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Published on: Vocabulary

Spanish Words That Start With J

Welcome to our Spanish academy’s blog, where today, we will be diving into the fascinating world of Spanish words that start with the letter ‘J.’ The Spanish alphabet is a treasure trove of unique words and expressions, and the letter ‘J’ is no exception. 

By exploring these words, you will not only expand your vocabulary but also gain a deeper understanding of the Spanish language and culture.

In this blog post, we will be introducing you to a diverse array of Spanish words that begin with ‘J,’ ranging from everyday items to more specialized terms. 

For instance, you might be surprised to learn that the Spanish word for ‘boss’ is ‘jefe,’ or that ‘jamón,’ meaning ‘ham,’ is a popular delicacy often enjoyed on Saturday mornings. Additionally, the word ‘joven’ refers to a young man, while ‘el jinete’ translates to ‘horse rider.’

Furthermore, we will delve into some intriguing expressions and phrases that incorporate Spanish words beginning with ‘J,’ such as ‘mi jefe,’ which translates to ‘my boss.’ 

By learning these expressions, you will be better equipped to engage in authentic conversations with native speakers and appreciate the richness of the Spanish language.

So, join us as we embark on this linguistic journey, exploring Spanish words that start with ‘J’ and uncovering their meanings, uses, and cultural significance. Happy reading!

History of the letter J in the Spanish language

The history of the letter ‘J’ in the Spanish alphabet is a fascinating tale of linguistic evolution and adaptation. Although it now holds a prominent position in the Spanish language, the story of ‘J’ is closely related to that of the letter ‘I.’ 

Both letters share a common origin in the ancient Phoenician alphabet, where they represented the same sound. Over time, however, the two letters developed distinct roles in various languages, including Spanish.

The introduction of the letter ‘J’ into the Spanish alphabet was influenced by the Latin alphabet, which itself had been adapted from the earlier Etruscan and Greek alphabets. 

In Latin, the letter ‘I’ was used to represent both a vowel sound and a consonant sound, similar to the English ‘Y.’ However, as the Latin language evolved into the Romance languages, including Spanish, the need arose to differentiate between these two sounds.


A fun fact about the letter “J” in Spanish is that it was not originally part of the Spanish alphabet. In fact, the letter “J” was introduced into the Spanish language in the 16th century, as a way to represent the “j” sound that was not present in the original Latin alphabet. Before that, the “J” sound was usually represented by the letter “I” or the letter “G,” depending on the context.

To address this issue, the letter ‘J’ was introduced to represent the consonant sound, while ‘I’ continued to represent the vowel sound. 

This development is reflected in many Spanish words, such as ‘jirafa,’ which is a cognate of the English word ‘giraffe.’ In this example, the ‘J’ in the Spanish word represents a sound similar to the English ‘H.’

In addition to its role in everyday vocabulary, the letter ‘J’ also plays a significant part in Spanish literature and religious texts. 

For example, the name of the biblical character ‘Jeremías’ begins with the letter ‘J,’ highlighting the importance of this letter in representing names and concepts related to religion and spirituality.

The letter ‘J’ is now an integral part of the Spanish alphabet, and its presence in numerous Spanish words is a testament to its versatility and importance. 

As you explore the world of Spanish words that begin with ‘J,’ take a moment to appreciate the rich history of this letter and its journey from a humble Phoenician glyph to an essential element of the Spanish language. 

By understanding the origins of the letter ‘J,’ you will develop a deeper appreciation for the Spanish words that contain it and the linguistic connections relating to other languages, such as English.

Spanish Nouns Starting With J (Sustantivos)

Nouns are words that name people, places, things, or ideas. They are one of the most fundamental and essential parts of speech in the English language, and they are used to identify and describe objects and concepts in a sentence. 

Let’s see some nouns starting with J in Spanish:

Spanish  English 
Jabalí Wild Boar
Jabón Soap
Jardín Garden
Jarrón  Vase
Jaula Cage
Jefe Boss
Jengibre Ginger
Jerarquía Hierarchy
Jirafa  Giraffe
Jornada Workday
Joya Jewel
Juego Game
Juez Judge
Jugador Player
Jugo Juice
Juguete Toy
Juguetería  Toy Store
Junio June
Jurado Jury
Juramento Oath
Jurisdicción Jurisdiction
Juzgado Court
Juzgador Adjudicator
Juzgamiento Judgment
Jabonera Soap Dish
Jacuzzi  Jacuzzi 
Jaguar Jaguar
Jamón Ham
Jarra  Pitcher
Jazmín Jasmine
Jornalero Day Laborer
Joyería Jewelry Store
Jubilación Retirement
Jueves  Thursday

Spanish Verbs Starting With J (Verbos)

Verbs are words that express actions, events, or states of being. They are an essential part of any sentence, as they help to convey what the subject is doing or what is happening in the sentence. Let’s see a list of verbs starting with J in Spanish!

Spanish  English
Jugar  To Play
Juzgar To Judge
Juntar To Join
Jalar To Pull
Jactarse  To Boast
Jubilar To Retire
Justificar To Justify
Juntarse To Gather

Spanish Adverbs Starting With J (Adverbios)

Image by drobotdean via Freepik

Adverbs are words that modify or describe verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs in a sentence. They provide information about how, when, where, why, or to what extent something is happening. 

For example, in the sentence “She ran quickly to the store”, the adverb “quickly” modifies the verb “ran” and provides information about how she ran. Adverbs can be formed from adjectives by adding the suffix “-mente” (meaning “-ly” in English) to the feminine singular form of the adjective.  

Here is a list of adverbs in Spanish starting with the letter J:

Spanish English
Japonés  Japanese (adverbial form)
Jardinero Gardener (adverbial form)
Jocosamente Jokingly
Jovenmente Youthfully
Jovialmente Jovially
Judicialmente Judicially
Judiciosamente Judiciously
Juguetón Playful (adverbial form)
Jugueteando Playfully
Juntos Together
Jurídicamente Juridically
Justa Fair (adverbial form)
Justamente Fairly, justly
Justificadamente Justifiably
Justo Exactly
Juzgadamente Judiciously
Juzgar To judge (adverbial form)

Note that some of these adverbs have a feminine or plural form, depending on the context in which they are used.

Spanish Adjectives Starting With J (Adjetivos)

Adjectives are words that modify or describe nouns or pronouns. They provide more information about the qualities, characteristics, or properties of the person, thing, or idea being referred to in the sentence. 

Adjectives can answer questions such as “what kind?”, “which one?”, “how many?”, and “how much?”. Here are some examples of spanish adjectives that start with the letter “J”:

Spanish English
Joven  Young
Jocoso Humorous
Juntado Assembled
Jactancioso Boastful
Jardinero Gardener
Jovial Joyful
Justo Fair
Juguetón  Playful
Jugoso Juicy

Start Learning Spanish Today!

Image by diana.grytsku via Freepik

Exploring Spanish words that start with ‘J’ is an excellent way to expand your vocabulary and enhance your language skills. 

As a Spanish academy committed to helping our students grow on their language journey, we believe that introducing various Spanish words that start with ‘J’ will significantly contribute to your overall understanding and fluency.

Throughout this blog post, we have provided numerous examples of Spanish words that start with ‘J,’ along with their English equivalents, example sentences, and their usage in different contexts. 

By learning these Spanish words that start with ‘J,’ you will be better equipped to engage in conversations, understand written texts, and communicate effectively in both informal and formal settings, such as the office.


According to some estimates, the letter “J” accounts for only about 0.5% of the total letters used in written Spanish, making it one of the least common letters in the language.

Some of the Spanish words that start with ‘J’ are cognates, meaning they have similar spelling and meaning in English, like ‘jewel.’ 

Other Spanish words that start with ‘J’ may not have a direct English equivalent, but can still be understood through their context or combination with other words, such as ‘mug.’

As you continue to explore Spanish words that start with ‘J,’ remember to practice using them in context by talking to native speakers, reading texts, and constructing your own sentences. 

This practical application will help solidify your understanding of these Spanish words and enhance your overall language skills.

Final Thoughts

We encourage you to keep discovering more Spanish words, starting with different letters of the alphabet, to enrich your vocabulary and improve your proficiency. 

By actively engaging with the Spanish language and its many unique words, you will develop a deeper appreciation for the language’s beauty and complexity. So, start expanding your knowledge of Spanish words that start with ‘J’ and beyond, and watch your language skills flourish.

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