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Published on: Vocabulary

Spanish Words That Start With X

Are you interested in exploring the fascinating world of Spanish vocabulary? In this blog, we’ll be delving into a specific category of words: those that begin with the elusive letter “X.” 

As you may know, Spanish is a language rich in history, culture, and diverse influences from around the world. This is reflected in its vocabulary, which includes words from Latin, Arabic, Indigenous American languages, and many others.

While the letter “X” is not as commonly used in Spanish as it is in English, it still appears in a variety of interesting and unique words. From “xenofobia” (xenophobia) to “xilófono” (xylophone), these words provide insight into Spanish-speaking cultures and their perspectives on the world.

Throughout this blog, we’ll be exploring some of the most intriguing and unusual Spanish words beginning with “X,” as well as their meanings and origins.  

So, whether you’re a Spanish language learner, a lover of linguistics, or just curious about the world, we invite you to join us on this journey of discovery. ¡Vámonos! (Let’s go!)

History Of The Letter W In The Spanish Alphabet

The letter “X” is one of the less commonly used letters in the Spanish alphabet, but it does have an interesting history. Originally, the letter “X” represented the sound “sh” in Old Spanish, and it was written as “x” or “ss.” 

Over time, the sound changed, and the letter “X” began to represent the sound “ks.”

During the Middle Ages, Spanish scholars adopted the Latin alphabet, which included the letter “X.” However, the pronunciation of the letter continued to evolve, and by the 16th century, it represented the sound “ks” at the beginning of words and the sound “gs” between vowels.

In the 18th century, Spanish scholars made a concerted effort to simplify the Spanish alphabet by eliminating letters that were considered redundant or unnecessary. This led to the removal of several letters, including “ch,” “ll,” and “rr.” However, the letter “X” was retained, despite its relatively limited use.

Today, the letter “X” is primarily used in Spanish to represent the sound “ks” at the beginning of words or in the middle of words between two vowels. It is also used in some loanwords from other languages, such as “xenofobia” (xenophobia) and “xilófono” (xylophone).

Despite its limited use, the letter “X” remains an important part of the Spanish alphabet and an interesting piece of the language’s history.

Image by user5812043 via Freepik

5 Interesting Facts About The Letter X In Spanish Alphabet

Although it is not at all a common letter in the Spanish language, it is quite interesting and has some facts that may interest you. Let’s get to know them! 

  1. The letter “X” is the third least commonly used letter in the Spanish language, following the letters “K” and “W.” It represents only around 0.5% of all letters used in written Spanish.
  2. The pronunciation of the letter “X” can vary depending on the word and context. It is typically pronounced as “eks” or “equis,” but can also represent the “sh” sound in some words.
  3. The letter “X” is used in many words borrowed from other languages, especially English. Examples include “extra” (extra), “taxi” (taxi), and “index” (índice).
  4. In some Spanish-speaking countries, the letter “X” is commonly used in place of the letters “ch” to represent the “ch” sound. For example, in Mexico, the word “mucha” (much) is often pronounced as “muxa.”
  5. The letter “X” is used in many abbreviations and acronyms, such as “RX” (recipe, or prescription) and “CX” (customer experience)

Spanish Words That Start With X

There are not many words in Spanish that begin with X. In fact, they are counted! In fact, they’re few and far between, so we bring you a list of the 17 Spanish words that begin with the letter X. 

Note that some of these words may be considered rare or obscure, and may not be commonly used in everyday conversation. Nonetheless, they provide insight into the rich and diverse vocabulary of the Spanish language.

  1. Xalapa

A city in the state of Veracruz, Mexico

  2. Xantofila

A yellow pigment found in many plants and algae

  3. Xénon

Xenon, a chemical element

  4. Xenofobia

Xenophobia, the fear or hatred of strangers or foreigners

  5. Xerocopia

Xerocopy, is a photocopy made with dry toner rather than wet ink

  6. Xeroderma

A medical condition in which the skin becomes dry and rough

  7. Xerografía

Xerography, is a printing process that uses electrostatic charges to transfer ink or toner onto paper

  8. Xeromorfismo

Xeromorphism, a form of adaptation to arid environments

  9. Xerosis

A medical condition in which the eyes become dry and irritated

  10. Xeroftalmia

Xerophthalmia, is a medical condition in which the eyes become dry and inflamed due to a deficiency of vitamin A

  11. Xifoides

Xiphoid, a cartilaginous extension of the breastbone

  12. Xileno

Xylene, is a type of solvent used in many industrial processes

  13. Xilofón

Xylophone, a musical instrument consisting of a series of wooden bars of varying lengths that are struck with mallets

  14. Xilografía

Woodcutting, is a printing technique that involves carving an image into a block of wood and then using the block to print the image onto paper

  15. Xineta

A type of fishing net used in Mediterranean countries

  16. Xylophila

Xylophile, an organism that is adapted to live in wood

  17. Xystus

A covered walkway, often used in ancient Greek and Roman architecture

Image by jannoon028 via Freepik

Explore All Spanish Words With SpanishVIP!

Begin your journey with SpanishVIP today! Sign up for a  free 1:1 class or free 7 days of group classes , and join the successful ranks of our students. 

While studying Spanish with us, you’ll find the process enriched by our experienced teachers and vast resources, including a detailed Spanish dictionary, aiding in precise translations. 

You’ll tackle the complexities of Spanish grammar, and dive into the exciting challenge of Spanish words that start with ‘X’. Understanding these uncommon yet popular words, like ‘xilófono’, enhances your vocabulary, helping people engage better in Spanish-speaking countries

Whether it’s for action in a Spanish place, or relating to Spanish-speaking friends, our holistic approach takes you from the most common to the exotic Spanish words, all spelled out for your convenience. 

Spanish words starting with X are just the beginning; there’s a whole page of Spanish word exploration waiting for you. So, start with SpanishVIP today and discover the joy of learning Spanish!

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