Appendix:Spanish words of Italic origin

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This is a list of Spanish words borrowed (as opposed to inherited) from other Italic languages. It is further divided into words that come from Oscan and Italian. Some of these words originally existed in Latin as loanwords from other languages. Some of these words have alternate proposed etymologies.

The Vulgar Latin of the Iberian peninsula may have received an admixture of Oscan forms in its Latinate substrate.[1]

Aragonese and Spanish power-projection onto the Italian peninsula (especially the southern Italian peninsula) from medieval times onwards can account for some Spanish-language borrowings of words of Italian origin.[2] Other notable contacts arose from the major streams of Italians immigrating to Argentina from the 19th century onwards and influencing Rioplatense Spanish.



  • Octubre (October) may show traces of Oscan influence in its phonology.[3]


  • alerta, "alert"[2]
  • anchoa, "anchovy" (cf. Ital dial (Genoese) ancioa)
  • atarantar
  • arpegio
  • azufre
  • bajo
  • balcón, "balcony"[2]
  • balón, "ball"
  • birra (Rioplatense Spanish), ="beer"
  • brújula, "compass"[2]
  • capitán, "captain"[2]
  • capricho, "whim"[2]
  • centinela, "sentinel"[2]
  • chelo, from Italian cello
  • charlar, "to chat"[2]
  • charlatán
  • comparsa
  • contrabando, from older Italian contrabando (later Italian: contrabbando)[4][5]
  • cúpula, from Italian cupola
  • daga
  • escorzo
  • espagueti, from spaghetti
  • estropear, "spoil"[2]
  • fachada, "façade"[2]
  • laburar (Rioplatense Spanish), from Italian lavorare, ="to work"
  • lasaña, from lasagna
  • lava
  • millón[2]
  • mufa (Rioplatense Spanish) ="bad luck", from Italian muffa (mildew)
  • ñoqui, from gnocchi
  • novela, "novel"[2]
  • pavana
  • piano
  • pibe (Rioplatense Spanish), from Italian pive
  • pizza
  • remolacha
  • sémola
  • sonata
  • soneto, "sonnet"[2]
  • soprano
  • sufato

See also[edit]


  • "Breve diccionario etimológico de la lengua española" by Guido Gómez de Silva →ISBN


  1. ^ A History of the Spanish Language[1], 2 edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, published 2002, →ISBN, page 13 of 398:
    [...] since it seems likely that many Roman soldiers and settlers who canme to Spain were drawn from areas of Italy where Latin was spoken bilingually with Oscan or Umbrian, it has been claimed that the Latin of such speakers was likely to have contained non-standard features resulting from this bilingual contact. A detailed case of this kind can be seen in Menendez Pidal (1960) [...] However, it cannot be said that there is general agreement on the origin of any of the instances of putative Osco-Umbrian influence so far adduced.
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 Stevenson, C. H. (1970) The Spanish Language Today (Modern Languages), London: Hutchinson University Library, →ISBN, page 119 of 146:
    Also during the Middle Ages contact grew with Italy, where the new, expanding kingdom of Catalonia, often in unity with Aragon, conquered all of southern Italy with Sicily and Sardinia [...] Castilian and Catalan words passed into Italian. Later, during the Renaissance the flow would be in the other direction with introductions such as capitán, [...] centinela, [...] alerta, [...] millón (replacing cuento) [...] fachada, [...] balcón, [...] brújula, [...] novela, [...] soneto, [...] capricho, [...] charlar, [...] estropear [...].
  3. ^ A History of the Spanish Language[2], 2 edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991, published 2002, →ISBN, page 40 of 398: “Octubre 'October', possibly from an Oscan-influenced form of Lat. OCTOBER, namely 'OCTUBER' [...] provided early medieval ochubre. As a result of influence from OCTOBER, as read aloud, ochubre was modified to semi-learned octubre.”
  4. ^ Compare "contraband" (noun) in the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 1989
  5. ^ Skeat, Walter William (1879) An etymological dictionary of the English language, Oxford University Press, published 1968, page 771 of 780: “Spanish from Italian from Latin: contraband.”