. aladar: Tuft of hair which falls on either side of the head. From Arabic idar.
  89. aladroque: Anchovy. From Andalusi Arabic Al Hatruk, "big mouthed".
  90. alafa: wage; pay. From Classical Arabic alafah "subsistence allowance."
  91. alafia: grace; pardon; mercy. From Andalusian Arabic al afya ultimately from Classical Arabic afiyah (عافية) "health."
  92. alahílca: tapestry to adorn the walls. Perhaps of alailaca from Andalusian Arabic ilaqa, and this of Classical Arabic ilāqah (علاقة) perhaps meaning "hanger."
  93. alajor: Tax which was paid to owners of land where buildings were built. From Arabic Ashur, period of ten days before Easter when debts were paid and alms were given.
  94. alajú: Andalusian cake made of almonds, nuts, pine nuts, bread, spices and cooked honey. From al Hashu "filling".
  95. alamar: A type of decorative attachment which is buttoned on clothing. From Andalusi Arabic Alam, decoration (in clothes).
  96. alambique: alembic. From Arabic al-anbiq "the cup/container holding water", in turn fr Greek.
  97. alambor: Two meanings in Spanish with two different etymologies. 1)Embankment, from Andalusi Arabic Harabul "rim", from classical Arabic verb Hawwala, "to alter". 2) Type of Orange tree. From Catalan l'ambor, singular of els zambors, derived from Andalusi Arabic Azzambu.
  98. alamín: Village judge who decided on irrigation distribution or official who measured weights. From Arabic al amin.
  99. alamud: Steel bar used to close windows. From Arabic amud.
  100. alaqueca: A type of blood-coloured quartz. From Arabic 'aqiq.
  101. alárabe: Arab. From Andalusi Arabic (maintaining the definite article al arabi.
  102. alarde/alardear: To boast/to show off. From Arabic ,show (Alaard العرض)
  103. alarido: Scream. Possibly from Arabic Arir "exaltation", or from the Muslim expression (and warcry) la illah ila allah.
  104. alarife: 1)Architect 2) Builder (in mining) 2) Astute or quick witted person (in Argentina and Uruguay). From Arabic al 'arif: The expert.
  105. alarije (uva): A type of grape. From Arabic al'aris.
  106. alaroz: Crossbar which divides a window or a door. From Arabic al'arud: Obstacle placed to block entry.
  107. alaroza: Fiancée or newly wed wife. From Arabic Andalusi Arabic al arusa.
  108. alatar: Drug, spice or perfume dealer. From Arabic al attar.
  109. alatrón: Nitrate foam. From Arabic nattrun.
  110. alazán/alazano: Reddish cinnamon coloured. (Used commonly to describe horses). From Arabic al ashab.
  111. alazor: safflower. From Arabic al usfur.
  112. albacara: Wall around a fortress (within which cattle were normally kept. From Arabic bab al-baqqara The cattle door. baqara (بقرة) means "cow" in Arabic.
  113. albacea: executor (of a will). From Andalusi Arabic Sahb al Wassiya (صاحب الوصية); "the owner of the will".
  114. albacora: Albacore. From Arabic al-bakura "premature" or al-bakrah "young camel."
  115. albadena: Type of tunic or silk dress. From Arabic badan: Type of shirt which covers the torso.
  116. albahaca: Basil. From Arabic habaqah.
  117. albahío: Pale yellowish colour (used commonly for cattle). From Arabic bahi: Shining.
  118. albalá: Official document. From Arabic al bara'ah.
  119. albaida: Anthyllis cystoides (Flowering plant). From Arabic al baida: "The white one".
  120. albanega:1) Net used for hair. 2) Rabbit trap. From Arabic al baniqa.
  121. albañal: Sewer. From Andalusi Arabic al ballá: "Swallower".
  122. albañil: Construction worker. From Andalusi Arabic al banni. Originally from classical Arabic banna.
  123. albaquía: The remainder. From Arabic al-baqi (الباقي) of the same meaning.
  124. albarán: Invoice. From Arabic al-bara'ah.
  125. albarazo: Vitiligo. From Andalusi Arabic Al-Barash.
  126. albarda: Pack-saddle. From Arabic al-barda'ah.
  127. albardán: Clown or fool. From Andalusi Arabic albardán: "insolent". Originally from Classical Arabic bardan: "Idiot (Cold headed)".
  128. albardín: Plant endemic to the Spanish steppes, similar in nature and use to Esparto. From Arabic "al-bardi": "papyrus".
  129. albaricoque: Apricot. From Arabic al-barqouq (البرقوق) "plum" or "early-ripe."
  130. albarrada: 1) Same meaning as alcarraza (Clay vase). 2) Stone Wall. From Arabic al-barradah: "the cooler".
  131. albarrán: 1) Farm boy 2) Shepherd 3)Person with no fixed residence. From Andalusi Arabic al-barrani: "Outsider".
  132. albatoza: Small, covered boat. From Arabic al-gattosha: grebe (Due to the Arabic custom of giving names of birds to vessels.
  133. albayalde: Cerrusite. From Arabic al-bayad.
  134. albéitar: Vet. From Arabic al-baytar.
  135. albenda: Decorated white linen. From Arabic al-band.
  136. alberca: Water deposit for irrigation. From Arabic al-birka.
  137. albérchigo: Apricot tree. From Andalusi Arabic albershiq.
  138. albihar: Mayweed. From Arabic Al-Bahar.
  139. albitana: 1)Fence to protect plants in gardening. 2) Prolongation of the keel or stern post of a ship. From Arabic al-bitana.
  140. alboaire:
  141. albogue: Single-reed clarinet used in Spain. From Arabic al-bûq (البوق): The horn or the trumpet.
  142. alboheza
  143. albohol
  144. albollón
  145. albóndiga: meatball; ball. From Arabic al-bunduqa (البندقة) "the ball."
  146. albórbola
  147. alborga
  148. albornía
  149. albornoz: Bath-robe. From al-burnos (البرنس); "bathrobe".
  150. alboronía
  151. alboroque
  152. alboroto: Riot, joy. Comes from arabism alborozo (joy), from andalusí-arab al-burúz derived from Classical Arabic al-burūz, "military parade previous to a campaign".
  153. alborozo
  154. albotín
  155. albricias
  156. albudeca
  157. albufera
  158. albur
  159. alcabala: A tax.
  160. alcabor
  161. alcabtea
  162. alcacel
  163. alcachofa: Artichoke. From al-ẖarshoof of the same meaning.
  164. alcaduz: Water pipe. From Arabic Qâdûs (قادوس) meaning "water-wheel scoop"
  165. alcafar
  166. alcahaz: Birdcage. From Arabic qafaṣ (قفص) of the same meaning
  167. alcahuete: Accomplice, a person who helps another in a love affair, specially an illicit one; gossipy person. Alcahuete comes from hispanic arabic alqawwad (the messenger), and this from Classical Arabic qawwad. This "messenger" carried messages to a married woman's lover. By extension it became commonly known as any person who sets up a love affair, generally illicit.
  168. alcaicería
  169. alcaide:
  170. alcalde: Mayor. From Arabic al-qadi (the judge). Qadi comes from the verb qada (to judge).
  171. álcali: alkali. From Arabic qalawi (قلوي) of the same meaning.
  172. alcaller
  173. alcamiz
  174. alcamonías
  175. alcana
  176. alcaná
  177. alcancía: Clay money box, penny or piggy bank. From Andalusi Arabic alkanzíyya, derived from classical Arabic kanz: treasure.
  178. alcándara
  179. alcandía
  180. alcandora
  181. alcanería
  182. alcanfor
  183. alcántara/alcantarilla: drain; sewer. From Arabic al-qantarah meaning bridge.
  184. alcaparra: caper. From Andalusian Arabic al-kaparra. Via Latin and Greek.
  185. alcaraván
  186. alcaravea
  187. alcarceña
  188. alcarraza
  189. alcarria:
  190. alcatanes
  191. alcatara (or alquitara)
  192. alcatifa
  193. alcatraz
  194. alcaucil, artichoke. From Spanish Arabic: alqabsíl[a], that comes from mozarab diminutive kapićéḻa, and this from Spanish Latin: capĭtia, head. (Standard latin, Caput-itis)
  195. alcavela
  196. alcazaba
  197. alcázar: citadel; palace. From Arabic al-qasr (القصر) "the citadel."
  198. alcazuz (or orozuz)
  199. alcoba: alcove. From Arabic al-qubba "the vault" or "the arch."
  200. alcohela
  201. alcohol: from Arabic al-kuhul (الكحول) fine powder of antimony sulfide used as eye makeup.
  202. alcoholar
  203. alcolla
  204. alcor
  205. alcora
  206. alcorcí
  207. alcorque
  208. alcorza
  209. alcotán
  210. alcotana
  211. alcrebite
  212. alcuacil
  213. alcubilla
  214. alcuña
  215. alcuza
  216. alcuzcuz
  217. alchub
  218. aldaba
  219. aldea/aldeano: Village/Villager.
  220. aldiza
  221. alefriz
  222. aleja
  223. alejija
  224. alema
  225. alerce
  226. aletría
  227. aleve/alevoso/alevosía
  228. aleya
  229. alfaba
  230. alfábega
  231. alfadía
  232. alfaguara: Geyser. From Arabic fawwâra (فوارة): spout, fountain, jet d'eau
  233. alfahar/alfaharería
  234. alfaida
  235. alfajeme
  236. alfajor: Sweet almond shortbread. From Spanish Arabic fašúr, and this from Persian afšor (juice).
  237. alfalfa: alfalfa. From Arabic al-fafaa literally "the best kind of fodder"
  238. alfaneque (two meanings, a type of bird, from Arabic al-fanak and a tent from Berber afarag)
  239. alfanje
  240. alfaque
  241. alfaqueque
  242. alfaquí
  243. alfaquín
  244. alfaraz
  245. alfarda (two meanings from al-farda and from al-fardda)
  246. alfarero: potter
  247. alfardón
  248. alfareme
  249. alfarje
  250. alfarrazar
  251. alfaya
  252. alfayate
  253. alfazaque
  254. alféizar: Window ledge. From Arabic al-Hayzar "the one which takes possession".
  255. alfeñique
  256. alferecía
  257. alferez
  258. alferraz
  259. alferza
  260. alficoz
  261. alfil: bishop, in chess. From Arabic al-feel (الفيل) "the elephant."
  262. alfilel/alfiler
  263. alfinge
  264. alfitete
  265. alfiz
  266. alfolí
  267. alfombra (two meanings from al-jumra and al-humra)
  268. alfóndega
  269. alforfón
  270. alforja: saddlebag. From Arabic al-khurj (الخرج ) "saddle-bag," portmanteau
  271. alforre
  272. alforrocho
  273. alforza
  274. alfóstigo
  275. alfoz: Neighborhood, district. From Arabic hauz (حوز) meaning "Precinct" or "City limits"
  276. algaba
  277. algadara
  278. algaida
  279. algalaba
  280. algalia
  281. algalife
  282. algar
  283. algara
  284. algarada
  285. algarabía: incomprehensible talk; gabble; gibberish. From Arabic al-'arabiya: "Arabic".
  286. algarivo
  287. algarazo: Short rainstorm. From Arabic al 'ard: "cloud".
  288. algarrada
  289. algarrobo: carob. From Arabic al-kharouba "the carob."
  290. algavaro
  291. algazafán
  292. algazara
  293. algazul
  294. álgebra: algebra. From the name of al-Khwarizmi' book Hisab al-jabr w’al-muqabala "The Calculus of Subtraction and Equality."
  295. algecireño
  296. algodón, "cotton", from Arabic "al-qúţun (قطن)", meaning "the cotton"
  297. algorfa
  298. algoritmo, algorithm, that comes from the name of Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, محمد بن موسى الخوارزمي, famous mathematician.
  299. algorza:
  300. alguacil, "Sherrif", from Arabic "al-wazîr (الوزير)," meaning "Minister"
  301. alguaquida: fuel for a fire. From Arabic waqîda (وقيدة) meaning "Fuel"
  302. alguaza: Window or door hinge.From Arabic wasl "juncture".

A (Alhadida to Azumbre)

  1. alhadida: Old Spanish term for Hadith.
  2. alhaite: jewel. From Arabic al hayt "string".
  3. alhaja: jewel. From Arabic al-hagah "the valuable thing."
  4. alhamar: Red matress or bed cover. From Arabic hanbal: fur bedcover.
  5. alhamel: (Andalusian Spanish) Beast of burden or human porter. From Arabic hammal.
  6. alhamí: Stone bench normally covered with azulejos. Refers to the Grenadine town of Alhama.
  7. alhandal: Colocynth. From Arabic Alhanzal.
  8. alhanía: 1) Bedroom 2) cupboard 3) A type of small mattress. From Andalusi Arabic al haniyya: Alcove.
  9. alhaquín: Weaver. From Arabic plural Al Hayikeen. Weavers.
  10. alharaca: Violent reaction to a small issue. From Arabic haraka.
  11. alhavara: Flour. From Arabic huwara.
  12. alhelí: Aegean Wallflower. From Arabic hiri.
  13. alheña: Spanish word for Henna and the plant from which it is derived.
  14. alholva:Fenugreek. From Arabic hulbah-
  15. alhorí: Same meaning and etymology as more commonly used term Alfolí.
  16. alhorre: 1) Feaces of newly born child. From Arabic hur: feaces. 2)Skin rash common in babies. Commonly used in expression yo te curaré el alhorre when threatening to beat a child. From Arabic Shakatu el hurr, skin infection.
  17. alhorría: (or ahorría): Expression used for when a slave is freed. From Arabic al-hurriya: Freedom.
  18. alhucema: Lavender. From Arabic: huzama.
  19. alhuceña
  20. alhurreca
  21. aliacán
  22. aliara
  23. alicante
  24. alicatar
  25. alicate
  26. alidada
  27. alifa
  28. alifafe (two meanings from an-nafakh and al-lifah)
  29. alifara
  30. alijar
  31. alimara
  32. alioj
  33. alirón
  34. alizace
  35. alizar
  36. aljaba
  37. aljabibe
  38. aljama
  39. aljamía/aljamiado: Medieval Romance Spanish or Mozarabic written in Arabic script.
  40. aljaraz
  41. aljarfa
  42. aljébana
  43. aljerife
  44. aljez
  45. aljibe
  46. aljófar/aljofarar
  47. aljofifa
  48. aljor (or aljez)
  49. aljuba
  50. aljuma
  51. añagaza
  52. almacabra
  53. almacén: deposit, dry goods store. From Arabic al-majzan of makhzan (المخزن) "the storage" or "the depot."
  54. almacería
  55. almáciga
  56. almadén
  57. almádena
  58. almadía
  59. almadraba: Tuna fishing in Andalusia and particularly in Cadiz province. From Andalusi Arabic Al-madraba, "place where one beats something or fights", in reference to the fishing technique.
  60. almadraque
  61. almagazén
  62. almagra
  63. almahala
  64. almaizar
  65. almaja
  66. almajaneque
  67. almajar
  68. almajara
  69. almalafa
  70. almanaque: almanac. From Arabic al-manakh (المناخ) "the climate." Or possibly from Greek almenichiakon "calendar."
  71. almacebe
  72. almarada
  73. almarbate
  74. almarcha
  75. almarjo
  76. almarrá
  77. almarraja or almarraza
  78. almártaga (two meanings, from al-marta'a and al martak)
  79. almástica
  80. almatroque
  81. almazara
  82. almazarrón
  83. almea (two meanings, from almay'a and 'alima)
  84. almejía
  85. almenara (two meanings, from al-manara and al-minhara)
  86. almez
  87. almíbar
  88. almicantarat
  89. almijar
  90. almijara
  91. almijarra
  92. almimbar
  93. alminar
  94. almiraj/almiraje/almiral
  95. almirez
  96. almizate
  97. almizcle/almizque
  98. almocadén
  99. almocafre
  100. almocárabe
  101. almoceda
  102. almocrebe
  103. almocrí
  104. almodón
  105. almófar
  106. almofariz
  107. almofía
  108. almofrej/almofrez
  109. almogama
  110. almogávar
  111. almohada: Pillow, from Arabic al-makhada with the same meaning.
  112. almohade
  113. almoharrefa
  114. almohaza
  115. almojábana
  116. almojama (see mojama)
  117. almojarife
  118. almojaya
  119. almona
  120. almoneda
  121. almoraduj/almoradux
  122. almorávide:
  123. almorí
  124. almoronía: See alboronía.
  125. almotacén
  126. almotalafe
  127. almotazaf/almotazán
  128. almozala/almozalla
  129. almud
  130. almuédano
  131. almunia
  132. alpargata
  133. alpechín
  134. alquería: farmhouse. From Arabic al-qaria "the village."
  135. aloque
  136. aloquín
  137. alpargata
  138. alquequenje
  139. alquería
  140. alquermes
  141. alquerque (Two meanings from al-qirq and al-qariq)
  142. alquez
  143. alquezar
  144. alquibla
  145. alquicel
  146. alquiler: Rent.
  147. alquimia
  148. alquinal
  149. alquitira
  150. alquitrán
  151. alrota
  152. altabaca
  153. altamía
  154. altramuz
  155. alubia: pea bean
  156. aludel
  157. aluquete/luquete
  158. alloza
  159. amán
  160. ámbar
  161. ámel
  162. amín
  163. amirí
  164. anacalo
  165. anacora
  166. anafaga
  167. anafalla/anafaya
  168. anafe
  169. anaquel
  170. andorra
  171. andrajo
  172. anea
  173. anejir
  174. anfión
  175. anorza
  176. anúteba
  177. añacal
  178. añacea/añacear
  179. añafea
  180. añafil
  181. añagaza
  182. añascar
  183. añazme
  184. añicos
  185. añil (ultimately from Sanskrit nilah "dark blue")
  186. arabí
  187. arancel
  188. arbellón/arbollón
  189. archí
  190. argadillo
  191. argamandel
  192. argamula
  193. argán
  194. argel
  195. argolla
  196. arguello/arguellarse
  197. arije
  198. arimez
  199. arjorán
  200. arnadí
  201. arrabá
  202. arrabal
  203. arracada
  204. arráez
  205. arrayán
  206. arrecife
  207. arrejaque/arrejacar
  208. arrelde
  209. arrequife
  210. arrequive
  211. arriate
  212. arricés
  213. arroba
  214. arrobda
  215. arrocabe
  216. arrope
  217. arroz: Rice.
  218. áscar/áscari
  219. asequi
  220. asesino: assassin. From Arabic hashshshin "someone who is addicted to hashish (marijuana)." Was originally use to refer to the followers of the Persian Hassan-i-Sabah (حسن صباح), the Hashshashin.
  221. atabaca
  222. atabal
  223. atabe
  224. atacar : to tie, to button up. From Andalusi Arabic tákka, originally from classical Arabic tikkah, ribbon used to fasten clothes. Not to be confused with atacar with the meaning of "to attack", of Italian origin.
  225. atacir
  226. atafarra/ataharre
  227. atafea
  228. atahona
  229. atahorma
  230. ataifor
  231. ataire
  232. atalaya
  233. atalvina
  234. atambor
  235. atanor
  236. atanquía
  237. ataracea
  238. atarazana
  239. atarfe
  240. atarjea
  241. atarraga
  242. atarraya
  243. ataúd: Coffin.
  244. ataujía
  245. ataurique
  246. atifle
  247. atijara
  248. atíncar
  249. atoba
  250. atocha
  251. atracae
  252. atoque
  253. atríaca/atriaca
  254. atún: Tuna.
  255. atutía
  256. auge: Surge/rise.
  257. aulaga
  258. avería
  259. ayatolá
  260. azabache
  261. azabara
  262. azacán
  263. azacaya
  264. azache
  265. azafate/azafata
  266. azafrán: saffron. From Arabic za'firan of the same meaning. Perhaps from safra "yellow."
  267. azahar: White flower, especially from the orange tree. From Spanish Arabic azzahár, and this from Classic Arabic zahr, flowers
  268. azalá
  269. azamboa
  270. azándar
  271. azaque
  272. azaquefa: Covered portico or patio. From Andalusi Arabic assaqifa, portico.
  273. azar: hazard; luck; chance; random. From Arabic al-zahr "the dice."
  274. azarbe
  275. azarcón
  276. azarja
  277. azarnefe
  278. azarote
  279. azófar
  280. azofra/azofrar
  281. azogue (two meanings: from az-za'uq and from as-suq)
  282. azolvar
  283. azor
  284. azorafa
  285. azote: Smacking, beating, scourge. From Arabic Sawt.
  286. azotea: Flat roof or terrace. From Andalusi Arabic assutáyha, diminutive of sath, terrace in classical Arabic.
  287. azoya
  288. azúcar: sugar. From Arabic (سكر) sukkar of the same meaning.
  289. azucarí
  290. azucena
  291. azuche
  292. azud
  293. azufaifa/azufaifo
  294. azul: Blue. Derived from Arabic Lazaward.
  295. azulaque (or zulaque)
  296. azulejo
  297. azúmbar
  298. azumbre: Measurement for liquids equivalent to around two litres. From Del Andalusi Arabic aTTúmn, and this from classical Arabic: Tum[u]n, "an eighth".


  1. babismo: Babism. From Arabic باب "door."
  2. babucha: Slippers. From Arabic Baboush.
  3. badal: Cut of meat from the back and ribs of cattle, close to the neck. From Andalusi Arabic bad'a "Calf muscle" derived from classical Arabic bad'ah "peice".
  4. badán: Trunk of an animal. From Arabic badan.
  5. badana: 1) Sheepskin, 2) hat lining 3) Lazy person. From Arabic bitana, "lining".
  6. badea: 1) Watermelon or Melon of bad quality. 2) Insipid cucumber 3) Weak person 4) Unimportant thing. From Arabic battiha: "bad melon".
  7. badén: Dip in land, road, sidewalk or ford. From Arabic batin: Sunken (land).
  8. bagarino: Free or hired sailor, as opposed to a press-ganged or enslaven one. Same origin as baharí.
  9. bagre: a freshwater fish that has no scales and has a chin. From Arabic baghir or baghar.
  10. baharí: Bird of prey. From Arabic bahri: "from the sea".
  11. baja: pasha, Turkish officer or governor of high rank. From Arabic basha ultimately from Turkish pasha of the same meaning.
  12. baladí: 1) Unimportant thing or matter. 2) Something of the land our country. From Arabic baladiy "From the country".
  13. balaj/balaje: Purple ruby. From Arabic Balahshi: From Balahshan (region in central Asia where these stones are found).
  14. balate
  15. balda (and baldío)
  16. baldar
  17. balde: 1)Free. 2) without cause or 3) in vain. from Arabic batil "false" or "useless."
  18. bancal
  19. baño
  20. baraka
  21. barbacana
  22. barcino
  23. bardaje
  24. bardoma/bardomera
  25. barragán
  26. barrio-area or district
  27. bata (either from Arabic batt of French ouate)
  28. batán
  29. batea
  30. baurac
  31. bayal
  32. baza (either Arabic or Italian origin)
  33. bazar-bazaar
  34. belez
  35. bellota: acorn, the fruit or seed of the oak tree. From Arabic balluta of the same meaning.
  36. ben
  37. benimerín
  38. benjui
  39. berberí
  40. berberís
  41. bereber
  42. berenjena/berenjenal
  43. bezaar/bezoar
  44. biznaga
  45. bocací
  46. bodoque/bodocal
  47. bófeta
  48. bórax
  49. borní
  50. boronía
  51. botor
  52. bujía
  53. bulbul
  54. burche
  55. buz
  56. buzaque


  1. cabila: tribe of Berbers or Bedouins. From Arabic qabila "tribe."
  2. cachera
  3. cadí
  4. cadira
  5. café: coffee. From qahwa of the same meaning.
  6. cáfila
  7. cafiz (or cahiz)
  8. cafre
  9. caftán
  10. cáid (same origin as alcaide)
  11. caimacán
  12. cala
  13. calabaza: Pumpkin or squash. From Arabic qerabat, plural of qerbah, meaning wineskin.
  14. calafate/calafatear
  15. calahorra
  16. calí (same root as álcali)
  17. cálibo/calibre
  18. cambuj
  19. camocán
  20. canana-cartridge belt
  21. cáncana/cancanilla
  22. cáncano
  23. cande (in azúcar cande)
  24. canfor
  25. caraba
  26. cárabe
  27. cárabo: owl; dog. Taken from qaraab and kalb "dog," respectively.
  28. caracoa
  29. caramida
  30. caramuzal
  31. caravana
  32. caravasar
  33. carcajada/carcajear
  34. carcax
  35. carmen/carme: From Spanish Arabic kárm, and this from Classic Arabic karm, vine.
  36. carmesí: crimson. From quirmizi
  37. carmín
  38. carraca
  39. carrafa
  40. cártama/cártamo
  41. catán
  42. catifa
  43. cazurro
  44. cebiche
  45. cebtí
  46. ceca
  47. cedoaria
  48. cegatero
  49. cegrí
  50. ceje
  51. celemí/celemín/celeminero
  52. cenacho
  53. cendolilla
  54. cenefa
  55. ceneque
  56. cení
  57. cenia
  58. cenit
  59. cequí
  60. cerbatana
  61. cero: zero. From sifr of the same meaning.
  62. cetís
  63. ceutí
  64. chafariz
  65. chafarote
  66. chaleco
  67. charrán
  68. chifla
  69. chiísmo
  70. chilaba (from Moroccan Arabic)
  71. chiquero
  72. chirivía
  73. chisme
  74. chivo
  75. choz
  76. chupa
  77. chuzo
  78. cianí
  79. cibica
  80. cica
  81. cicalar
  82. cicatear
  83. cicatero (cicatero has a different root to cicatear)
  84. ciclán
  85. ciclar
  86. ciclatón
  87. cid
  88. cifaque
  89. cifra/cifrar
  90. címbara
  91. cimboga
  92. cimitarra
  93. circón
  94. citara
  95. civeta/civeto
  96. coba/cobista
  97. cofa
  98. coima
  99. coime
  100. colcótar
  101. cora
  102. Corán
  103. corbacho
  104. corma
  105. cotonía
  106. cubeba
  107. cúrcuma
  108. curdo
  109. cuscuta


  1. dado: die (cube or stamp). From Classical Arabic a'dad "numbers."
  2. daga - dagger
  3. dahír
  4. daifa
  5. dante
  6. darga (or adarga)-shield
  7. dársena-dock/basin
  8. daza
  9. derviche
  10. descafilar
  11. destartalado
  12. dey
  13. dínar
  14. dirham
  15. diván-divan/couch
  16. droga-drug
  17. druso
  18. dula/dular
  19. edrisí
  20. ejarbe
  21. elche
  22. elemí
  23. embelecar/embeleco
  24. emir (or amir)
  25. encaramar
  26. enchufar/enchufe: To plug in/plug; To connect, to offer a job or a post through personal connections. From Andalusi Arabic Juf derived from Classical Arabic Jawf: stomach; internal cavity.
  27. engarzar-to set/thread
  28. enjalma
  29. enjarje
  30. enjeco
  31. escabeche: Pickle or marinade. From Arabic as-sukbaj. Originally from Persian Sekba.
  32. escafilar (see descafilar)
  33. escaque/escaquear
  34. espinaca-spinach
  35. exarico


  1. faca
  2. falagar
  3. falca
  4. falleba
  5. faltriquera-pocket
  6. falúa/faluca
  7. fanega/hanega
  8. fanfarrón
  9. faranga (or haragán)
  10. farda
  11. fardacho
  12. farfán
  13. fárfara
  14. farnaca
  15. farota
  16. farruco
  17. felús
  18. fetua
  19. fez
  20. fideo
  21. filelí
  22. foceifiza
  23. fondolí
  24. fondac/fonda
  25. foz
  26. fulano : To refer to "any one" without naming, X of people. Arabic: Fulan.
  27. fustal
  28. fustete
  29. gabán
  30. gabela
  31. gacel/gacela
  32. gafetí
  33. galacho
  34. galanga
  35. galbana
  36. gálibo
  37. galima
  38. gandula/gandula
  39. garama
  40. garbino
  41. gardacho
  42. gárgol
  43. garrafa
  44. garrama
  45. garroba
  46. gazpacho
  47. gilí
  48. gomer
  49. granadí
  50. grisgrís
  51. guadamací
  52. guájara
  53. guájete
  54. guala
  55. guarismo
  56. guifa
  57. guilla
  58. gumía
  59. gurapas

H, I

  1. habiz
  2. habús
  3. hachís
  4. hacino
  5. hadruba
  6. hafiz
  7. hálara
  8. hálara
  9. hamudí
  10. haragán
  11. harambel
  12. harbar
  13. harén
  14. harma
  15. harón
  16. Hasaní
  17. hasta: Until. From Arabic hatta (same meaning). Influenced by Latin phrase 'ad ista'
  18. hataca
  19. hazaña
  20. he: Adverb used in following manner: "he aquí/ahí/allí": Here it is/there it is. From Arabic haa.
  21. hégira
  22. hobacho/hobacha
  23. holgazán: Lazy person. From Arabic Kaslan. Influenced by Holgar.
  24. holgar
  25. hoque/oque
  26. horro/horra
  27. imam
  28. imela
  29. islam

J, K

  1. jabalí : Wild Boar. From Arabic jebeli: From the mountains. Perhaps originally from Khanzeer Jebelí: Mountain Pig.
  2. jabalón
  3. jabeca
  4. jabeque
  5. jabí : A type of apple and type of grape. From Andalusi Arabic sha‘bí, a type of apple.
  6. jácara
  7. jácena
  8. jacerino
  9. jadraque
  10. jaez
  11. jaguarzo
  12. jaharí
  13. jaharral
  14. jaharrar
  15. jaima
  16. jaique
  17. jalear
  18. jalma (or enjalma)
  19. jaloque
  20. jametería
  21. jámila
  22. japuta
  23. jaque
  24. jaqueca: Migraine. From Arabic Shaqiqa, with same meaning.
  25. jáquima
  26. jara
  27. jarabe
  28. jaraíz
  29. jarcha
  30. jareta
  31. jaricar
  32. jarifo/jarifa
  33. jarquía
  34. jarra: Pitcher or other pot with handle(s). From ǧarrah, same as english jar.
  35. jatib
  36. jazarino/jazarina
  37. jazmín
  38. jebe
  39. jeliz
  40. jemesía
  41. jeque
  42. jerife: sheriff. From shereef of the same meaning.
  43. jeta: Snout, face, cheek (in both literal and figurative sense). From Arabic khatm: "snout".
  44. jifa
  45. jinete
  46. jirafa: giraffe. From ziraffa of the same meaning.
  47. jirel
  48. jofaina: a wide and shallow basin for domestic use. From ǧufaynah.
  49. jofor
  50. jorfe
  51. joroba
  52. jorro
  53. juba/aljuba/jubón
  54. jurdía
  55. kermes


  1. laca: resinous substance tapped from the Lacquer Tree. From Arabic lak, taken from Persian lak, ultimately from Sanskrit laksha literally meaning "one hundred thousand" referring to the large number of insects that gather and sap out all the resin from the trees.
  2. lacre
  3. lapislázuli: lapis lazuli, a deep blue mineral. From Arabic lazaward (لازورد) from Persian lagvard or lazward, ultimately from Sanskrit rajavarta literally meaning "ringlet of the king."
  4. latón: brass. From Arabic latun from Turkish altin "gold."
  5. laúd: lute. From Arabic al 'ud (العود) "the lute."
  6. lebeche: Southeasterly wind on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. From Andalusi Arabic Labash.
  7. lebení: a Moorish beverage prepared from soured milk. From Arabic labani (لباني) "dairy."
  8. leila: from Arabic layla (ليلة) "night."
  9. lelilí: Shouts and noise made by moors when going into combat or when celebrating parties. From la illaha ila allah(لا إله إلا الله): There is no god but Allah; Ya leilí (ياليلي) : Night of mine; ya 'ayouni (يا عيوني) : My eyes.
  10. lima: lime. From Arabic limah of the same meaning.
  11. limón: lemon. From laymoon (ليمون) , derived from the Chinese word limung.
  12. loco: crazy. From Arabic lawqa "fool."
  13. macabro
  14. macsura
  15. madraza
  16. magacén
  17. magarza/magarzuela
  18. maglaca
  19. maharon/maharona
  20. maharrana/marrana/marrano
  21. mahozmedín
  22. maimón
  23. majareta
  24. majzén
  25. mamarracho
  26. mameluco
  27. mamola
  28. mandeísmo
  29. mandil
  30. maquila
  31. marabú
  32. maravedí
  33. marcasita
  34. marchamo
  35. márfega
  36. marfil
  37. marfuz/a
  38. margomar
  39. marjal
  40. marlota
  41. marojo
  42. maroma
  43. marrano pig; cf. Arabic muharram "forbidden".
  44. marras
  45. márraga
  46. masamuda: (adj) Individual from the Berber Masmuda tribe, from which originate the Almohades, a movement which ruled Spain and North Africa in the XII century. From Arabic: Masamuda.
  47. matafalúa
  48. mártaga
  49. máscara
  50. matarife
  51. mate
  52. matraca
  53. matula
  54. mauraca
  55. mazapán
  56. mazarí
  57. mazarrón
  58. mazmodina
  59. mazmorra: Dungeon. From Arabic matmura "silo".
  60. mazorca: corn cob; roll of wool or cotton. From Andalusi Arabic: Masurqa, derived from classical Arabic Masura (ماسورة) : a tube used as a bobbin (sewing) .
  61. meca: Place which is attractive because of a particular activity. From Arabic Mekkah(مكة).
  62. mechinal
  63. mejala
  64. mejunje
  65. mendrugo
  66. mengano/mengana: Expression of similar meaning as fulano or zutano, used always after the former but after the latter, meaning "whoever". From Arabic man kan meaning "whoever".
  67. mequetrefe: Nosy or useless person. From Andalusi Arabi qatras meaning person of boastful demeanor.
  68. mercal
  69. metical
  70. mezquino
  71. mía: A military term, formerly designating a regular native unit composed of 100 men in the Spanish protectorate of northern Morocco; by analogy, any colonial army. From Arabic Mi'ah: one hundred(مئة).
  72. mihrab:
  73. miramamolín
  74. moaxaja
  75. mogataz
  76. mogate
  77. moharra
  78. moharracho
  79. mohatra
  80. mohedal
  81. mohino
  82. mojama (originally almojama): Delicacy of phoenician origin from the region of Cadiz. It consists of filleted salt-cured tuna. From the Arabic al mushama: "momified or waxed".
  83. mojí
  84. momia
  85. mona
  86. monfí
  87. morabito
  88. moraga
  89. morapio
  90. mozárabe
  91. mudéjar
  92. muftí
  93. mujalata
  94. mulato: Likely from Muwallad, as with the Muladi. Walad (ولد ) means, "descendant, offspring, scion; child; son; boy; young animal, young one". According to DRAE, from mulo (mule), in the sense of hybrid.
  95. mulquía
  96. muslim/muslime: (Adjective) Muslim. From Arabic Muslim (مسلم).

N, O,P, Q

  1. nabí: Prophet among arabs. From Arabic nabiy.
  2. nacar: Innermost of the three layers of a seashell. From Catalan nacre, derived from Andalusi Arabic naqra, small drum.
  3. nácara: Type of small metallic drum used historically by the Spanish cavalry. Same etymology as nacar.
  4. nadir: The point on the celestial sphere, opposite the zenith directly below the observer. From nadheer.
  5. nádir: In Morocco, administrator of a religious foundation.
  6. nagüela: Small hut for human habitation. From Andalusi Arabic nawalla: hut.
  7. naife: High quality diamond. From Andalusi Arabic nayif. Originally from classical Arabic na'if: excellent.
  8. naipe: Playing card. From Catalan naíp. Originally from Arabic ma'ib.
  9. naranja: from Arabic nāranja, fr Persian nārang, fr Sanskrit nāranga, fr a Dravidian language akin to Tamil naŗu "fragrant".
  10. narguile
  11. natrón
  12. nazarí: Related to the Nasrid kingdom or dynasty of Granada.
  13. nenúfar: Water-lily. From Arabic naylufar.
  14. nesga
  15. noria: Watermill, Ferris wheel. From Arabic na'urah.
  16. nuca
  17. ojalá: "I hope"; "I wish that...". From law šaʾ allāh "God willing."
  18. ¡olé! (or ole): The most famous expression of approval, support or encouragement, comes from wa-Allah و الله , by Allah!
  19. omeya: adj. Related to the Ummayyad.
  20. orozuz
  21. ox
  22. papagayo
  23. quermes
  24. quilate/quirate
  25. quilma
  26. quina
  27. quintal


  1. rabadán
  2. rabal
  3. rabazuz
  4. rabel
  5. rábida
  6. rafal
  7. rafe
  8. ragua
  9. rahez
  10. ramadán
  11. rambla
  12. rauda
  13. rauta
  14. real: Military encampment; plot where a fair is organized; (in Murcia region) small plot or garden. From Arabic rahl: camping.
  15. rebato
  16. rebite
  17. recamar
  18. recua
  19. redoma
  20. rehala
  21. rehalí
  22. rehén: Hostage or captive. From Arabic رهينة, captive, ransom.
  23. rejalgar: realgar. From Andalusi Arabic reheg al-ghar: "powder of the cave"
  24. requive
  25. resma
  26. retama
  27. rincón: Corner. From Andalusi Arabic rukan, derived from classicar Arabic Rukn.
  28. robda
  29. robo (or arroba)
  30. roda
  31. romí/rumí
  32. ronzal
  33. roque
  34. sajelar
  35. salema
  36. sandía: Watermelon. From Arabic Sindiya "from Sindh (province in India)".
  37. sarasa: Homosexual or effeminate man. From "Zaraza".
  38. sarraceno
  39. sebestén
  40. secácul
  41. serafín
  42. siroco
  43. sofí
  44. sófora
  45. soldán
  46. soltaní
  47. sufí
  48. sura
  49. tabal (or atabal)
  50. tabaque
  51. tabefe
  52. tabica
  53. tabique
  54. taca
  55. tafurea
  56. tagarino/tagarina
  57. tagarnina
  58. taha
  59. tahalí
  60. tahona
  61. taifa: Refers to an independent Muslim-ruled principality, an emirate or petty kingdom, of which a number formed in the Al-Andalus (Moorish Iberia) after the final collapse of the Umayyad Caliphate of Córdoba in 1031. Used in numerous expressions. Can also mean 1) a faction 2) a group of people of ill judgement. 3) un reino de Taifas (a kingdom of Taifas) can also refer to a chaotic or disorderly state of affairs. From classical Arabic Ta'ifah: faction.
  62. tajea
  63. talco
  64. talega
  65. talvina
  66. támara
  67. tamarindo
  68. tambor
  69. tara
  70. taracea
  71. taraje
  72. tarasí
  73. tarbea
  74. tarea
  75. tareco
  76. tarida
  77. tarifa
  78. tarima
  79. tarquín
  80. tarraya
  81. taza: cup. From Tasa.
  82. tértil
  83. tíbar
  84. tochibí
  85. tomín
  86. toronja
  87. toronjil
  88. trafalmejas
  89. truchimán/na
  90. trujamán/na
  91. tuera
  92. tumbaga
  93. Tunecí
  94. turbit
  95. turquí (in Azul Turquí)
  96. tutía (or atutía)


  1. vacarí: from Arabic baqari(بقري) "bovine."
  2. velmez: from Arabic malbas(ملبس) "clothing."
  3. visir: vizier. From Arabic wazir (وزير) "minister."
  4. yébel: from Arabic jabal; "mountain"
  5. zabalmedina: in the Middle Ages, judge with civil and criminal jurisdiction in a city. From Arabic Sahib al Medina "Chief of the City."
  6. zabarcera: women who sells fruits and other food. Same origin as abacero
  7. zabazala: imam who leads Islamic prayer. From Arabic SaHb aS-Salah "Leader of prayer."
  8. zabazoque: same meaning as almotacén. From Arabic SáHb as súq "Leader of the Market."
  9. zábila: aloe vera (used mainly in Latin America) From Andalusi Arabic sabíra, originally from classical Arabic Sibar.
  10. zabra: type of vessel used in the Bay of Biscay in the Middle Ages and the beginning of the Modern Age. From Arabic zauraq.
  11. zacatín: in some villages, a square where clothes are sold. From saqqatin, plural of saqqat: seller of clothes.
  12. zafar: a number of meanings in Spain and Latin American countries: To free, to untie, to ignore, to unknit among others. From Arabic azaHa: to take away.
  13. zafarí: Granada zafarí: a type of pomegranate. Higo zafarí: a type of fig. From Arabic Safr.
  14. zafariche: Structure used for placing clay urns. Same etymology as jaraíz (see above).
  15. zafio: Uncouth. From Andalusi Arabic Fellah safi: "Mere peasant".
  16. zafrán: See Azafran.
  17. zaga: Backside of something. Cargo on the back of a truck. From Arabic Saqah: Rear, rearguard.
  18. zagal: boy. From Andalusian Arabic zaḡál, traditional Arabic zuḡlūl. Same meaning.
  19. zagaya (or azagaya)
  20. zagua
  21. zaguán: hall. From Andalusian Arabic istawán, traditional Arabic usṭuwān(ah).
  22. zagüía
  23. zaharrón
  24. zahén
  25. zahón
  26. zahora
  27. zahorí
  28. zaida
  29. zaino
  30. zala
  31. zalamelé
  32. zalea/zalear
  33. zalema/zalama
  34. zalmedina: Same meaning and origin as zabalmedina.
  35. zalona
  36. zamacuco
  37. zambra: Traditional festivity of the Moriscos in Spain which is maintained by the Gypsy community of Sacromonte, Granada. From Andalusi Arabic Zamra, originally from classical Arabic Zamr.
  38. zanahoria: carrot, presumably from Andalusi Arabic. The only Arabic dialect with a cognate form is Tunisian with sfinaria.
  39. zaque: Leather recipient for wine or extracting water from a well. Drunken person. From Andalusi Arabic zaqq. Originally from classical Arabic ziqq.
  40. zaquizamí
  41. zaragüelles
  42. zaranda/zarandillo/zarandaja
  43. Zaratán: Breast Cancer. From the Arabic Saratan: crab.
  44. zarazán:
  45. zarco
  46. zarracatín
  47. zarzahán
  48. zatara
  49. zéjel
  50. zoco (or azogue): market. From Arabic souk of the same meaning.
  51. zofra
  52. zorzal: Thrush, intelligent person. From Andalusi Arabic Zurzal, originally from classical Arabic zurzur.
  53. zubia: Place where a large amount of water flows. From Arabic Zubya.
  54. zulaque
  55. zulla
  56. zumaque: sumac. From Arabic simaq of the same meaning.
  57. zumo: fruit juice. From Arabic zum.
  58. zuna
  59. zurriaga

Other Influences

  1. The suffix í. Arabic has a very common type of adjective, known as the nisbi or relationship adjective, which is formed by adding the suffix -ī (masc.) o ية -iyya (fem.) to a noun. This has given Spanish the suffix -í (both masc. and fem.), creating adjectives from nouns which indicate relationship or belonging. Examples are Marbellí, Ceutí, Maghrebí, Zaragocí, Andalusí or Alfonsí.
  2. Expressions. A number of expressions such as "¡Ole!" (sometimes spelled "olé" ), from wa'llah, or ojalá, from inch'allah, have been borrowed directly from Arabic. Furthermore, many expressions in Spanish might have been translated or adapted from their Arabic equivalent. Examples would be si Dios quiere, que Dios guarde or bendito sea Dios. The generally accepted etymology of hidalgo 'nobleman' — Old Spanish fijo d'algo — is composed of Latin roots (cf. Modern Spanish hijo 'son' + algo 'something'), but it might be a calque of an Arabic phrase using ibn 'son' to mean simply 'person characterized by (the idea expressed by the following noun)'. In Old Spanish, algo could mean 'wealth, property'. The formal pronoun usted may also have Arabic influence; while it is derived from Vuestra merced, it happens to be pronounced the same way as the Arabic word ustādh 'professor'/'doctor'.
  3. Phonetics: Although the phonetic influence of Arabic on standard peninsular Spanish is considered to be negligible, Arabic influence is thought to have influenced the phonetics of the Andalusian dialect of Spanish (and indirectly certain Latin American dialects). For example, the use of the fricative H, or the substitution of the sh for the ch sound is considered to be a result of contact with Arabic.

Toponyms (place names) in Iberia of Arabic origin

There are hundreds if not thousands of place names derived from Arabic in the Iberian peninsula including provinces and regions, cities, towns, villages and even neighborhoods and streets. They also include geographical features such as mountains, mountain ranges, valleys and rivers. Toponyms derived from Arabic are common in all of Spain (including much of the North of the country) except for those regions which never came under Muslim rule or where it was particularly short-lived. These regions include Galicia and the Northern coast (Asturias, Cantabria and the Basque country) as well as most of Catalonia. Regions where place names of Arabic origin are particularly common are the Eastern Coast (Valencia and Murcia) and the region of Andalusia. In Portugal, the frequency of Arabic toponyms increases as one travels south in the country.

Those toponyms which maintained their pre-Islamic name during the Muslim period were generally Arabized, and the mark of either the old Arabic pronunciation or the popular pronunciation from which it derived is noticeable in their modern names: e.g. Hispalis - Ishbiliya - Sevilla.

Major towns, cities and regions

  • Albarracín City of Aragón. Derived from Al Banū Razin, name of the Berber governor of the town.
  • Axarquía Eastern region of Málaga province, From Arabic Ash-sharquía(الشرقية): The eastern/oriental (region).
  • Andalucía Most populated and 2nd largest autonomous community in Spain. Derived from الأندلس, Al Andalus, the Arabic name for Muslim Iberia.
  • Albacete city and province of Castilla-La Mancha. Derived from Arabic Al Basit (البسيط) (the plain).
  • Algarve Region of southern Portugal. From Arabic al gharb(الغرب), the west.
  • Algeciras City and port in Cadiz province. Derived from Al Jazeera Al Khadra(الجزيرة الخضراء) meaning the green island.
  • Almería City and province of Andalucía. From Al Meraya, the watchtower.
  • Alpujarras (originally Alpuxarras) Region extending South of Granada into Almería. From Arabic Al-Busherat: The grasslands.
  • Badajoz City and province of Extremadura. Badajoz was called Pax Augusta by the romans and most likely the current name is derived from an Arabic corruption of the original Latin name.
  • Calatayud City of Aragón. Derived from Qal'at Ayyūb (Arabic قلعة أيوب) meaning "(Ayyūb)Job´s Fortress".
  • Guadalajara City and province of Castilla la Mancha. From Wādī al-Ḥijārah (Arabic وادي الحجارة), River or canyon of Stones.
  • Jaén City and province of Andalucía From Arabic Jayyan, crossroads of caravans.
  • Lisboa (Lisbon). Capital of Portugal. Derived from Arabic name: al-'Ishbūnah in Arabic الأشبونة (from Latin Olisippo, ultimately Celtic)
  • Madrid Capital of Spain. Derived from original Arabic name: al-MagrīT, المجريط: "Source of water", which pertains to Rio Manzanares that flows through it.
  • La Mancha Wide arid steppes covering much of Toledo, Ciudad Real, Cuenca and Albacete provinces. Derived from original Arabic name: la'a Ma-anxa : "No water".
  • Medina Sidonia: Town and municipality in Cadiz province, from madina, city.
  • Tarifa town in southern Spain. Originally Jazeera Tarif(جزيرة طريف): the island of Tarif. Derived form the first name of the Berber conqueror Tarif ibn Malik.
  • La Sagra, an arid region between Toledo and Madrid. Name derived from arabic Sahra صحراء "desert".

Geographical features


Suggestions for further research

In the English language, search the online catalogs of United States university libraries using the Library of Congress (LC) subject heading, "Spanish language foreign elements".

When searching Spanish language Web sites, use the subject term, "arabismos".

Selected reference works and other academic literature

These works have not necessarily been consulted in the preparation of this article.

  • Abu-Haidar, J. A. 1985. Review of Felipe Maíllo Salgado, Los arabismos del castellano en la baja edad media (consideraciones históricas y filológicas). Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, 48(2): 353-354. University of London. Stable URL:
  • Cabo Pan, José Luis. El legado del arabe Mosaico 8:7-10. Revista para la Promoción y Apoyo a la Enseñanza del Español. Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia del Reino de España, Consejería de Educación y Ciencia en Bélgica, Países Bajos y Luxemburgo. [Article with convenient, short word lists, grouped by theme. In PDF. Refer to Mosaico's portal page. ]
  • Corriente, Federico. 2003. Diccionario de arabismos y voces afines en iberorromance. (2nd expanded ed.; 1st ed. 1999) Madrid: Gredos. 607 p.
  • Real Academia Española (Royal Spanish Academy). Diccionario de la lengua española (DRAE), online.
  • Maíllo Salgado, Felipe. 1991/1998. Los arabismos del castellano en la Baja Edad Media : consideraciones históricas y filológicas. Salamanca: Universidad de Salamanca. 554 p. [2nd ed., corrected and enlarged; 1st ed. 1983]
  • Ibid. 1996. Vocabulario de historia árabe e islámica. Madrid: Akal. 330 p.
  • Pezzi, Elena. 1995. Arabismos: estudios etimológicos. Almería: Universidad de Almería. 160 p.
  • Sola-Solé, Josep María. 1983. Sobre árabes, judíos y marranos y su impacto en la lengua y literatura españolas. Barcelona: Puvill. 279 p.
  • Toro Lillo, Elena. La invasión árabe. Los árabes y el elemento árabe en español. In the Cervantes Virtual Library Includes a brief list of historical sound changes. Useful bibliography.

Selected resource pages of universities and research institutes

See also

External links

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