If Nyan Cat to be a Spanish creation, would we spell the Ñan Cat? Well.. Yes, actually!

After all, the palabrasque.com find option list 13,589 Spanish indigenous containing the letter ñ.

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Plus, end 350 of castle actually begin with this letter.

That’s a totality lot that words for a letter that did not even exist in Latin!

But let’s be real. The letter ñ is no in the “top three many important and most regularly used letters in the Spanish language” list, though we indigenous speakers love it.

I am sure you already know a bunch of words that contain the letter ñ, and most most likely you use them quite regularly in your conversations or essays in Spanish.

Take the word año (year) together an example. What is among the first questions friend all discover when you start your adventure with the Spanish language? Exactly!

¿Cuántos años tienes? (How old room you?)

I bet you also know words prefer niño (child), araña (spider), mañana (morning, tomorrow) and bañarse (to have a bath), but they all encompass this letter in the middle of the word, not at the beginning.

Many of mine students room surprised as soon as I tell them there are certainly Spanish indigenous that start with ñ, few of which are offered every day! castle all start trying to produce the ñ sound at the start of a word, and it is hilariously cute.

Native speakers of English have plenty the words with the ñ sound in the center of a word. This sound is practically identical to the sound you create when you say the words “canyon” or “onion” in English.

However, there are means fewer words beginning with this an extremely same sound in English, for this reason students have tendency to acquire stressed end the reality that they have to produce that sound (much together in happens to many of you when you watch a Spanish word with many s, c or z letters favor secesión) best from the start.

There is no require for girlfriend to stress over this. You space actually able to create this sound perfectly fine in English.

Try come say the word “nuke” or, better yet, “Nyan Cat.” That’s it, that’s the ñ we were looking for!

So, together I said before, there space plenty that Spanish words starting with ñ, and also you are around to discover the most necessary ones.


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A Brief history of the Letter Ñ

Once upon a time about the 12th century, scribes were worn down of writing and also copying publications over and over again and also they chose to create a system to save them time and also effort.

They started adding a tilde ~ (not to be confused with the Spanish tilde or interval mark) over part letters to show that the letter was, in fact, doubled.

A couple of centuries passed and also this system got somehow forgotten other than for one double letter: nn. Scribes kept using the tilde as soon as they encountered a double n, and also so, with time, the letter ñ became a letter in its own right.

More regularly than not, the letter ñ in Spanish indicates that the initial Latin word contained a twin n, yet there are other letter combinations like gn, mn and ni that would likewise become ñ with time:

signa seña (sign)

canna caña (cane)

annu año (year)

Hispania España (Spain)

Nowadays, the letter ñ is not just an independent letter that deserve to be discovered after n in Spanish dictionaries, yet also a symbol of the Spanish language.

It is not strange to check out Spanish language schools around the world use this letter or that is tilde one means or another, the many universally known instance being the different logos that the Instituto Cervantes.

So currently that you know where ñ come from and how lot we love it, let’s start finding out a couple of Spanish words that actually begin with it.

Some of this words are offered throughout the 21 countries where Spanish is an main language, while others space only provided in some specific regions.

I have added information regarding usage once available. The information concerning the usage of a number of these words has been extracted from the DRAE.

23 Spanish words That begin with Ñ You never Knew Existed

Of all the Spanish words that begin with ñ, I have actually chosen 23 that room either frequently used or exciting for part reason.


Usage details is had for every word. Come see how words prefer these are used by actual aboriginal Spanish speakers in context, inspect out the yes, really videos that tasiilaq.net.

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tasiilaq.net has a wide range of videos topics, as you deserve to see here:


tasiilaq.net brings aboriginal videos in ~ reach with interactive transcripts. You have the right to tap on any word come look it up instantly. Every meaning has instances that have been composed to assist you understand how the word is used.

Plus, if you check out an amazing word you nothing know, girlfriend can include it to a vocab list.


testimonial a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and also phrases noted under Vocab.


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Ña (Mrs.)

The kind Ña is a shortened variation of words Doña, provided in prior of the names of elderly women. Ña is specifically used in rural south America.

Ño (Mr.)

A shortened version of Señor, used in former of the name of elderly men in rural south America.

Ñu (Wildebeest, Gnu)

This is among the indigenous in this list practically every Spanish-speaking human knows.

I remember lock taught united state this indigenous in school as soon as we were discovering the alphabet. Native that minute on, I never forgot it.

El ñu azul es hervívoro. (The blue wildebeest is a herbivore.)

Ñoño (Bland, Dull, Blah, Boring, Drippy, Namby-pamby)

Ñoño is an additional word that is really commonly used, particularly in Spain.

It deserve to refer to both things and people, and it has quite a wide variety of meanings, yet they all have actually something in common: blandness, boredom, lack of life.

This indigenous is one adjective, so it has to agree in gender and also number v the noun that modifies:

Eres una persona muy ñoña. (You are a really boring person.)

¡Qué ñoño eres! (You’re so drippy!)

Ñaño (Close Friend, Spoiled, Homosexual, Brother, Kid)

According come the DRAE, ñaño can be provided as an adjective and a noun.

I had actually personally never heard of it before, however apparently the is widely supplied in some south American countries:

1. In Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, it describes a nearby friend.

2. In Colombia and Panama, it means spoiled, together in a spoiled child.

3. In Panama, the is additionally used to describe a homosexual person.

4. In components of Argentina, Bolivia and also Ecuador it way “brother” (same dad and same mum).

5. In Peru, it is likewise used to describe a child.

Ñato (Pug-nosed, Boxer)

Even despite I usually do not use this word myself, having grown up watching telenovelas made the word ñato a usual one due to the fact that I was a child.

Ñato is a mainly Latin American word offered to express to people who have actually a pug nose. The equivalent in Spain is chato.

It was funny because that me to discover this native also way “boxer” in Uruguay. It need to be due to the fact that most the them gain their noses smashed sooner or later!

Ñuzco (The Devil)

This is how people in Honduras contact the devil. Creepy.

Ñoñez / Ñoñería (Inanity, Isipidness, Spinelessness)

Both these words room nouns the come from the word ñoño (see above). They are both supplied to refer to people who either room ñoño or act like one.

Ñoqui (Gnocchi)

Right right here you can see the love we have actually for “Spanishizing” every word we can. The whole civilization pronounces this word virtually the same, but we chose to likewise write that in Spanish.

It reminds me of the word fútbol (football), and I still perform not know how to feel about it.

Anyway, bon appetit!

Ñongo (Intrusive, Indiscreet)

This native is used greatly in Cuba to refer to a human who wants to know way too much.

Ñaque (Junk)

This is one of the words in this list that is not very commonly used anymore.

It initially referred come a touring theater firm consisting of only two people.

Later on, it started to average junk or stuff, together in a lot of impractical, non-useful things.

Ñandú (Rhea)

The ñandú is the 2nd animal ~ above this list.

I remember additionally learning this word when I to be a kid, and also we constantly used to refer to it together the ostrich whose surname starts v a ñ.

Ñáñara (Laziness)

Ñáñara is an impressive word with two ñ’s and also it is a colloquial way of speak pereza (laziness) in Honduras.

Ñomblo (Obese)

The native ñomblo is how Nicaraguan human being say obeso (obese).

Ñatear (To Snort)

Here’s one word you should only know in theory: ñatear.

Ñatear is just how they to speak esnifar (to snort) in Nicaragua.

Do girlfriend remember that the word ñato means pug-nosed? lock belong to the same household of words!

Ñangazo (Bite)

A ñangazo is a mordisco (bite) in Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic.

Pay fist to the ending -azo, which is a Spanish suffix mostly used as an augmentative.

Ñamería (Madness)

I have actually loved this indigenous ever since I heard it because that the an initial time. They use it in Panama to say locura (madness), as in when someone loses their mind.

¡Qué ñamería! (What a madness!)

Ñandubay (A type of Tree in the Pea Family)

The ñandubay (Latin name prosopis affinis) is a flowering tree the the pea household native come Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and also Uruguay.

It is a melliferous tree. Yummy!

Ñampearse / Ñampeado (To walk Crazy / Crazy)

Ñampearse is a pronominal verb supplied colloquially in Panama to say someone has gone crazy (has lost their mind).

The previous participle ñampeado is usually used as an adjective meaning loco (crazy).

Ñacurutú (Great Horned Owl)

The last animal on this list in the great horned owl, a.k.a. The ñacurutú.

I personally had actually no idea this animal existed, however if you ever travel to Argentina, Paraguay or Uruguay, friend are most likely in for a treat.

Ñeembucú / Ñeembuqueño (Department in Paraguay / civilization Who room Born in This Department)

This is a very specific pair that words, however I want to include it since they sound therefore gracious come me.

Ñeembucú is a department in Paraguay. Civilization born over there are dubbed ñeembuqueños.

Ñañiguismo / Ñáñigos (A Freemason-like Cuban culture / civilization Who Are part of This Society)

I am consisting of these two words because when I uncovered them ns was for sure fascinated.

The Ñáñigos are some sort of Cuban an enig society for men, comparable to the Freemasons. If you have some time, read a tiny bit around them.

Ñañiguismo is words that refers to practicing the canons created by this society.

Ñangotarse (To Squat, to Humiliate, To it is in Disheartened)

Ñangotarse is a verb mainly used in Puerto Rico and some parts of the Dominican Republic.

It has actually three main meanings, i m sorry in typical Spanish would be ponerse en cuclillas (to squat), humillarse (literally “to humiliate oneself”) and also perder el ánimo (to be disheartened, accurate “to lose one’s spirit”).

The differences in an interpretation are big enough for me to wonder how people are may be to understand what is being said, however then again, ns live in a nation (Poland) wherein the exact same word deserve to mean a lock, a castle and also a zipper.

And that’s all for today!

As you have the right to see, also weird letters choose ñ can and also should be worshiped and also used.

Spanish has a most words that include the letter ñ, but only a fraction of them begin with it.

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It is currently your turn to discover them and also use them through your Spanish-speaking friends.

I gambling they do not know them all!

Stay curious, mine friends, and also as always, happy learning!

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