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Increase Your Vocabulary: More Spanish Words in English

Updated: Feb 21

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Introduction - Increase your vocabulary with these Spanish words

In this article, I will introduce you to 12 Spanish words found in English.

I will give you their original spelling and meaning in Spanish.

And their pronunciation too.

They are worthwhile becoming familiar with to increase your vocabulary.

1 Bonanza – the Spanish word for prosperity. Pronounced: /bəˈnænzə/

The shares I bought many years ago have turned out to be a bonanza. Their value has more than tripled since then.

2 Hacienda – house in Spanish. Pronounced /hæsiˈendə/

Don't replace 'house' for this word. Don't overuse it.

Come and see our new hacienda!

3 Nachos – corn chips topped with melted cheese or other savory items such as peppers or refried beans. Eat them with savory dips.

Pronounced /ˈnɑːtʃəʊz/ or /ˈnætʃəʊz/

Named after Ignacio ‘Nacho’ Anaya who invented the dish in 1943.

4 Taco – the Spanish word for plug. A crispy or soft corn or wheat tortilla /tɔː(r)ˈtiːə/ (another Spanish word in English).

Tacos are folded in half and stuffed with a mixture of seasoned meat, cheese, and lettuce.

5 Rodeo – from rodear, meaning ‘to go around’.

   /rəʊˈdeɪəʊ/ or /ˈrəʊdiəʊ/

An event where wild horses (mustangs) and bulls test riders’ skills in staying on their backs. The animals try to dislodge/buck them off.

6 Mesa – means ‘table’ in Spanish. Pronounced /ˈmeɪsə/

Mesas are steep-sided, flat-topped mountains. They are usually found in deserts in the US or Mexico.

7 Mosquito – in Spanish it means ‘little fly’. Mosquitoes often carry diseases. Pronounced /mɒˈskiːtəʊ/

8 Vigilante – the Spanish word for watchman. /vɪdʒɪˈlænti/

Vigilantes take the law into their own hands to combat crime.

9 Renegade – from renegado meaning traitor or turncoat.

Pronounced /ˈrenɪɡeɪd/

10 Suave – meaning smooth or ‘cool’. /swɑːv/

James Bond - 007 - is suave and sophisticated.

11 Fiesta – the Spanish word for party. /fɪˈestə/

Fiestas are (often religious) celebrations held in the street, in public places.

12 Siesta – the Spanish word for an afternoon nap. /siˈestə/

I always have a siesta after lunch.


In this article, I have introduced to you a dozen Spanish words that are used often in English.

They are good to learn to develop your English vocabulary.

Further Reading

You can read about more Spanish words in this earlier blog article.

And read this article as well.

© Apex English Tutoring Oct 2022 - Updated January 2024

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About Me

Hello and welcome!

My name is Michael Finemore and I am the owner-operator of Apex English Tutoring.

As an experienced English Teacher, I'm passionate about helping people turn their 'poor' English into great English, with easy and effective ways to practice.

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