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Spanish Words in English

With so much often said about the infiltration of English into the Spanish language, one often forgets that borrowed words and loan words are a two-way street. United States English has its share of linguistic contributions from Spanish, words that come from Mexico, Cuba, Spain and beyond. The two most common classifications are foreign words, which maintain the original meaning and spelling, and true loan words, which have the same or a similar meaning, but with an adapted spelling.

Foreign words– these are Spanish words that most English speakers will understand, though probably pronounce with a dubious accent.

“There’s a fiesta at Brody’s house tonight!

“Easy there macho man!”

“Don’t you know I’m loco?

Loan words- these are words that originate from Spanish, but have a different spelling, different meaning, or both.

“I’ll have a strawberry daiquiri.” (The word daiquiri comes from the name of a town in Cuba, which is a leading producer of rum and was once home to the Bacardi brand.)

“My dream is to go skiing in Colorado.” (Colorado means reddish or colored in Spanish.)

“I want a Corona and some nachos.” (As the story goes, the chips and cheese snack known as Nachos was invented by an Ignacio Anaya. Nacho is the Spanish nickname for Ignacio.

These are just a few of the many, many examples of Spanish’s influence on the English language. So the next time you’re having nachos and a daiquiri in Colorado, be thankful that the English Only locos are fighting a losing battle.

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