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Top 10 Spanish Words of Arabic Origin

Patrick Boyle . . . Comments

The previous list that I submitted to Listverse was entitled “Top 10 English Words of Arabic Origin.” Some commenters noted a disparity between this title criteria and the included entries (i.e. “jihad” isn’t an “English word,” but rather the English iteration of and Arabic/Islamic phenomenon). This may be a valid argument; however, titles are tricky and the real purpose of such a list is entertainment and education for those interested in etymology, history and other related subjects. In this vein I have made another list consisting of words and terms that have sparked my interest while studying foreign language. Anyway, haters gonna hate (I don’t know how to say that in either Arabic or Spanish).

Islamic armies consisting of Arabs and Berbers began a conquest of the Iberian Peninsula in 711 and maintained a presence until being finally expelled in 1492. Inevitably the invading culture left an impression on the language of the conquered. Below are a number of Spanish language expressions that owe their existence to this chapter in history.

*Please note – transliteration of Arabic terms are based on my own estimation as there is no agreed upon standard.

10

Asesino
Assassin

Pakhtun Warrior

I feel amiss for not including this word in my previous list, seeing as how I did a report on its etymological origin in college. Several commenters mentioned its absences as well. The term returns to the crusades and come from the term “حشاشيين – hashasheen” meaning “smokers of hash.” According to legend, the term was given to a group of warriors who took their marching orders from a mysterious “old man in the mountains.” The assassins were most likely members of the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam based in Syria. They were known for attacking prominent leaders who threatened their movement, killing the target but making no attempt to escape. There are two legends as to the drug connection. The first comes from the belief that these warriors indulged in the use of this herb in order to stoke courage and numb the fear inherent with performing a political killings. The second, more fantastical theory, is the idea that they were pampered in all manner of pleasures, narcotic or otherwise, in their mountain lair. Supposedly this taste of paradise motivated them when the time came for undertaking an attack against a rival of their cryptic commander. Enraptured by the thought of a permanent return to such a land of pleasure they gladly carried out their task, making no effort to escape. Instead they carried out the deed and then awaited death in hopes of spending eternity enveloped in the pleasures they had previously known.

9

Alfil
Chess Piece

Chess-Pieces

I first learned this term while watching the latest Sherlock Holmes movie with the Spanish subtitles (a good tool for foreign language maintenance). This comes from the Arabic word for elephant and refers to the piece known to English speaking players as the bishop. The game of chess probably started in India and came to the Arabic world via Persia. Since the Persian word for elephant is the same as the Arabic, “fil – فيل”, it might be more appropriate to call this a Spanish word of Persian origin, but such is the vermiform path of etymology.


8

Alhambra

Alhambra1

Not so much a word as a place name, this fabulous historical site takes its name from the Arabic “الحمراء – alhamra” meaning “the red one.” It is the site of the surrender of the Muslim Kingdom of Grenada in 1492, marking the end of an Islamic presence in Iberia and the ascendancy of colonial Spain. The fort itself was not attacked during the Reconquista and therefore remains splendid example of Moorish architecture in Spain.

7

Hasta
Until

Hasta La Vista

Holding roughly the same semantic weight as the English word “until” this comes from the Arabic word “حتى – hata,” which is a preposition of approximately the same meaning (prepositions are always tricky to define word-for-word). Perhaps more than any other item on this list, this entry shows the deep influence that Arabic has had on Spanish. Nouns and verbs, especially those dealing with new technological or social phenomena, are frequently transferred between languages; however, in my limited linguistic experience, I cannot think of another example where a preposition from a foreign language subsumes the extant form of the same term in the original language.

6

Ojala
Hopefully

Hopeful1

English speaking students of Spanish might recognize this term from the subjunctive section of your lessons. Meaning “hopefully” it comes from the Arabic exhortation “ لو شاء لله  – wa sha allah” which means “should God will it.” As the subjunctive tense deals, in part, with expressing a wish for as of yet uncertain outcomes this term is always used with it. ¡Ojala que recuerde este lexicón para su próximo examen!

5

Aciete
Oil

The-Health-Benefits-Of-Olive-Oil-Ga-4

From the Arabic word “الزيت – az-zait” this refers, both in Arabic and Spanish to the liquid derived from olives and not to the fossil fuel. I know that the Portuguese word is phonologically similar and there are most likely similar words in other languages.


4

Almohada
Pillow

Luxury-Siberian-Goose.Down-Pillow

Readers will no doubt notices at this point that many of the entries begin with the letter “a”. This owes to the fact that the Arabic definite article is “ال – al” and has been maintained in many word transfer. It is not certain whether this word replaced the original Spanish word or if the concept of a stuffed fabric sleeping device was introduced to Spanish lands by Islamic invaders.

3

Azúcar
Sugar

Sucre3

The sweetest entry and another food-related item. Like “alfil” it came to Spanish from India via Persian and then Arabic. This is another word that has found its way into many languages.


2

Rehén
Hostage

Iran Hostages

The root of the original Arabic word “رهين – raheen” means “to deposit as security.” I remember coming across this word a number of years ago and it prompted me to investigate the connection between the two languages. I wish that I had additional etymological information to make this a more captivating addition to the list.

1

Adobe

Entrance-To-Traditional-Adobe-House-Texas-Tx429

I’m not sure how this became the name for everyone’s favorite frequently petitioned software update however the namesake mud brick structures have an understandably ancient origin. I excavated the following explanation from Wikipedia and found no reason to alter it:

The word can be traced from the Middle Egyptian (c. 2000 BC) word dj-b-t ”mud [i.e., sun-dried] brick.” As Middle Egyptian evolved into Late Egyptian, Demotic, and finally Coptic (c. 600 BC), dj-b-t became tobe ”[mud] brick.” This was borrowed into Arabic as al-tub (الطّوب al ”the” + tub”brick”) “[mud] brick,” which was assimilated into Old Spanish as adobe [aˈdobe], still with the meaning “mud brick.”



  • Usj

    No puedo hablar & escribir en espanol.

    • Arkon

      lo que una aburrida lista

      • sender

        me gusta tacos y burritos con salsa caliente

        • wam

          Adios muchachos.

          • Veyron

            Tengo Hambre

        • ko

          Me gustan los tacos y los burritos con salsa picosa.

      • JO

        Es una lista aburrida, o, Que aburrida lista.

  • Karim

    Hey there,

    Great list!

    Regarding #6, it’s actually read “Law Sha Allah”, not “Wa Sha Allah”

    • djgagekid

      I thought the phrase was “Insha’Allah”?

      • yeah u r right , it is Insha’Allah

        but sometimes we say it Law sha’ Allah

      • 1234

        That means ”Thank God” I think.

        • Karim

          Thank God means: Al Hamdu Lillah, or Al Shukru Lillah.

    • Patrick

      I’m not sure how that mistake occurred. Some sources say that the origin of ojala is “ishallah”.

      • Hay Señor

        I’m pretty sure it’s Enshi’Lladah

      • Karim

        It is said “Ishallah” in Farsi and other dialects, the two words that mean “Hopefully” are Insha’Allah or Law Sha’ Allah. The use of Insha’Allah, however, is more widespread in Arabic.

  • kunta

    shit list. Wikipedia for research? Lmfao

    • Patrick

      Thank you for your mature input.

    • Reema

      Go learn another language instead of posting like teenagers !

    • sender

      Wiki isn’t so bad, as long as you check the citations at the bottom. Way to regurgitate an unoriginal opinion.

      • Maggot

        It’s also not bad when it’s correct. The author (who evidently has a background in etymology) merely stated: “I excavated the following explanation from Wikipedia and found no reason to alter it”. If the OP kunta finds that explanation to be faulty, then by all means please clear it up for us, instead of just whining about where it came from.

        • Salo Hes

          Do you really have the time to read, evaluate and cross check with Wikipedia for all lists? Wat exactly do you do for a living? Do you go out? With people ? Do you have friends outside the internet?

          • Maggot

            Do you really have the time to read, evaluate and cross check with Wikipedia for all lists?

            No.

            Wat exactly do you do for a living?

            What’s it to you?

            Do you go out?

            What’s it to you?

            With people ?

            What’s it to you?

            Do you have friends outside the internet?

            What’s it to you?

            Lmao, do you have a point to make? I mean, other than just some whiney opinion about me that I don’t give a s.hit about.

  • Will Trame

    no habla espanol.

  • Don’t want to be one of those people, pero creo que la palabra correcta es “aceite”, ¿no?

    • Eer

      Yes, it is. “aceite”. Olive oil=aceite de oliva. The word is also used in “non edible oils”: motor oil=aceite de motor.
      In arabic “az-zaitun”=aceituna=olive.

      • MM

        I was under the impression that it derived from the Latin word acetum, meaning vinegar (also wit and shrewdness).

        • GabrielO

          “Acetic” acid is the main component of vinegar (from latin “acetum” – castillian: “ácido acético”). It has nothing to do with the aceitunas…

      • As someone who’s a bit obsessed with language, I’ve always wondered why the olive is an “aceituna” but the oil isn’t “aceite de aceituna” instead of “aceite de oliva”. Aside from sounding a bit repetitive it seems a bit more logical. In Catalunya the olive is an “olive” and the oil is “oli d’oliva”. I live in Barcelona among Spanish and Catalan speakers and no one seems to have the answer. Anyone have any ideas?

        • Eer

          i think the answer is what you said: it’s a bit repetitive. In some places in Spain (Andalucía, for example), the words “oliva” and “aceituna” are both used indistinctly. I have heard “aceite de aceituna” but it doesn’t sound well…. A little…. Rough perhaps.

        • Aztiray

          I think that it comes from the fact that the tree from wich the olives come its called “olivo”.

        • Rq

          Actually both can be quite interchangeable, the difference is the origin: “Oliva” comes from Latin, “Aceituna”, from Arabic.

          The pair “Olivo/a” holds the distinction of Tree=masculine/Fruit=feminine also present in other cases like “Manzano/Manzana”; “Naranjo/Naranja”, even in “Aceituna/Aceituno”.

          In some places like Argentina, “Aceituna” is widely used to refer to the fruit (mostly when the actual fruit is to be consumed as a fruit) while “Oliva” is used only to refer to the oil, almost in some kind of collective fashion.

  • Eer

    Well, I do speak spanish “hablo español”. I’m spanish, and I have a degree in arabic language and history. So said, I can’t see any gross mistakes in this list…..only 2 points:
    1.- “ojalá” (“I hope that…..”) comes from “in sha’ Allah” (if it’s God’s will).
    2.- Almohada (pillow) has a dark origin. One of north african invaders were the “almohades” (al-muwahiddun, unicists), but is almost certain “almohada” is not from this origin.
    Oh!! “lexicón” is not a common word in spanish. In fact, a lot of people doesn’t know what a lexicón is (in origin, it’s a dictionary). Use “palabra” or “expresión” instead.

    • Patrick

      Sorry, auto correct and haste got me. I meant “lección” not “lexicon”. Glad you enjoyed the list.

  • Public Enema

    There is no such thing as a “lexicon” or “aciete.” Learn to spell correctly in Spanish before you write a list about it.

    • Patrick

      Learn manners and the value of constructive criticism lest you display your arrested emotional development to all.

  • Rob

    That awkward moment when you don’t speak Spanish and don’t care for the language. I liked the list, regardless.

  • Janny

    It is “aceite”, not “aciete”, just saying :).

    • Patrick

      I need an editor, not sure how that got past me. Hope you enjoyed the list.

  • skeeter1971

    This list is too Spanish/Arabic. Sorry about that.

  • had to hold on to my seat this list was so exiting………. BOOOONG!

  • someoneinSpain

    Hi! I’m a Spanish speaker, and found this list very interesting, specially the entry about Ojalá.

    • Patrick

      gracias

  • Ni99a

    What’s “Alalalalalalalaal…… I am gonna explode!!” in Arabic?

    Could be useful when I travel with some Arabs.

    • hghenry

      Oh, I get it. You were trying to be funny.

  • Ironman

    Enough with the spelling error comments! Once is enough…

  • vanowensbody

    Nice list

  • SHAHRAM KIAVASH

    Dear Patrick,

    Thanks for a nice topic. For info, I would like to add a word on the Assassins. You are right. Assassin in English and in many other languages in other closed forms comes from Hashashin which is plural form av Hashash literally meaning hashish-smoker. This fable lasted in centruries about smoking hashish and go to assassination missions for the 2 reasons you have mentioned. The most poetic one for entering “The Paradise of Hashashin” after the accomplishe (and sometimes not accomplished assassination.

    Modern theories say that the opposing goverment had spread the rumor that they were not more than ordinary hashish-smokers in order to attach them to drug-abusers and not to high political values, for public opinion.

    Hashash has in fact, another meaning in Arabic and that is “one who cultivates medicla herbs”. The fact is that those people had long experience in herbal medicine and they exported tons of medical herbs each year to everywhere, nationally or to remote countries for financing their activity.

    ” The old man of the mountain” was Hassan Sabbah, a Persian and their leader and guru. Their fortress was in Hamedan in today Iran, a historical place which is visited even today and liked by many tourists. The fortress is called “Alamut”, an unpenetrable place, full of mysterious people, highly powerful who assassinatied many politicians of their time. The most famous one “Nezam-al-Molk” prime minister av many Selukid-kings. A highly influential politician. Many advocate that he had secret correspondences with Holaku-khan who at last put an end to Abbassids kingdom of the Islamic world in 1268 AC, if I am not mistaken, after 6 centuries in power.

    Thus the origin, the key figure and the political theory: assossination of politicla offenders, all Persian, not from Syria which you have informed about.

    Kind regards,

    • Patrick

      Thank you for the info. The source book I read many years ago. I mentioned Syria rather than Persia as that was the point of contact between the “assassins” and the Crusaders, and hence the etymological entry point. I don’t recall whether or not the Assassins operating in the former nation were Persian exiles or Syrian Ismailis.

  • Mel

    Aceite, not aciete.

  • Enrique P.

    At school (in Spain) we were taught that many of the Spanish words that start with “al-” have an arab origin – and there are a few thousands. An interesting example is “alcalde” (=mayor, of a town or village), that comes from the arab “al qadi” (“the judge”), and a not-so-well-known one (for an english speaker) might be “alcachofa” (=artichoke), from the arab “al-kharshûf”.

    Apart from that, many (MANY) place names, specially in southern Spain, are undoubtedly arab; sometimes this is as obvious as “Benamahoma” (a village in Andalusia).

    • Eer

      when I was studying arabic philology in Madrid, a professor told us that there is more than 3000 place names coming directly from arabic. For example: any town name beggining with Beni- (tribe in arabic) takes the name of the tribe settled in that territory (benicassim=banu Qasim). Benidorm is an exception. Benamahoma almost certainly is Banu Muhammad. That place belonged to a tribe or big family with a chief named Muhammad (Mahoma)

      • Waleed

        Great addition, I’ m arabic.. I just noticed that when i was in spain for tourism.. Beniqassim is name of a tribe as you just said, also you can call this tribe in those modern days Al qassim, referring the same as beni. I will just add something you might be surprised to know, Madrid is coming from Al majriqa.. Ibiza from Alyabisa meaning the land (???????), Valladolid from Balad Al Waleed meaning the town of Al waleed.

        Great list, Thanks

    • Arsnl

      Well almorzar isnt of Arabic origin for example.
      Maybe someone will explain me though why the spanish say cocodrilo and prensa? Why? Whyyyy? It makes no sense.

      • Eer

        Almorzar comes from latin “admordium”, cocodrilo from greek, And prensa, comes from …..guess what…. Latín “pressa”

        • Eer

          The root of spanish language is latin, but we have a lot of words coming from other languages, being the most important greek and arabic. An not every word beginning with al- comes from arabic (alterar, alcanzar…..).

        • Arsnl

          Uhm. No. I mean that cocodrilo makes no sense whatsoever. Sure italians have the same problem with the R being in the wrong spot. But other languages dont have that. The greek is croco… Also the oficial name is croco…
          When I asked my spanish prof, she said well animals make “different” sounds depending on cultures and what languages people speak. I have yet to meet a crocodile that shouts croco-croc. Of course i could tell her that.
          The same goes for prensa. How many latin languages put an N over there? Same goes for mensaje. It’s an ugly word. And N that drops from who knows where and makes the word lose fluidity.

          “root of spanish language is latin”
          I did not know that. The things you learn on LV

          • Eer

            Ah,yes! For us, CROCODRILO, sounds like a tongue twister. Very difficult to say….and, about the sounds of animals, it’s a funny thing: in spain, dogs bark “guau, guau”, cows “muuuu”, and crocs….thanks God in Spain there are no crocs!

            In spanish there are a lot of words with the N like in “prensa” (piensa, tenga, arenga, venga….). It’s not difficult to say…. A basic norm in spanish says “before a B or a P, you write an M” , because NB or NP is impossible to say: canpo, canbio…..(right forms: campo, cambio).

          • Arsnl

            Neah man. You still didn’t get me. Piensa is from pensar. Pensar-penser in french.
            Prensa in spanish: presse in french, press in english, also other latin languanges dont have the n.
            Mensaje: message french, messagio italian. No N.
            It’s not related to the MP, MB rule.

            PS: yeah cows says muu in every language. What does a rooster say? A dog in french might be ouaf ouaf. A rooster: cocorico.

          • Eer

            well, I dont’t know where the N comes from. If the word comes from the same root, the logic answer is the easiness in pronunciation. That’s because I told about the MP/NP rule. A lot of words were in origin NP, and evolved to MP for that reason. It’s a good question!
            Pd: An spanish rooster does KIKIRIKI.

          • Aztiray

            The reason could be that maybe it would sound too similar or identical to other word. For example “prensa” without the ‘n’ would be “presa” and that word has a lot of meanings already. Now about “cocodrilo”, I must admit that “crocodrilo” is a bit cacophonous and complicated to pronounce.

      • Aliquot

        Arsni, I’m guessing its simply a phenomenon of language called drift or shift. I studied German for a while and one of my professors who was also really into linguistics would point out patterns of change between Germanic languages and English, like how one consonant or sound turned into another. Some of them didn’t make much sense, but it is how new languages get made. Just appreciate it as a quirk of Spanish. It makes no sense why -ough has so many pronunciations in English, but what can we do.

  • Matayas

    Very interesting list, thank you.

  • pelu

    Great list, show the great richness the Spanish language has, not only Greek and Latin, but we have other sources of our heritage, cool list

  • Pelú

    Great list, I did enjoy it a lot, shows some of the rich heritage of the Spanish language.
    Muchas gracias por poner una lista muy interesante e informativa, aún que ya conocía los orígenes de algunas de estas palabras, no tenía idea o mas bien no había pensado en el origen de la palabra aceite.

  • Reema

    Loved the list !
    i had no idea there’s so much Spanish words similar to Arabi !
    even if some ppl. “thanks to them” are posting to tell there’s a mistake .. it’s fine, that’s how we learn
    and yeah .. let’s just ignore the immature posts ;)

    in general .. Mumtaz !

    well done =)

  • Javier

    The #5 is Aceite, not aciete

  • Martin L

    This was a great list. A great indicator is the number of immature minds posting here who found it so boooooring. Forget them. I liked the insight, I liked the humor, I liked the historical background. More like this!

  • Andres

    no se dice ACIETE, se dice ACEITE…muy buena lista, felicidades.

  • Now you should do a post “Top Ten Russian Words of Spanish Origin” I especially love that Russians use the word “macho.” I don’t think they can really even pronounce it…

  • Quite an interesting list, however, I would like to point out that Persian (Farsi) is infact much older than arabic, and some of your posts are in fact Farsi derived and not Arabic (hashasheen) Chess didnt ‘probably’ come from Persia via India, it is from persia (shah-mat) Schachmat in german…shah being king.Wikipedia does mention ‘Afghanistan’ but even that was part of Persia…
    We tend to think most of our languages in Europe are Indo-European, this is not true. Arabic has had some influence, but Farsi gets a bad rap…who had Iranian history in school…anyone???

  • DGMdragunov

    Also “alacrán” (scorpion), “loco” (crazy), “alcázar” (citadel), “alfombra” (rug, carpet), “alcalde” (mayor), “alféizar” (window sill), “alcaide” (warden), “albahaca” (basil), “albañil” (construction worker), “ajonjolí” (sesame), “albariqoque” (apricot), and pretty much any word with the prefix “al”. Also, several place names, like Guadalajara, Guadalcanal, the Guadalquivir River, and Andalusía.

    • Eer

      Spain was under arabic-north african influence for 700 years. The list of spanish words coming from arabic is HUGE. As said before, there are more than 3000 place names coming directly from arabic. Only place names!! Not counting common nouns (alcohol, azufre….) or even proper nouns (Almudena, Azahara….)

  • phblinn

    Another entry that could have qualified among the top ten (one of the few such Arabic-to-Spanish words I already knew about before reading this article, at least) is the Spanish word algodón for cotton. The original Arabic for that was al qutun [the Q being that famous further-back-in-the-throat K sound].

    • timothy53

      Good catch! I did not realize that the English word cotton also comes from Arabic – qutun. When I see a label the tells me my shirt is made from cotton/algodón, I always presumes the Spanish word derived from the Arabic because of the al- prefix, but I could never intuit any direct connection between those two words. Now I do.

  • me

    This a-list is a-Too Americana.

  • jon

    Great list!!! Very interesting

  • Roberto

    Hey!
    It’s “Ojalá” y “Aceite” #editing

    Bestest!
    S.

  • Romina

    Baño is also an Arabic word that didn’t make it to this list. It means bathroom, and they both pronounce it the same.
    I took ESL classic with a girl from South Arabia.

  • ap

    Spelled “Aceite” wrong broseph…and the list is BORING

  • Joe

    Aceite*

  • N3oxMind

    It doesn’t matter from where these words came, what matter is that you use it and it helps you, just stop checking out the source of those words.

    What you’ll gain if you find out that some of these words are not from Spanish Origin.

    If you like some lang. other your native lang. just learn it and use it in the right way don’t use it to diminishing who’s speak it.

    Take care,

  • nephthysnight

    Que bien. Única cosa mala es que se deletrea “aceite” no “aciete”.

  • Hamza

    Thanks for the list:) When I took Spanish, my teacher told me that Spanish indeed had Arabic words but never knew what they were lol

  • zozo

    You wrote oil, wrong. Dice Aciete, es aceite.

  • Luis

    The correct word is Aceite, also there are more popular arabic words in spanish such as Almanaque, Algebra, Algoritmo, Alcohol, etc. Good list anyway.

  • chuckbooty

    Too American

    • Dean, James

      Completely agree, this list is unfortunately way too American.

  • GabrielO

    There is no such thing as the “spanish” language… Is it basque? Is it catalan? Is it galician or what?… Oooh you mean the CASTILLIAN language…

  • Reblogged this on A British Boy in Barcelona and commented:
    Always interesting to read about the etymology of words when learning a language!

  • Name

    It’s aceite, not aciete!

  • 3asal

    arabic is such a beautiful language

  • farhang

    Assassin root is hashashin >> persian word

  • Deisy

    It’s Aceite not aciete ;)

  • Now this list completely taught me something new. I am a Spanish speaker and I had always thought that the Spanish language had originated from the ancient Roman and Greek where the primary languages were Greek and Latin. The word that stood out to me from this list was “ojala”. The Arabic exhortation “should God will it”, I’m sure has the word or sounding of “Allah” of which is the word from God in Arabic. This is not the only word in Spanish that originates from spiritual sense. You learn early in Spanish class that “adios” means goodbye in Spanish but know that “adios” is actually two words, “a” meaning “to”, and “dios” meaning “God”, so when saying goodbye in spanish, it was also saying to go with God or to leave with God.

  • andrei

    its aceite btw nice list greetings from peru

  • Pippa

    Olé!

  • Assassin

    You got the thing about the assassins completely wrong. What you posted is a big misconception that was disproved. The hashish thing came from western travelers who misheard. And the assassin’s weren’t a method of silencing anyone who was a threat. Alamut, the Ismaili state was not a very big one. Other than the Fatimid Empire and the states founded involving assassins, Ismaili’s don’t believe in getting their religion involved in politics. What it actually is was that the Ismaili state Alamut had the Sunnis against them, the Crusaders against them, the Mongols against them. The assassin’s were a method of protecting the already small community of Ismailis from being killed off, by fighting the opposition using assassins to attack enemy leaders who were planning to invade Alamut. I’m not sure about this one, but apparently, sometimes, methods even involved not even killing them, just something like sneaking into where the leader planning invasions is, and placing a knife by their bed with maybe a note or something to scare them off. Because the enemy would be like, “oh my God, how’d they do that without even alerting anyone to their presence? How powerful and deadly are they?” When in reality, the Ismaili forces were not large.

    What I am ABSOLUTELY sure of is that there was no hash involved, no man on the mountain. Explorers like Marco Polo would write down things like that after hearing myths on the streets of places that were not even in Alamut.

    • Patrick

      If you read the entry more carefully, you will notice that it is qualified with the line; “According to legend …”. I did not state that the drug connection was indeed real, but rather that the legend gave rise to the term “hashasheen”, which in turn gave use the Spanish word “asesino”. This list was about etymology, not history. Many words have come from mistaken or erroneous history. The term “amazon” would be a prime example. Whether or not there was ever a race of one-breasted warrior women does not invalidate neither the modern usage of this word to mean a powerful or belligerent woman nor its origin. If you must engage in the nasty business of aggrandizing your small ego by deriding the veracity of what others have written or said I suggest that you at least work on you reading comprehension skills in order that you be less susceptible to reprisal.

  • vermillionskin

    nice list :)

  • HAUSYCHOADS

    Name

  • IRZAN

    Muslim Arabs ruled Spain for hundred of years before Christians wiped out the Muslims, so to think there are Spanish words derived from Arabic root is really not suprising, I wonder why nobody mentioned it…

  • Another one: Álgebra