Many people make friends with people of other cultures in order to explore their cultures, exchange languages or any other reason, and many people start to learn other languages for that purpose.

Knowing one another is one of the aims why Allah has created us the way we are. Allah said in Quran:

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” []

 and learning different languages eases that aim.

Languages meet at some points

Sometimes, I feel that languages kind of embrace each other! That’s why you find what is so-called “loanwords” which means the English words that are originally French, Spanish, German, etc.

But you might not know that some English words are originally Arabic.

In this article, we will explore “some” of them.

Words that are Originally Arabic

Borrowed Arabic words are in so many fields like science, food, animals, agriculture, furniture and even myths.


The English word Algebra is originally “Al-Jabr” which is the same science. While the English word algorithm is originally “Al-Khawarizmi” who is the Muslim scholar who invented the science of Algebra and developed so many algorithms of it.

Food and Drink:

The English word lemon came from the Arabic word “Laymoon” which is the same fruit.

The English word alcohol came from the Arabic word of “Al-Kuhul”. I guess so many English words that start with “al” might have an Arabic origin because “al” in Arabic is equivalent to the word “the”.

Also, the English word sugar’s origin is “sukkar” which is the same sweet thing we all love.

One more thing is the word syrup which came from the word “sharaab” and that is anything to drink.


Well, do you know the giraffe? In Arabic, it is “Zarafa”, very close, huh?

But you know what is even closer? The word gazelle which comes originally from the Arabic word “Ghazala”.


Cotton in English, even coton in French and all sound-like words are originally “Qutn” word in Arabic.

Your favorite coffee is originally “Qahwa” which was transformed by the Turkish language to be “Qahve” and then with more transformation it ended up as coffee.

More to Mention

Here are 3 more words in other fields quickly before I end up my article:

Sofa is based on “Suffa”.

Alcove is based on “Al-Qubba”. See? Remember the words start with “al” thing?

Ghoul is almost the same word “Ghoul” with a slight difference in pronunciation.

Jar came from “Jarra

Finally, Admiral is originally ” Ameer”.


Feeling that languages are related increases the bonds between their speakers and gives more and more chances for people to deliver their cultures and thoughts in order to make the world a better place. And as Quran states that getting to know each other is important, it also stated that there’s no preference according to language, color nor nationality as we will be judged from another perspective.

O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” []





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