Arabic loan words

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English is a Germanic language with a large number of grammatical features and loan words from other languages such as French, Latin, Celtic, and Arabic.

Arabic Loan Words and English synonyms

Word with Arabic Root[1] Etymology[2] Definition
admiral Arabic amir-ar-rahl (naval commander) via French naval officer of general staff rank
algebra Arabic al-jebr (joining of broken pieces) via Latin mathematical system of symbols and rules to manipulate them
algorithm Arabic al-Khwarizmi (name of outstanding mediaeval mathematician) via Greek, Latin and French step-by-step computational procedure
arsenal Arabic dar-as-sina'ah (workshop) via Venetian arzenale armory, stockpile
assassin Arabic hashishiyyin (hashish-users) via Italian and French killer or hitman, usually with political connotations.
coffee Probably name of Ethiopian region Kaffa via Arabic qahwah, Turkish and Italian popular stimulating drink
cotton Possible Egyptian via Arabic qutn, via a southern Romance language and French plant material from which a wide variety of fabrics are made
elixir Greek xeros (dry) via Arabic al-iksir and Latin potion[3]
Gibraltar Arabic Jebel-al-Tariq (mountain of Tariq = name of 8th century commander) A large rock on the northern side of the Pillars of Hercules; also the city-state built on the rock
haboob Arabic habub (strong wind) violent sandstorm
lemon Sanskrit nimbu (lime) via Persion, Arabic laimun, Provençal and French a citrus fruit
lime Arabic limah (citrus fruit) via Spanish a tropical citrus fruit
mattress Arabic matrah via Sicilian, Italian and French thick pad for resting or sleeping on
orange A Dravidian language (fragrant + fruit) via Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic naranj, Italian or Provençal, and French a citrus fruit and the colour after which it is named
safari Arabic safar (journey) via Swahili trip, especially to watch or photograph wild animals
scarlet Possibly Arabic siqillat (fine cloth) via Latin and French bright red
soda Arabic suwwad (name of a plant) via Italian or Latin pop, soft drink
sugar Sanskrit sharkara via Persian, Arabic sukkar, Latin and French
tariff Arabic ta'rif = information via Latin and Italian tax
zero Arabic sifr via Latin and Italian none
  1. Arabic loan words in English
  2. Online Etymology Dictionary
  3. Note the irony: in English, an elixir is an alcoholic drink of medicinal value—in short, a cocktail.