LATINO VOICES
04/25/2013 12:04 pm ET

24 Spanish Words English Speakers Might Not Know They're Using (SLIDESHOW)

24 Words You Didn't Know Were Spanish

Many Americans worry that the recent era of mass migration will permanently change the face of the United States. But they forget that English-speaking Europeans are relative latecomers to North America. Indigenous groups first populated the continent thousands of years ago, and Spanish speakers arrived in the 16th century, well before the settlement of Jamestown in 1607.

Latinos didn't start changing the United States with November's election. Hispanic influence is everywhere.

One way to see that influence is in the many common English words derived from Spanish that we use routinely without reflecting on their origins. Some of those words describe phenomena that Spanish-speakers named first, and some are words that the Spaniards adopted from the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Others, like a whole bunch of words related to ranching, made their way into English because of the close ties between Hispanic and Anglophone people in what is now the U.S. Southwest.

Check out these 24 English words derived from Spanish or Amerindian languages in the slideshow above. Know any more? Tell us in the comments.

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