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Spanish Words Widely Known by U.S. Americans

These are the Spanish words most commonly known by U.S. Americans who don't speak Spanish. Translate from English to Spanish.
Answer must correspond to the yellow box
Quiz by emmaafinke
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Last updated: March 14, 2022
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First submittedMarch 12, 2022
Times taken26,448
Average score67.6%
Rating4.45
7:00
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English
Spanish
friend
amigo
crazy
loco
hello
hola
midday nap
siesta
hat
sombrero
thank you
gracias
beans
frijoles
rice
arroz
Christmas
Navidad
happy
feliz
no
no
yes
sauce
salsa
very
muy
water
agua
man
hombre
dog
perro
English
Spanish
cat
gato
head
cabeza
big
grande
and
y
the
el
boy/child
niño
handsome
guapo
bye
adiós
hands
manos
heart
corazón
love
amor
white man
gringo
moon
luna
sun
sol
much/a lot
mucho
fire
fuego
uncle
tío
English
Spanish
mother
madre
father
padre
in
en
party
fiesta
tomorrow
mañana
ranch
rancho
where
donde
bathroom
baño
island
isla
bull
toro
is
es
life
vida
nothing
nada
sir
señor
miss
señorita
house
casa
good
bueno
English
Spanish
please
por favor
why?
por qué?
what?
qué?
Let's go!
vámonos!
Quiet!
Silencio!
one
uno
family
familia
Spanish
español
egg
huevo
chicken
pollo
horse
caballo
beer
cerveza
my
mi
police
policía
devil
diablo
money
dinero
saint
santo
+4
Level 65
Dec 20, 2022
Update: The quiz now accepts more answers for several words. I got rid of the controversial "gringo" question. Remember: the premise is to guess words that US Americans who don't speak Spanish would know. That means that if a word is unique to a dialect of Spanish from Spain or South America, it probably won't be accepted. Ex: If you ask a non-Hispanic American what "beans" is in Spanish 99.9% would answer "frijoles." Most people don't know what "alubias" or "judías" means. Therefore, those words won't be accepted.
+8
Level 73
Apr 2, 2022
In some parts of South America (where I live, for example) guapo means brave or fearless, not handsome. It took me some time to figure out the answer.
+11
Level 65
Apr 3, 2022
Thank you for letting me know. I didn't know that guapo means brave in some places. In the US most of the Spanish words that people know come from Mexican Spanish, so to US Americans "guapo" means handsome.
+13
Level 82
Jun 28, 2022
My wife is from the Philippines. She says I'm guapo (meaning handsome, not brave). But most people from the Philippines know several languages (Tagalog, Visayan, English and Spanish) and it seems they almost always mix them together when speaking. Incidentally, I'm not guapo. It's probably just my incredibly charming personality that makes me seem so.
+12
Level 76
Jul 3, 2022
Perhaps guapo means "ugly but good at quizzes" in one of the Filipino languages that she speaks
+3
Level 85
Oct 13, 2022
@emmaafinke It would be helpful to have this info in the quiz description, or in a pinned comment.
+1
Level 82
Oct 13, 2022
gwapo in the Philippines means the same thing
+7
Level 77
Jun 28, 2022
Agree. Hermoso/a should also be accepted here.
+1
Level 33
Oct 13, 2022
Fede, guapo es bonito en todos lados, por más que lo usemos con la connotación que decís...
+2
Level 44
Oct 14, 2022
This is for Spanish words known by US Americans, South American spanish isn't as influential in the US as Caribbean or Mexican Spanish.
+5
Level 75
Jun 25, 2022
I really enjoyed the quiz! I hope it get featured soon.
+4
Level 70
Jun 27, 2022
I would recommend splitting into two quizzes. Right now it's a little long for this concept.
+9
Level 90
Jun 28, 2022
It's not too long. I finished it with 3 minutes left.
+1
Level 90
Jun 28, 2022
91>65. You're obviously a much better quizzer.
+2
Level 82
Jun 28, 2022
I finished with 2 minutes left, but I still think it could be split into 2 quizzes. Not because of difficulty, but because it just felt long -- I was surprised at how many there were as I kept scrolling. Otherwise, good quiz.
+8
Level 80
Jun 28, 2022
"Frijoles" really threw me until I remembered the premise of the quiz! I kept trying "alubias," "judías," etc.
+5
Level 64
Oct 13, 2022
It's really frustrating when they make these quizzes with no regard for the rest of non-Mexican dialect of the language. "Beans" is "habichuelas" for me. It took me some time to realize this wasn't "Spanish" quiz, but a Mexican Spanish quiz.
+4
Level 79
Dec 17, 2022
It's a quiz on an American site about the most common Spanish words that AMERICANS know. Think about it.

Of course it's based off Mexican Spanish. Some of you Jetpunkers need to breathe, think, and realize this site wasn't made to cater to you personally.

+1
Level 85
Jun 28, 2022
Very fun! Thanks.
+15
Level 75
Jun 28, 2022
Gringo doesn't mean "white man", it means American
+8
Level 74
Jun 28, 2022
Not necessarily.
+4
Level 61
Jun 28, 2022
Y ademas, no es español, es chilango..
+2
Level 84
Jun 29, 2022
Es pan-español (por así decirlo). También hay centroamericanos que usan "gringo"
+3
Level 82
Jun 28, 2022
I don't think Hispanic Americans are usually gringos
+15
Level 84
Jun 29, 2022
For Latin Americans, "gringo" means "person from the US", no matter the race.

This includes Hispanic Americans, mostly when they can't speak a dime of Spanish.

+7
Level 50
Oct 13, 2022
In Colombia Gringos are referred to men and women white or black that come from the US and have a clear accent. She is gringa or he is gringo.
+3
Level 57
Oct 18, 2022
In Brazil, Gringo is just a "foreigner". Anyone not from Brazil. Even other Latin Americans we call gringo sometimes.
+4
Level 74
Jun 29, 2022
Check out the Real Academia Española defines the word as such.
+1
Level 44
Oct 14, 2022
Using that link doesn't necessarily take into account the regional differences in the definition. Caribbean Spanish we consider Gringo to be anyone outside of our region of familiarity, so even a Mexican is considered a Gringo.
+2
Level 74
Oct 24, 2022
Did you see the first definition? It says extranjero, which does take into account the possibility of someone outside a region's familiarity (even if that person still speaks the same language). But that definition goes on to specify that typically the word is used to identify someone that doesn't speak Spanish.
+11
Level 82
Jun 28, 2022
Shouldn't the ones exclamation points and question marks also have inverted versions at the front for those Spanish answers? It just looks wrong without them there
+2
Level 88
Jun 29, 2022
¡Absolutamente!, @GrammarBeane1.
+1
Level 60
Feb 28, 2024
I was thinking the same thing. for example, "¿qué?" instead of "qué?" and "¡silencio!" instead of "silencio!"
+7
Level 84
Jun 28, 2022
Speedy Gonzales boosted my score a couple points. :-)
+3
Level 89
Jun 28, 2022
But no need to ándale arriba; plenty of time.
+3
Level 89
Jun 29, 2022
I can thank Dora on some of these!
+5
Level 65
Jul 3, 2022
how about "hombre blanco"
+7
Level 64
Jul 4, 2022
White man is no "gringo". It's literally "hombre blanco".
+2
Level 56
Jul 6, 2022
I think this quizz should include words used in Spain, such as alubias for frijoles.
+7
Level 70
Aug 19, 2022
"gallina" should really be accepted for "chicken" since it isn't clear the clue refers to the meat of the animal
+1
Level 64
Mar 19, 2024
and gallo
+6
Level 78
Sep 13, 2022
For ranch, surely you should allow hacienda and finca?
+1
Level 71
Oct 2, 2023
I tried both these but did not know - or had forgotten - that ranch comes from rancho (I am British).
+2
Level 54
Oct 13, 2022
In addition to EcceHomo, surely granja should be added as well.
+8
Level 78
Oct 13, 2022
Cállate for silence?
+2
Level 67
Oct 13, 2022
That was my first guess, but it literally translates to "shut up." "Silencio" is a better answer.
+1
Level 74
Mar 3, 2023
I tried several versions of this (cállate, cállese, callarse, callado, etc.) Then the spirit of RuPaul took over and I got it right.
+4
Level 28
Oct 13, 2022
As a spaniard it took me some time to figure out white man and beans, then I thought about Mexico.
+3
Level 75
Oct 13, 2022
Is there a source for this quiz? Without that and without any interaction with the suggestions in the comments it just comes across as arbitrary.
+5
Level 72
Oct 13, 2022
Adding my voice to the gringo does not mean White man. Latino is an ethnicity. Lots of White people in Latin American countries who aren't called gringos. Not to mention Spain. Need to just delete this queston.
+1
Level 74
Oct 24, 2022
You should check out the RAE's definition, which accounts for colloquialisms.
+1
Level 20
Oct 13, 2022
I thought it was estancia for ranch
+5
Level 82
Oct 13, 2022
How could you not have "library" on here when THE go-to joke about Americans' rudimentary high-school-level Spanish knowledge is the line "donde esta la biblioteca?" That would have been the first one I put on.
+1
Level 68
Oct 13, 2022
I put ‘islo’ for island and ‘cabella’ for horse 🤦🏻‍♀️
+3
Level 67
Oct 13, 2022
It's just "American". You don't have to put "US" in front of that.
+5
Level 85
Oct 13, 2022
Many people from south of the US use the term "American" to refer to people who live on either continent, South American or North American. When referring specifically to residents of the US they will use the phrase "US Americans". This is based on the premise that the US does not have exclusive use of the term America; i.e. it's not the whole continent.
+1
Level 82
Oct 13, 2022
The vast and overwhelming majority of people everywhere in the world use American to refer to Americans, including in Latin America up until very recently. It's obviously stupid to use "US-American" as a demonym. Unless you also call people from Mexico "US-Mexicans," people from Germany "FR-Germans," people from China "PR-Chinese," etc. Actually I take that back, you'd still be stupid doing that, but at least you would be consistent. Everyone knows what an American is.
+3
Level 40
Oct 14, 2022
How can you always be so wrong in every single comment?
+1
Level 82
Oct 16, 2022
hwes? He's not always wrong. Even in this case he's mostly just describing why other people, who are obviously and demonstrably wrong, use this obnoxious term. Not necessarily advocating for that wrongness himself.
+6
Level 68
Oct 13, 2022
"Gringo" for "white man"? Next time I meet my Spanish, Mexican, or Cuban white friends I'll let them know they're gringos. They'll be suprised!
+2
Level 66
Oct 13, 2022
Should seem crazy that among the 4 words I missed were "adios" and "gringo." In the 8 years I spent in Panama and Peru, as well as many trips to Mexico, I never heard anyone actually say "adios." It was always "chao" (or "ciao?) And "gringo" was understood to mean someone from the States. Excellent quiz.
+1
Level 58
Oct 8, 2023
I think you meant "chau".
+1
Level 90
Oct 13, 2022
Shouldn't "man" be "mano" instead of "hombre" ???

Many "US Americans" say "mano a mano" and think they are saying "man to man" as in, "I will talk to him mano a mano."

+2
Level 82
Oct 13, 2022
"Mano a mano" literally means "hand to hand", as in hand-to-hand combat, hence the implication of a direct confrontation.
+1
Level 75
Oct 13, 2022
Oh right. Hilarious, lol
+1
Level 53
Oct 13, 2022
When I think of normal americans knowing spanish words. I don't think that most americans will know like 50 words...
+1
Level 69
Nov 21, 2022
Well you should. I only knew 40, but I only spent half my childhood in America. The other half was in countries where Spanish isn't spoken at all.

Most Americans would know around 50 of these.

+1
Level 53
Oct 13, 2022
I got 41, but struggled with the spelling. Should've got around 55
+3
Level 31
Oct 13, 2022
"White man" should be "hombre blanco"

The term "Gringo" is not common in every Spanish speaking country (I am from Spain, and here "gringo" does not refer to skin color but to a person from an English speaking country).

+4
Level 65
Oct 17, 2022
I feel like people are not getting the premise that this is what Americans know of the language from cultural infusion by the most common Spanish speakers in the country who happen to be... Mexican. Most Mexicans I know use gringo to mean white person, and a lot of Americans recognize that as the meaning.
+2
Level 58
Oct 8, 2023
Then the title and the description should be rewritten.
+1
Level 74
Mar 3, 2023
Non-Spanish-speaking USians tend to be exposed to Mexican Spanish, even if they live in areas with high concentrations of other Spanish speakers. In my entire life—and I speak both English and (Mexican) Spanish—I have never heard anyone refer to a white man as "un hombre blanco". In Mexico that would mean he was literally white. If you mean pale-skinned, that would be "un hombre güero" or simply "un güero", or affectionately, "un güerito". But most non-Spanish-speaking USians would never have heard the word "güero". They only know "gringo", or perhaps if they live in the Southwest they've heard the less-complimentary term "gabacho".
+1
Level 64
Mar 19, 2024
my dad (who is admittedly from mexico) says güero so that's what i guessed at first, gringo is white people spanish but this is kinda a white people spanish quiz
+2
Level 43
Oct 13, 2022
60/68, not too bad for a Brazilian.
+1
Level 57
Oct 15, 2022
i kept putting hispana (nationality) for Spanish instead of the language 🤦‍♂️
+2
Level 52
Oct 16, 2022
I kept trying "cállate" for "quiet!" lol
+1
Level 26
Oct 25, 2022
Beans I say lubia
+1
Level 76
Feb 20, 2023
Are you a US American who doesn't speak Spanish?
+1
Level 41
May 10, 2023
I am mexican, so it was easy, but I'm sure gringo is an offensive way to call an american, not a white man. Also, there were plenty of words that passed my mind first than the intended answer, like mamá and papá.
+1
Level 87
Sep 10, 2023
I speak perfect Spanish, and just kept repeating versions of hombre blanco for about two minutes. Very annoying, I’d lose this clue if I were you