English words of Arabic Origin

English Words of Arabic Origin – 10 Most Used Words

Every living language borrows words from another language, and the relationship between Arabic and English is no different. In fact, you might be surprised to know that you know a lot of Arabic words already, and they are part of your everyday vocabulary. The Arabic language was the lingua franca of many regions of Spain, Portugal, and France, and the influence of Arabic language can be witnessed in many European languages. In this lesson, we will look at some of the very common English words of Arabic Origin!

English words of Arabic Origin

English words of Arabic Origin

English words of Arabic Origin

1. Algebra

Founded by Jaber bin Heyan, the field of Algebra or Aljabr (الجَبْر) as it was originally named is one of the most important branch of mathematics in which letters and symbols are used to represent unknown numbers. You might not have a pleasant experience of brainstorming to find your ‘x’ in your high school mathematics class, but this branch of mathematics has enormously benefited the humankind.

2. Sugar

The sweetener we use every day has its origin in the Arabic word Sukkar (سكر). The next time you drink or eat something sweet, you can remember that the name of the sweetener used has an Arabic Origin.

3. Coffee

Originating from Qahwa (قهوة), the Arab world has not only given us the most common drink, but the name has also been derived from Arabic. Long before Starbucks, the Arabs have been drinking coffee in their coffee parlors…

4. Alcohol

Derived from Alkahl (الكُحُـــــــــول), the name of one of the most consumed beverage in the world also has an Arabic origin.

5. Algorithm

Named after its founder Al-Khawarizmi (الخوارزمی), Algorithm is extensively used to solve mathematical operations.

6. Lemon

The Arabic word Laymoon (ليمون) has taken the shape of lemon.

7. Assassin

The word Assassin come from Hashshashin (حشَّــــــــــــــاشين), a medieval sect based in modern-day Syria. The sect was known for its killer instinct and its members were experts in sneak attacks.

8. Admiral

The much-admired Military rank has its origin in the Arabic words Amir (أميــــــــر) which means refers to a commander. The word Amir was also used to refer to the Caliph or the King of the territory.

9. Mascara

The word for this very commonly used cosmetic is derived from the Arabic Maskhara (مسخرة), an event in which people wear masks and coverings.

10. Sherbet

The words Sherbet and Sorbet are derived from the Arabic Word Sharaba (شرب). Sherbet is a middle eastern drink made up of sweetened water and fruit juice…


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The list of English words that have an Arabic origin is endless. Words like Candy, Cotton, Racket, Sofa, Satin, Mattress, Tariff, Orange, Apricot, Saffron, Tamarind, Syrup, Gazelle, Giraffe, Safari, Ghoul etc also have an Arabic origin. If you are planning to learn Arabic, then you can start by learning these words as it will boost your vocabulary, and give you a head start in language learning.

Arabic is a language that has dominated the global landscape for many centuries and was the language of learning for a very long time. If you are planning to learn Arabic, then SAIOI is offering a free private Skype tuition session to streamline your learning.

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