Appendix:Spanish words of African origin

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This is a list of Spanish words of African origin. It is further divided into words that come from Bantu, Berber West African, and words which are known (or thought) to have come from African, but when the exact source is not known. Some of these words existed in Latin as loanwords from other languages. Some of these words have alternate etymologies and may also appear on a list of Spanish words from a different language.

Bantu[edit]

conga
Conga from Cuban Spanish, from an African language, possibly form Bantu kong "mountain."
marimba
marimba: from a Bantu language; represented by Kimbundu marimba, from the same family as Chiluba madimba marimba.
ñu
gnu: ultimately from Bantu, possibly from Xhosa.
Candombe
La Bamba
Bomba
mofongo
Cachimbo
marifinga
mondongo

Berber[edit]

gato
cat, from Late Latin, from an African source, possibly Berber

West African[edit]

banana, banano
banana, from Portuguese banana, from a West African language, possibly Wolof or Mandinka.
gorila
gorilla, from Modern Latin (first used in English in the United States), from Ancient Greek gorlla, singular of grillai (feminine plural, c. 450) African tribe of hairy people, possibly of West African origin
ñame
yam, of West African origin, possibly related to Fulani nyami "to eat."
Chevere
from Efik Chevere, brought by the Abakua in Cuba

African[edit]

jirafa
giraffe, from Italian giraffa, from Arabic zirafa/zarafah "giraffe," probably of African origin; of the same family as Egyptian sr "giraffe".
Gandinga

References[edit]

  • Breve diccionario etimológico de la lengua española, by Guido Gómez de Silva (ISBN 968-16-2812-8)