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Five words of German origin that we find in Spanish

German influence on Spanish language

Spanish is a puzzle of other languages. In this blog we have already talked about the influence that Arabic has had on Spanish, although it is also common to find words that come from other nearby languages such as French or English. However, today we are going to talk about the influence of a language a little further from Spanish: German.

German has arrived in Spain through various routes and even with meanings different from those of the Germanic language itself. However, its origin cannot be hidden.


  1. “Bigote”: Many of our students are surprised when we tell them that the hair under the nose is called “bigote” (mustache). Why such a different name in Spanish? Although there are doubts about the path he followed to our country, it is thought that the image that existed in Spain of the German knights with large mustaches and who exclaimed “For God’s sake!” (“Bei Gott!”) served as the origin of the word in our language.
  2. “Blanco”: This word is similar to its cousins in Latin languages (bianco, blanc…), but they all come from the influence of the German “blank”, which means empty. Another change of meaning from German to Spanish.
  3. “Brindis”: Just as “bigote” (mustache) was associated with the knights of the north, they were also associated with clinking their glasses to celebrate something. In this way, toast, and therefore toast, come from the German “(Ich) bring’s dir”, “I offer it to you”.
  4. “Kinder”: Although this word is not widely used in Spain, in Latin America it does have an important presence. The origin of the word is more recent and comes from “Kindergarten”. While on this side of the Atlantic we prefer “escuela infantil” (nursery school) or similar terms, on the American continent this word of German origin is also used.
  5. “Kitsch”: This word is known worldwide, not only when relating it to Spanish. In our language we have the close “cursi” (cheesy), but it does not cover everything we can say with the German “kitsch”, which we pronounce as we can.


If you want to practice these words and others from other origins, do not hesitate to sign up for our group Spanish classes or our individual classes by clicking here.

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