It is Cinco de Mayo, so we're looking at some English words that came to us via Spanish. And while some words have obviously Spanish origins, like 'churro' or 'fiesta', we\u2019re going to focus on terms you might not realise have Hispanic roots.\nIncidentally, will someone please remind us to throw a 'churro fiesta' soon? It sounds like it would be an awesome\/delicious party.\n\n1. Creepy Crawlies: Cockroach\nMost people prefer not to think about creepy crawlies, so you might not have considered where the term 'cockroach' comes from. But the English as we know it is a version of the Spanish word cucaracha, which spread during colonial times.\n\n[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="285"] Pretty, ain't he? [Photo: Sharadpunita][\/caption]\nLots of other animals get their names from Spanish, too, including the alligator (el lagarto, meaning 'the lizard'), the albatross (which comes from alcatraz, originally meaning 'pelican' or 'seabird' more generally in Spanish), and mosquitoes (the diminutive of mosca, meaning 'fly', with mosquito literally meaning 'little fly').\nGiven this range of beasties, it\u2019s almost a shame the word 'menagerie' is French.\n\n2. Culinary Delights: Chocolate and Cannibal\nOK, so maybe this one isn\u2019t so surprising. Chocolate comes from cocoa, after all. And the Spanish 'chocolate' is itself borrowed from the Aztec word xocolatl.\n\n[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="292"] Sweet, Aztec deliciousness... [Photo: SKopp][\/caption]\nBut there\u2019s still an impressive number of English words for foodstuffs that come from Spanish, including 'banana', 'potato', 'jerky', and 'tuna'.\nIn case this has made you hungry, it is worth noting that 'cannibal' comes from the Spanish caribal. A much less delicious etymological claim, we hope you'll agree.\n\n3. Windy Weather: Hurricane and Breeze\nThe most famously Spanish weather term is probably 'El Ni\u00f1o', which refers to a regular warming of sea surface temperatures. The Spanish term translates literally as 'The Boy', which is because it was named after the infant Jesus.\nBut did you know that other weather words have Spanish origins, too?\n'Hurricane', for instance, is adapted from the Spanish huracan, 'breeze' comes from the Old Spanish briza, and 'tornado' comes to us via tronada.\nCome to think of it, it makes sense that the language of a nation known for exploring the world in sailboats has a lot of words for kinds of wind.\n\n4. Wild West: Cowboy and Ten-Gallon Hat\nThanks to Hollywood westerns and stars like John Wayne, we all now recognise the cowboy as an iconic image of US culture. You might, therefore, be surprised to find out that 'cowboy' is originally a direct translation of the Spanish term vaquero.\nPlenty of other Wild West words have Spanish origins, too. These include 'ranch', 'rodeo', and 'bronco'. Our favourite has to be 'ten-gallon hat', though.\nThis term was based on a mishearing of the Spanish gal\u00f3n, meaning 'braid', reflecting the braided hatbands that some vaqueros wore. But while gal\u00f3n and 'gallon' may sound similar, these hats aren't made to carry water, and you're not likely to find one big enough for ten gallons even if they did!\n\n\n[caption id="attachment_68937" align="aligncenter" width="423"] Good for covering heads, but not so much for carrying water.(Photo: ealdgyth)[\/caption]\n5. Literary Contributions: Quixotic and Lothario\nAs well as words borrowed from Spanish, English uses a few words inspired by Spanish writers. In fact, two terms come from Miguel de Cervantes\u2019 Don Quixote.\nThe brilliant-but-deluded title character, for instance, gave us the word 'quixotic', meaning 'hopeful but impractical'. And the same novel also gave us 'lothario', which means 'a man whose chief interest is seducing women'.\n\n\n[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="239"] With Don Quixote and Sancho Panza, Cervantes also prefigured the buddy movie.[\/caption]\nExpert Proofreading Services\nWe hope you've enjoyed our list of words that came to English via Spanish. If you have your own favourite words with Spanish origins, let us know in the comments!\nAnd if you want to be sure your writing is error free, our editors can help. Submit a free 500-word sample document for proofreading today to find out more.