Long before the hybrid Spanglish came on the scene, the two languages—Spanish and English—were mixing it up in dusty border towns and far-flung tropical locales. Over the years, English has been enriched by the addition of numerous Spanish loan words, some borrowed with virtually no changes while others have been anglicized to a certain extent, either in terms of spelling or pronunciation. When American settlers began exploring the west in the early 1800s, they encountered an established Mexican culture that supplied the English language with a number of everyday words. Merchants trading in the Spanish-influenced Caribbean returned not only with goods but new words as well. Novel dishes and ingredients introduced to us through exposure to Hispanic cultures have broadened both our menu options and our vocabulary.
While languages such as Spanish and French have academic bodies—the Real Academia Española and the Académie Française, respectively—charged with maintaining the purity and integrity of these languages, no such body exists for the English language. English abounds with words adopted from other languages, and new words continue to enter the language, many of which can claim foreign pedigrees.
The following list of words, although far from exhaustive, provides a glimpse of some of the Spanish loan words that you probably use all the time but never gave a second thought as to their origins.
adobe, alpaca, amigo, armadillo, banana, bandoleer, bolero, burro, bronco, caiman, caldera, chili con carne, chihuahua, condor, conga, conquistador, corral, coyote, creole, cumbia, daiquiri, desperado, embargo, flamenco, galleon, gaucho, gazpacho, guanaco, guerrilla, hacienda, iguana, jaguar, junta, latino, llama, machete, macho, maize, mambo, manatee, maracas, mariachi, marijuana, matador, merengue, mesa, mescal, mosquito, negro, oregano, paella, pampa, patio, pasodoble, piñata, plaza, poncho, puma, quinoa, rodeo, rumba, salsa, siesta, silo, taco, tango, tapas, tequila, tobacco, tornado, tortilla, vanilla, vigilante, vertigo.
Can you think of any other examples of Spanish words that have snuck into English?