List of 153 Words That Originated in America


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Searching for examples of English words that evolved in the New World? Have a look at this list of such terms. In this collection of terms you'll find English words that originated in America.
Word Origin
abalone From Rumsen aulon.
achiote From Nahuatl āchiotl.
agouti From Tupi akutí.
alpaca From Aymara allpaqa.
anole From Dominica Island Carib anáoli.
apishamore From Ojibwa apishamon.
atamasco lily From Virginia Algonquian attamusco.
atlatl From Nahuatl ahtlatl.
atole From Nahuatl atolli.
avocado From Nahuatl āhuacatl.
axolotl From Nahuatl āxōlōtl.
ayahuasca From Quechua ayawaska.
barbecue From American Spanish barbacoa.
cacao From Nahuatl cacahuatl.
cachua From American Spanish cachúa.
cacique From Taino.
caiman From Carib acayuman.
cannibal From Taino caniba.
capybara From Tupi kapiʔiwara.
caribou From Micmac γalipu.
cashew From Tupi akajú.
cassava From Taino caçábi.
catalpa From Creek katáłpa.
cayenne From Tupi kyinha.
cenote From Yucatec ts'onot.
chayote From Nahuatl chayohtli.
cheechako From Nootka čokʷa·.
chia From Nahuatl chía.
chicha From Cuna chichah.
chicle From Nahautl tzictli.
chili From Nahuatl chīlli.
chinquapin From Virginia Algonquian chechinquamin.
chipmunk From Ojibwa ačitamo·nʔ.
chipotle From Nahuatl *chīlpōctli.
chocolate From Nahuatl chocolātl.
chuckwalla From Cahuilla čáxwal.
chuño From Quechua ch'úñu.
cisco From Canadian French ciscoette.
coca From Quechua kuka.
condor From Quechua kuntur.
coontie From Creek kontí·.
copal From Nahuatl copalli.
coyote From Nahuatl coyōtl.
coypu From Mapuche coipu.
degu From Mapudungun deuñ.
dory From Miskito dóri.
epazote From Nahuatl epazōtl.
eulachon From Chinook Jargon ulâkân.
geoduck From Lushootseed gʷídəq.
guacamole From Nahuatl āhuacamōlli.
guan From Kuna kwama.
guanaco From Quechua wanaku.
guano From Quechua wanu.
guava From Taino guayavá.
hammock From Taino, via Spanish hamaca.
hickory From Virginia Algonquian pawcohiccora.
hoatzin From Nahuatl huāctzin.
hogan From Navajo hooghan.
hurricane From Taino hurakán.
husky From Cree aškime·w.
igloo From Inuit iglu.
iguana From Arawak iwana.
Inca From Quechua inka.
jaguar From Tupi jawára.
jaguarundi From Old Guarani yaguarundi.
jerky From Quechua ch'arki.
jicama From Nahuatl xīcamatl.
kachina From Hopi qacína.
kayak From Inuit qayaq.
kinkajou From Algonquian, via French quincajou.
kiva From Hopi kíva.
kokanee From Shuswap kəknǽxʷ.
lagniappe From American Spanish la ñapa.
llama From Quechua.
macana From Taino.
maize From Taino mahiz.
malamute From Inupiat malimiut.
manioc From Tupi maniʔóka.
maraca From Tupi maraká.
mesquite From Nahuatl mizquitl.
moccasin From Virginia Algonquian mockasin.
moose From Algonquian.
mugwump From Massachusett mugquomp.
mukluk From Yupik maklak.
muskeg From Cree maske·k
muskellunge From Ojibwa ma·skino·še·.
nopal From Nahuatl nohpalli.
ocelot From Nahuatl ōcēlōtl.
opossum From Algonquian aposoum.
pampa From Quechua.
papaya From Arawak papáia.
pecan From Illinois pakani.
pemmican From Cree pimihka·n.
persimmon From Virginia Algonquian pessemmin.
petunia From Tupi petɨ́ma.
peyote From Nahuatl peyotl.
piki From Hopi píki.
pinole From Nahuatl pinolli.
pipsissewa From Eastern Abenaki kpi-pskwáhsawe.
piranha From Tupi pirã́ja.
pogonip From Shoshone paγɨnappɨh.
poncho From Mapuche, via American Spanish.
pone From Virginia Algonquian appone.
potato From Taino, via Spanish batata.
potlatch From Nootka p̓aƛp̓ač.
powwow From Narragansett powwaw or Massachusett pauwau.
puccoon From Virginia Algonquian poughkone.
puma From Quechua.
punkie From Delaware (Munsee) pónkwəs.
quahog From Narragansett poquaûhock.
quetzal From Nahuatl quetzalli.
quinine From Quechua kina, via Spanish quina.
quinoa From Quechua kinua.
raccoon From Virginia Algonquian raugroughcun.
sachem From Narragansett sâchim.
sagamore From Eastern Abenaki sὰkəmα.
saguaro From Mexican Spanish.
salal From Lower Chinook sálal.
sapodilla From Nahuatl tzapotl.
sapota From Nahuatl tzapotl.
savanna From Taino zabana.
seriema From Tupi çariama.
skookum From Chehalis skukm.
skunk From Algonquian *šeka·kwa.
sockeye From North Straits Salish sə́qəy̓.
soroche From Quechua surúchi.
sotol From Nahuatl zōtōlin.
squash From Narragansett askútasquash.
succotash From Narragansett msíckquatash.
tamale From Nahuatl tamalli.
tapioca From Tupi tɨpɨʔóka.
tapir From Tupi tapiʔíra.
tequila From Tequila, a Mexican town.
terrapin From Virginia Algonquian *to·rəpe·w.
tepee From Dakota thípi.
tobacco From Spanish tabaco, probably from Taino.
toboggan From Algonquian, via Canadian French tobogan.
tomahawk From Virginia Algonquian tomahack.
tomato From Nahuatl tomatl.
totem From Ojibwa oto·te·man.
toucan From Tupi tukána.
tuckahoe From Virginia Algonquian tockawhoughe.
tule From Nahuatl tōllin.
tullibee Probably from Cree otonabi, via Canadian French toulibi.
vicuña From Quechua wik'uña.
wampum From Narraganset wampompeag.
wanigan From Ojibwa wa·nikka·n.
wapatoo From Cree wāpatowa.
wapiti From Shawnee wa·piti.
wickiup From Fox (an Algonquian language) wi·kiya·pi.
wigwam From Eastern Abenaki wìkəwαm.
yaupon From Catawba yą́pą.
yuca From Taino yuca.