Social Sciences

Examples of indigenisms


Indigenismo is an expression or word that is used in the Spanish language and is derived from words from indigenous languages. In the case of Mexico, it is Nahuatl that has created the most indigenous peoples. The indigenous words may be in its original form, deformed or combined with Spanish words to give meaning to a word.

In the event that an indigenous word is intact both in its spelling and in its pronunciation, it is called barbarism.

For an indigenous word to be considered as indigenismo, it must be used in another language. Indigenisms in turn can be deformed to be applied in other languages ​​and have a similar meaning if not identical. For example we have the word avocado comes from the Nahuatl »ahuacatl«  and means testicle but it is used to refer to the creamy fruit with a shape similar to the one mentioned above. The word was distorted to “avocado” in the English language to refer to the same vegetable.

Examples of indigenisms

  1. Coyote (animal)
  2. Tabanco (barn)
  3. Corn (young cob)
  4. Macaw (birds of the parrot family)
  5. Sweet potato (climbing plant)
  6. Guacamole (salad)
  7. Tomato (vegetable)
  8. Yayá (wound)
  9. Basin (container)
  10. Condor (bird)
  11. Cocoa
  12. Chocolate
  13. Puma (animal)
  14. Huipil or güipil (blouse or skirt)
  15. Corn (young cob)
  16. Sweet potato (climbing plant)
  17. Coke
  18. Call
  19. Condor
  20. Iguana
  21. Arcabuco (tropical tree)
  22. Bohío (indigenous dwelling)
  23. Chichicaste (a type of flowering plant)
  24. Guava
  25. Papaya
  26. Macaw (birds of the parrot family)
  27. Tabanco (barn)
  28. Cabuya    (rope)
  29. Tobacco
  30. Jaguar
  31. Maraca
  32. Piragua (boat that is propelled by means of oars)
  33. Alpaca (ruminant mammal)
  34. Huitlacoche (species of fungus that lives in corn)
  35. Mole (ground pasta)
  36. Mezcal (agave)
  37. Winch (utensil to work cotton)
  38. Equipal (seat in the shape of a circle)
  39. Jocoque (prepared from cut milk)
  40. Pinole (powdered corn)
  41. Pozole (traditional broth that is complemented with corn kernels)
  42. Chiquihuite (woven vessel)
  43. Ocote (pine wood to create fire)
  44. Peyote
  45. Zacate
  46. Whiteboard
  47. Tomato
  48. Jíraca
  49. Rubber
  50. Huarache

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