English words that come from Arabic

Arabic is an ancient and influential language that has had a significant impact on the culture and language of many parts of the world. In the Middle Ages, Arabic was the lingua franca of Islam and Arabic science, philosophy and literature were highly advanced compared to the rest of the world.

During this period, Arab countries had strong trade and cultural ties with Europe, which resulted in the assimilation of many Arabic words into the English and other European languages.

For example, algebra comes from the Arabic term “al-jabr”, which means “union of separate parts”. The word “safari” comes from the Arabic term “safara”, which means “to travel”.

The word “sugar” originated from the Arabic word “suqar”, which means “sugar”. The word “lemon” comes from the Arabic word “laymun”, while “coffee” comes from the Arabic word “qahwah”.

These words have been assimilated into English through trade, cultural and scientific contacts between Europe and the Arab world over the centuries.

It is interesting to note that many English words that derive from Arabic were assimilated in the Middle Ages, but some of these words have become much more common in more recent times, such as “shisha” and “hummus”, which have become very popular in the last decades.

Some examples are:

  1. Algebra
  2. Safari
  3. Sugar
  4. Lemon
  5. Gauze
  6. Mattress
  7. Magazine
  8. Sherbet
  9. Mascara
  10. Rice
  11. Cotton
  12. Sofa
  13. Tariff
  14. Alcohol
  15. Coffee
  16. Safari
  17. Zero

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