Spanish words entered the English vocabulary through three different key sources – Through trade across the oceans, through the southwest of America, and through food.

Trade between England and America with Spain took place over the course of many years and with a wide variety of goods. However, there was one particular good that although was not on the trade list, still managed to find its way on to the shores of these two English speaking countries – the Spanish vocabulary. To be specific, a set of Spanish words found their way to England and America thanks to the trade that took place between them.

Latin America also inspired the adaptation of multiple Spanish words into the English vocabulary. People, especially those living in the South of the United States of America (USA), brought these words to light among the English speaking natives. Apart from that, pop culture also played a vital role in this regard. Movies that portray the Wild West or are about cowboys deserve a lot of credit for this.

The last method of transport these Spanish words have used to enter the English vocabulary is food. From burritos to tortillas, some of the most amazing delicacies come from a Spanish origin and hence, their names have forever been inducted into the English language.

Now that we are familiar with how Spanish words got into the English language in the first place, it is time to work our way through some of the Spanish words you might encounter at the next spelling bee.

Spelling competitions are known for using words that come from different countries. Hence, you cannot skip this Spanish words list. We at Spelling Bee Ninja have prepared this list of Spanish words to prepare you for the upcoming spelling bee competition.

Spanish Words

AdiosConquistadorMesa
AlamoCordovanNovillero
AlligatorDesperadoOlio
AmarilloDiabloOregano
AnchovyDuennaPeccadillo
ArgentineEmbarcaderoPicaresque
BarrioEmbargoPochismo
BoleroEmpanadaPueblo
BolivarEnchiladaPunctilio
BonanzaFandangoQuesadilla
BongoFiestaRamada
BuffaloFilibusterRasgado
BurritoFlamencoRejoneador
CaballeroFlotillaRenegade
CabanaGazpachoSarsaparilla
CafeteriaGorditaSassafras
CanastaHaciendaSierra
CastanetsJuncoSombrero
CedillaJuntaTomatillo
ChalupaLangostaTornado
ChimichangaLariatTortilla
ChinchillaMachismoVanilla
CilantroMantillaVaquero
ComandanteMariachiVigilante

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Some Spanish Words Definitions

AdiosGoodbye
AlamoSpanish word for “poplar tree”
AmarilloYellow
BarrioNeighborhood
BoleroA Spanish dance, or the lively music which accompanies it.
BolivarThe basic monetary unit of Venezuela, equal to 100 centimos.
BonanzaIn mining, a rich mine or vein of silver or gold; hence, anything which is a mine of wealth or yields a large income.
BongoEach of a joined pair of small deep-bodied drums, typically held between the knees and played with the fingers.
BurritoA Mexican dish consisting of a tortilla rolled round a savoury filling, typically of minced beef or beans
CaballeroA Spanish gentleman
CabanaA hut, cabin, or shelter at a beach or swimming pool.
CafeteriaA restaurant in which customers serve themselves from a counter and pay before eating.
CanastaA card game resembling rummy, using two packs. It is usually played by two pairs of partners, and the aim is to collect sets (or melds) of cards.
CedillaA mark placed under the letter c [thus, c], to show that it is to be sounded like s, as in facade.
ChalupaA fried tortilla in the shape of a boat, with a spicy filling.
ChimichangaA tortilla wrapped round a filling, typically of meat, and deep-fried.
ChinchillaA small rodent (Chinchilla lanigera), of the size of a large squirrel, remarkable for its fine fur, which is very soft and of a pearly gray color. It is a native of Peru and Chili. – The fur of the chinchilla. – A heavy, long-napped, tufted woolen cloth.
CilantroCoriander used as a seasoning or garnish.
ComandanteAn officer who has the command of a place or of a body of troops
ConquistadorA conqueror, especially one of the Spanish conquerors of Mexico and Peru in the 16th century.
CordovanSame as Cordwain. In England the name is applied to leather made from horsehide.
DesperadoA reckless, furious man; a person urged by furious passions, and regardless of consequence; a wild ruffian.
DiabloSpanish word meaning
EmbarcaderoA pier, wharf, or landing place, especially on a river or inland waterway.
EmpanadaA Spanish or Latin American pastry turnover filled with a variety of savoury ingredients and baked or fried.
EnchiladaA tortilla served with chilli sauce and a filling of meat or cheese.
FandangoA lively dance, in 3-8 or 6-8 time, much practiced in Spain and Spanish America. Also, the tune to which it is danced. – A ball or general dance, as in Mexico.
FiestaAn event marked by festivities or celebration.
FlamencoA style of Spanish music, played especially on the guitar and accompanied by singing and dancing.
FlotillaA little fleet, or a fleet of small vessels.
GazpachoA cold Spanish soup made from tomatoes, peppers, and other salad vegetables.
Gordita(in Mexican cooking) a thick pancake made from maize flour, typically split and filled with meat, cheese, or vegetables.
JuncoAny bird of the genus Junco, which includes several species of North American finches; — called also snowbird, or blue snowbird.
JuntaA council; a convention; a tribunal; an assembly; esp., the grand council of state in Spain.
LangostaCheck langouste.
MachismoStrong or aggressive masculine pride.
MantillaA lady’s light cloak of cape of silk, velvet, lace, or the like. – A kind of veil, covering the head and falling down upon the shoulders; — worn in Spain, Mexico, etc.
MariachiDenoting a type of traditional Mexican folk music, performed by a small group of strolling musicians.
MesaA high tableland; a plateau on a hill.
NovilleroAn aspiring bullfighter who has not yet attained the rank of matador.
OlioA dish of stewed meat of different kinds. – A mixture; a medley. – A collection of miscellaneous pieces.
OreganoAn aromatic Eurasian plant related to marjoram, with small purple flowers and leaves used as a culinary herb.
PeccadilloA slight trespass or offense; a petty crime or fault.
PicaresqueApplied to that class of literature in which the principal personage is the Spanish picaro, meaning a rascal, a knave, a rogue, an adventurer.
PochismoA term of U.S. origin borrowed into Mexican Spanish and used along the border between the U.S. and Mexico especially by U.S.-born Mexicans
PunctilioA nice point of exactness in conduct, ceremony, or proceeding; particularity or exactness in forms; as, the punctilios of a public ceremony.
QuesadillaA tortilla filled with cheese and heated.
RamadaAn arbor or porch.
RasgadoTorn
RejoneadorThe mounted man who thrusts a rejon into the shoulder muscles of the bull in bullfighting.
RenegadeOne faithless to principle or party. – An apostate from Christianity or from any form of religious faith. – One who deserts from a military or naval post; a deserter. – A common vagabond; a worthless or wicked fellow.
SarsaparillaAny plant of several tropical American species of Smilax. – The bitter mucilaginous roots of such plants, used in medicine and in sirups for soda, etc.
SassafrasAn American tree of the Laurel family (Sassafras officinale); also, the bark of the roots, which has an aromatic smell and taste.
SierraA ridge of mountain and craggy rocks, with a serrated or irregular outline; as, the Sierra Nevada.
SombreroA kind of broad-brimmed hat, worn in Spain and in Spanish America.
TomatilloAn edible purple or yellow fruit which is chiefly used for sauces and preserves.
TortillaAn unleavened cake, as of maize flour, baked on a heated iron or stone.
VaqueroOne who has charge of cattle, horses, etc.; a herdsman.

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