Words from Spanish

Study Words

  1. burrito
  2. embargo [1]
  3. chimichanga
  4. gazpacho
  5. mariachi [2]
  6. sombrero
  7. alligator
  8. canasta
  9. bonanza
  10. chinchilla
  11. machismo
  12. enchilada
  13. pueblo
  14. hacienda
  15. fandango
  16. quesadilla [3]
  17. flotilla
  18. tornado
  19. flamenco [4]
  20. vigilante
  21. adios
  22. cabana
  23. gordita
  24. peccadillo
  25. filibuster
  26. tortilla
  27. vanilla
  28. cilantro
  29. fiesta
  30. anchovy
  31. mesa [5]
  32. ramada
  33. junco
  34. cafeteria
  35. bongo
  36. castanets
  37. mantilla [6]
  38. oregano
  39. lariat
  40. chalupa
  41. buffalo [7]
  42. renegade
  43. langosta
  44. alamo
  45. barrio
  46. cedilla
  47. Argentine
  48. bolivar
  49. amarillo
  50. cordovan
  51. desperado
  52. empanada
  53. tomatillo
  54. diablo
  55. pochismo
  56. sierra
  57. olio
  58. bolero
  59. junta
  60. duenna

Challenge Words

  1. sassafras
  2. punctilio
  3. sarsaparilla
  4. comandante
  5. embarcadero
  6. rejoneador
  7. novillero
  8. picaresque
  9. conquistador
  10. rasgado
  11. vaquero
  12. caballero

Spelling Tips

  1. 1 A long o sound (\ō\) at the end of a word is often a mark of Spanish origin, and it is nearly always spelled simply with o as in embargo and many other words on this list.
  2. 2 A long e sound (\ē\) at the end of a word of Spanish origin is usually spelled with i as in mariachi.
  3. 3 The \k\ sound is sometimes spelled with qu in words of Spanish origin. This is especially true when the vowel sound that follows is long a (\ā\), long e (\ē\), or short i (\i\). Quesadilla and conquistador (in its pronunciations with and without the \s\ sound) are examples from our list.
  4. 4 It is much more common for the \k\ sound to be spelled with c in words of Spanish origin. This is almost invariable when the vowel sound that follows is a schwa \ə\ as in canasta and embarcadero; short a (\a\) as in castanets and caballero; or long o (\ō\) as in flamenco and flamenco and junco.
  5. 5 A schwa at the end of a word from Spanish is very common and is usually spelled with a as in mesa, bonanza, and several other words on the list.
  6. 6 The combination ll in Spanish words is traditionally treated as a single letter and is pronounced as consonant \y\ in American Spanish. When such words enter English, sometimes that sound persists. At other times it is pronounced just like ll would be in an English word: that is, as \l\. Some words—such as mantilla, tomatillo, amarillo, and caballero—even have two pronunciations in English. Quesadilla, tortilla, and novillero always have the \y\ pronunciation in English; chinchilla, flotilla, vanilla, peccadillo, cedilla, and sarsaparilla always have the \l\ pronunciation. Be on the lookout!
  7. 7 Note that, except for ll, double consonants in words from Spanish are not very common. Buffalo and peccadillo represent exceptions. In Spanish, buffalo has only one f and peccadillo has only one c. English spelling rules prefer two consonants as a signal that the previous vowel is short, as is the case in these words.