Appendix:English terms of Native South American origin

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An offshoot of Appendix:English terms of Native American origin, this list includes common nouns which originated from Native American language families spoken to the south of the Panama Canal. Terms from language families spoken on both sides of the Canal, or in the Caribbean, are listed separately. See here for a list of place names, personal names and tribe names derived from these languages. (If a common noun is also the name of a tribe, place or person (e.g. "Lima (bean)"), this is noted in this list only in the etymology.)

specific language unclear[edit]

  • chullo — "particular Andean style of hat with earflaps, made of wool" — Aymara or Quechua
  • coca — "dried leaf of the South American shrub Erythroxylon coca, the source of cocaine" — Quechua kuka, perhaps from Aymara
  • cocaine — "stimulant narcotic in the form of a white powder that users generally self-administer by insufflation through the nose" — from "coca"
  • coke — "cocaine", "(serving of) Coca-Cola, any other cola-flavored drink, or any other soft drink" — from "coca" via "cocaine" and "Coca-Cola", respectively

from Aymaran languages[edit]

from Aymara[edit]

  • alpaca — "Andean lamoid, which resembles a sheep but is related to camels" — Aymara allpaca
  • camanchaca — "type of mist found on the west coast of South America by the Atacama Desert, which does not drop rain" — Aymara kamanchaka (darkness)
  • mauka — "Andean root vegetable Mirabilis expansa (important to the Incas and considered lost until it was rediscovered in three places, the Inca policy of transplanting important crops to preserve them having succeeded)" — from Aymara mauka (mauka, Mirabilis expansa)
  • pachamanca — "(particular) traditional Peruvian dish characteristically baked with the aid of hot stones" — Aymara pacha (earth) + manq'a (food)

from Araucanian languages‎[edit]

from ‎Mapudungun[edit]

  • colocolo — "small, striped, western-central South American cat (Leopardus colocolo)" — Mapudungun Colo Colo (a creature in Mapuche mythology)
  • coypu — "Myocastor coypus, large, crepuscular, semiaquatic rodent (similar to a rat) with bright orange teeth, native to South and North America, Europe and Asia" — Mapudungun koypu (coypu)
  • lof — "basic social organization of the Mapuche, Huilliche and Picunche peoples, a (familial) clan which recognizes the authority of a lonco" — Mapudungun lof (community)
  • lonko (also: lonco) — "(Mapuche) chief" — Mapudungun logko, longko (chief)
  • pudu — "very small South American (Andean) deer of the genus Pudu" — Mapudungun pudu (small deer)
  • toqui (also: toki) — "(Mapuche) war chief" — Mapudungun toki (war chief; axe)

from Jivaroan (languages)[edit]

from Quechuan (languages)[edit]

  • achira — "canna lily, the seeds of which yield a purple dye", "edible rhizome (underground stem) of this plant" — from Quechua achira
  • arracacha — "Arracacia xanthorriza", "starchy taproot of this vegetable, which is edible when cooked" — Quechua rakacha, raqacha
  • ayahuasca — "any of several South American Banisteriopsis vines", " any of various psychoactive infusions or decoctions prepared from this vine" — Quechua ayawaska
  • charqui — "jerky" — Quechua charqui, charki (sun- and/or air-dried strips of meat)
  • condor — "either of two New World vultures: the Andean Vultur gryphus or the Californian Gymnogyps californianus" — Quechua kuntur
  • guanaco — "South American ruminant Lama guanicoe" — Quechua wanaku
  • guano — "dung of a sea bird or bat" — Quechua huanu (dung) (via Spanish)
  • huatia — "traditional Peruvian earthen oven, used to produce pachamanca, dating back to the time of the Inca" — Quechua watya, watiya
  • jerk — (as a noun:) "meat cured by jerking", (as a verb:) "to cure meat by cutting it into strips and drying it, originally in the sun" — (from the same source as "jerky", "charqui")
  • jerky — "lean meat cured and preserved by cutting into thin strips and air-drying in the sun" — (variant or cognate of "charqui")
  • lagniappe — "extra gift, such as a seller gives a buyer when the buyer purchases something else" — Cajun French, from Spanish la ñapa, a variant of yapa (something added, something given as a bonus), from Quechua yapay (once again, adv), yapay (extra gift, noun)
  • lima bean (or: Lima bean) — "butter bean (Phaseolus lunatus)" — named after the city of "Lima", from Coastal Quechua Limaq (the name of a nearby oracle)
  • llama — "South American lamoid of the camel family, used as a domestic beast of burden and a source of wool and meat" — Quechua llama (via Spanish)
  • mate (also: maté) — "evergreen tree Ilex paraguariensis", "tea-like beverage made from the dried leaves of this plant" — Quechua mati
  • oca — "herbaceous perennial plant Oxalis tuberosa", "edible tuber of this plant" — Quechua okka, oqa, uqa
  • pampas — "extensive grassy plains of South America south of the Amazon" — Quechua land, ground, flat plain
  • pampas deer — "small South American deer, Odocoileus bezoarticus" — from "pampas"
  • pique — "chigger, Tunga penetrans" — Quechua piki
  • pisco — "South American liquor (brandy) distilled from grapes" — Quechua pishku, pisqu
  • poncho — "simple garment, made from a rectangle of cloth, with a slit in the middle for the head", "raincoat" — Quechua punchu
  • puma — "mountain lion, cougar" — Quechua *puma
  • quinine — "bitter alkaloid powder derived from cinchona bark, used to treat malaria" — Quechua kina
  • quinoa — "Andean goosefoot Chenopodium quinoa, cultivated for its edible fruits/seeds", "high-protein dried fruits/seeds of this plant, used as a food staple and ground into flour" — Quechua kinwa
  • quipu — "Andean (Incan) recording device consisting of colored, spun, and plied thread or strings from llama or alpaca hair, with numeric values encoded by knots in a base ten positional system" — Cusco-Collao Quechua khipu (knot)
  • ulluco — "Ullucus tuberosus", "edible tuber of this plant, which resembles and is cooked like a potato" — Quechua ulluku
  • vicuna (also: vicuña) — "South American hoofed mammal, Vicugna vicugna, closely related to the alpaca, llama, and guanaco" — Quechua wikúña
  • wiphala — "square emblem, commonly used as a flag, representing the native peoples of the central Andes of Bolivia" — (South?) Bolivian Quechua wiphala

from Tupian (and Guaraní) languages[edit]

specific lect unclear[edit]

from Tupian (not Guaraní) lects[edit]

  • abacaxi — "large Brazilian pineapple" — Old Tupi ibakatí
  • acai berry — "fruit of the tree Euterpe olearacea" — (via Portuguese, from) Old Tupi
  • acajou — "cashew tree", "cashew nut"; "mahogany tree", "mahogany wood" — from the same Tupian root as "cashew" (or Old Tupi agapú (mahogany))
  • acapu — "any of several tropical trees" — (via Portuguese, from) Old Tupi
  • agouti — "rodent similar to a guinea pig but with longer legs", "(pattern of) fur in which hairs have several bands of light and dark pigment and black tips" — Tupian agoutí, agutí, akutí, acutí
  • ai — "three-toed maned sloth (Bradypus tridactylus)" — Old Tupi
  • ananas — "pineapple" — Old Tupi nanas (excellent fruit) (via the scientific name if not directly)
  • anhinga — "fish-eating bird Anhinga anhinga", "any bird of the family Anhingidae" — Old Tupi ajíŋa (also transcribed as áyinga or ayingá)
  • ani — "near-passerine bird of the genus Crotophaga in the cuckoo family" — Old Tupi
  • arariba — "any of several trees" — (via Portuguese, from) Old Tupi
  • candiru (or: candirú) — "Vandellia cirrhosa, a small parasitic fish native to the Amazon river" — Old Tupi
  • capybara — "large, tailless South American rodent (Hydrochoerus hydrochaeris)" — Tupian/Old Tupi ka'apiûara (slender leaf (grass) eater), from kaá (leaf) + píi (slender) + ú (eat) + ara (agentive suffix)
  • caracara — "any of several Central and South American Falconidae birds of prey" — from a Tupian onomatopoeic representation of its cry
  • cashew — "Anacardium occidentale tree", "small, kidney-shaped, edible nut of this tree" — Tupian acajuba or aka'iu
  • cayenne — "particular spicy pepper", "powder which results from the pestling of this pepper" — Tupian quiínia, kyinha, kyynha (hot pepper)
  • coati — "any of several omnivorous mammals of the genus Nasua and order Carnivora" — Old Tupi
  • coatimundi — "(any of various) particular coati(s)" — (the first element is "coati", from Old Tupi)
  • cotinga — "any of the neotropical passerine birds of the genus Cotinga" — Old Tupi cutinga
  • ipecac — "syrup of ipecac, an emetic", "ipecacuanha (the plant or its root)" — shortening of "ipecacuanha"
  • ipecacuanha — "Psychotria ipecacuanha, a flowering plant", "root of this plant, which has medicinal uses especially when powdered" — Tupian ipekaaguéne, from ipeh (low) + kaâ (leaves) + guéne (vomit)
  • jaboticaba (also: jabuticaba) — "evergreen Brazilian grape tree Myrciaria cauliflora", "purplish-black, white-pulped fruit of this tree, which may be eaten raw or used in jellies and drinks" — Tupian yawoti’kawa (jaboticaba fruit) or ïapoti’kaba (fruit in bloom)
  • jacana — "plover-like wading bird of the family Jacanidae, having long legs and toes" — Tupian jasaná
  • jacaranda — "any of several trees of the genus Jacaranda, which have pale purple, funnel-shaped flowers", "hard, dark, often fragant wood of these trees" — Old Tupi yacaranda
  • jacare (also: yacare) — "caiman, alligator" — Old Tupi (jacaré?)
  • jararaca — "venomous South American snake Bothrops jaracara" — Tupian
  • macaw — "any of several species of parrot of the genera Ara, Anodorhynchus, Cyanopsitta, Primolius, Orthopsittaca and Diopsittaca" — Tupian mak'o
  • manioc — "cassava" — Old Tupi manioka
  • margay — "Central and South American spotted cat Leopardus wiedii" — Tupian marakaya
  • piranha (or: piraña) — "any of the carnivorous freshwater fish living in South American rivers and belonging to the families of Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus" — from Tupian/Old Tupi pirá (there are several theories regarding the second element, some of which invoke Guaraní)
  • pororoca — "tidal bore, wave (or series of waves) which travels up thee Amazon and adjacent rivers" — from a Tupian word meaning "great destructive noise"
  • tajassu — "common peccary, an animal similar to a pig" — probably from Old Tupi
  • tanager — "any of several American passerine birds of the family Thraupidae, which inhabit forests" — Old Tupi tangara
  • tapioca — "starchy, powdery or pearly extract of the cassava" — Tupian/Old Tupi tipi'óka, tipioca (that which is squeezed out of cassava)
  • tapir — "large browsing mammal, similar in shape to a pig" — Tupian tapira
  • toucan — "any of various frugivorous birds of the family Ramphastidae, which have large, colorful beaks" — Tupian tuka, tukan, tukana, which probably originated as an imitation of its cry
  • toucan crossing — "pedestrian and bike crossing with traffic lights operated by those wishing to cross: a pelican crossing which also allows bicycles to cross" — a pun; the crossing is like a "pelican crossing", but "two can" cross (walkers and riders)
  • tucum — "strong fibre obtained from the palm Astrocaryum vulgare", "this palm" — via Portuguese from Tupian (Old Tupi?) tucumá

from Sateré-Mawé[edit]

from Guaraní lects[edit]