15 Spanish Words Used in English All The Time

15 Spanish Words Americans use ALL THE TIME 😯

I wish at the beach right now and every 5 minutes I would be like: ¡Amigo, una piña colada por favor! 

You don’t have to be an expert in Spanish to understand what a piña colada is, right? Everybody knows this! And just as piña colada, there are many other phrases or other Spanish words used in English that come directly from Spanish. 

In this article we will comment on 15 Spanish words that are very common in English, including 4 that come from a super popular song. 

Who knows? Maybe you know way more Spanish than you think! 

1. Spanish words used in English for food and drinks 


Margarita es… Yes, it is a drink, famously made with tequila, lime juice and cointreau, but en español también significa (but it ALSO means) daisy! 🌼 


So, salsa is both the music style and the super famous concoction famous in Mexican food.

Typical salsas are:

  • salsa verde (green sauce)
  • salsa roja (red sauce)
  • pico de gallo —which, by the way, means rooster beak!


This word is a diminutive: it’s small for burro, which means donkey.

 So, you’re actually saying “little donkey” whenever you get this at Chipotle. 


You know how hard it is for Mexicans to say “chocolate” in English.

The word actually comes from the Nahuatl xocolatl, porque el chocolate (because chocolate), como todas las cosas buenas (like all great things) ¡es mexicano!

2. Spanish words used in English for animals


This cute little fellow’s name means “little armoured ones” en español. So, you know the word, but now remember the Spanish pronunciation: armadiLLO. 


This scary-looking fish is the reason why mi mamá no me deja (my mom doesn’t let me) get in the water wearing anything metallic. 

3. Spanish words used in English for political stuff 


When I first heard an American saying this word, I thought they were saying GORILLA. 🙈

En español se pronuncia (In Spanish it is pronounced) Gue-RRI-lla. I know, I know… ¡¡¡La ERRE del diablo!!! (That devilish R).


We call the Spaniards that invaded American lands this name: conquistador, singular; conquistadores, plural.

You can also use this same word to call a man who is quite lucky with the ladies. 


That questionable geopolitics move, you know? It has the same meaning in Spanish AND you can use it to say “however”: SIN EMBARGO (Literally, without embargo!). 

4. Spanish words used in English for places


Same word except, en español, lleva acento en la i (in Spanish we stress the I).


Americans borrowed this word, that means courtyard. Here, we have to pay attention to the pronunciation of the T sound.

5. Spanish with Nirvana 

A mulatto, an albino, a mosquito, my libido… Great!!! Then, you know 4 words in Spanish that are identical in English except in the way they’re pronounced. 


Long time ago, in the horrible times when casts were a thing in Mexico, mulato was an adjective that described a person of black and white ancestry. 

It is still used today and though it’s not a word I would use, there are people who do, to talk about themselves and that’s okay. It’s 2020 las palabras se pueden reapropiar (words can be reclaimed). 


Albinism is the total lack of pigmentation in a living being. For a person that has this skin condition we use the word ALBINO [AL-BEE-NO]. 


This one is like burrito, a diminutive. So, we have the word MOSCO, a flying annoying insect and because they’re little, well… We call them mosquito (Like little mosco!)


Desire for sexual pleasure. In Spanish, it is pronounced Lee – BEE- do. Libido. So, it’s almost identical to English, except in the D sound. 

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