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Flat White Coffee | © Russell James Smith
Flat White Coffee | © Russell James Smith
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15 English Words You Wouldn't Believe Were of Arabic Origin

Picture of Thais Kelly
Updated: 22 June 2017
The Arabic language is poetic and beautiful, full of words that can’t even be translated into English without losing their meaning. However, there are certain words that not only can be easily translated, they actually gave origin to words in English which people use every single day. So next time you’re ordering your coffee or sitting on your sofa, remember where these words came from: Arabic!

Coffee

Written in Arabic as: قهوة

Coffee
Coffee | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Giraffe

Written in Arabic as: زرافة

Giraffe
Giraffe | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Algebra

Written in Arabic as: الجبر

Algebra
Algebra | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Sofa

Written in Arabic as: صفّة

Sofa
Sofa | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Sugar

Written in Arabic as: سكّر

Sugar
Sugar | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Cotton

Written in Arabic as: قطن

Cotton
Cotton | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Safari

Written in Arabic as: سفر

Safari
Safari | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Ghoul

Written in Arabic as: غول

Ghoul
Ghoul | | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Candy

Written in Arabic as: قندي

Candy
Candy | | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Alchemy

Written in Arabic as: الكيمياء

Alchemy
Alchemy | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Gazelle

Written in Arabic as: غزال

Gazelle
Gazelle | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Mattress

Written in Arabic as: مطرح

Mattress
Mattress | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Admiral

Written in Arabic as: أمير

Admiral
Admiral | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Tariff

Written in Arabic as: تعريف

Tariff
Tariff | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly

Alcohol

Written in Arabic as: الكحل

Alcohol
Alcohol | © Culture Trip/Thais Kelly