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Quiz: Do You Know these Spanish Words used in English? (Part 1)

For centuries there has been close cultural contact between the English-speaking and Spanish-speaking worlds. Much of this contact has been, and continues to be, centred on the Caribbean and North America, but historically the process has taken place in Europe, Africa and the Far East as well. No wonder there has been a long and lively exchange of vocabulary between our two languages.

Can you recognise these Spanish terms which are used in English? Identify the correct meaning in each case, and don’t be shy – share your results below 🙂

  • Question of

    Matador

    • Bullfighter
    • Assassin
    • Escalator
  • Question of

    Adobe

    • acrobat
    • sun-dried brick
    • architecture
  • Question of

    Arroyo

    • Grassland
    • Storm
    • seasonal watercourse
  • Question of

    Cojones

    • cowardice
    • courage
    • all-terrain vehicle
  • Question of

    Mestizo

    • chilli sauce
    • person of mixed race
    • Hat worn by farmers of Welsh ancestry in the south of Argentina
  • Question of

    Caballero

    • horseman
    • bishop (chesspiece)
    • hand-rolled cigarette
  • Question of

    Loco

    • Steam train
    • Sheriff
    • crazy
  • Question of

    Bastinado

    • Obstinacy
    • A beating on the soles of the feet
    • Mexican guitar group
  • Question of

    Caldera

    • Sinkhole on a volcano
    • Outdoor community gathering
    • A female mule
  • Question of

    Fiesta

    • Small car
    • festival
    • Type of tequila

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  1. I got half right! XD It’s an interesting quiz. Which Spanish is this for? Because there’s different types of Spanish and I know Spanish, but I know Puerto Rican Spanish and these are used totally different than the quiz in my known Spanish, so it’s interesting to learn many words are used for so many meanings. Like to me matador means killer or fiesta means party besides festival and cojones means bothersome people, and Caballero means male, man, guy. =P

    • Sure, but this isn’t Spanish as used by any native Spanish-speakers; the quiz is about Spanish terms as used in English. English, and I suppose many other languages, often change, or narrow or broaden, the meanings of words they borrow 🙂

      • Oh, okay! I just thought it was a specific Spanish to English translation, like Spain Spanish or something. Hee hee! I loved your quiz and enjoyed learning the terms since they are different than what I have learned. I always thought it was pretty cool to learn all the different ways one word is used. =)

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