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

After all, the palabrasque.com find option perform 13,589 Spanish words containing the letter ñ.

You are watching: Words in spanish that start with n

Plus, over 350 of lock actually start with this letter.

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

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

I am sure you already know a bunch that 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) as an example. What is one of the first questions you all discover when you begin your adventure with the Spanish language? Exactly!

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

I bet you likewise know words choose niño (child), araña (spider), mañana (morning, tomorrow) and also bañarse (to have a bath), yet they all incorporate this letter in the center of the word, not at the beginning.

Many of mine students space surprised once I tell lock there are indeed Spanish words that start with ñ, some of which are offered every day! lock all start trying to create the ñ sound in ~ the start of a word, and it is hilariously cute.

Native speaker of English have plenty the words through the ñ sound in the center of a word. This sound is virtually identical come the sound you create when you to speak the native “canyon” or “onion” in English.

However, over there are means fewer words beginning with this really same sound in English, so students have tendency to obtain stressed end the fact that they have to produce that sound (much together in happens to countless of you once you view a Spanish native with numerous s, c or z letters choose secesión) best from the start.

There is no need for you to stress over this. You room actually may be to develop this sound perfectly fine in English.

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

So, together I stated before, there room plenty of Spanish words starting with ñ, and you are around to find out the most vital ones.


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A Brief history of the Letter Ñ

Once top top a time roughly the 12th century, scribes were worn down of writing and copying publications over and over again and they determined to create a device to save them time and also effort.

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

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

More often than not, the letter ñ in Spanish shows that the initial Latin word included a double n, yet there are various other letter combinations choose gn, mn and ni that would additionally becomeñ with time:

signa seña (sign)

canna caña (cane)

annu año (year)

HispaniaEspaña (Spain)

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

It is not strange to watch Spanish language schools around the world use this letter or that tilde one method or another, the many universally known example being the various logos the the Instituto Cervantes.

So currently that you understand where ñ comes from and how much we love it, let’s start finding out a few Spanish words that actually begin with it.

Some of these words are used throughout the 21 countries where Spanish is an official language, while others room only offered in some particular regions.

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

23 Spanish words That begin with Ñ You never ever Knew Existed

Of all the Spanish indigenous that start with ñ, I have actually chosen 23 that are either generally used or exciting for part reason.


Usage info is had for each word. To see just how words favor these are provided by actual indigenous Spanish speakers in context, inspect out the really videos that aramuseum.org.

aramuseum.org take away real-world videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and also inspiring talks—and turns them right into personalized language learning lessons.

other sites use scripted content. aramuseum.org offers a natural approach that helps girlfriend ease right into the Spanish language and society over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.

aramuseum.org has a wide range of videos topics, together you deserve to see here:


aramuseum.org brings indigenous videos in ~ reach through interactive transcripts. You can tap on any type of word to look it increase instantly. Every an interpretation has instances that have been written to aid you understand exactly how the indigenous is used.

Plus, if you check out an exciting word girlfriend don’t know, you can include it come a vocab list.


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


learn all the vocabulary in any video clip with aramuseum.org’s robust finding out engine. Swipe left or best to see more examples of the word you’re on.


The best part is that aramuseum.org keeps monitor of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra exercise with difficult words. It"ll also remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has actually a important personalized experience, even if they’re researching with the very same video.

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Ña (Mrs.)

The type Ña is a shortened variation of words Doña, used in front of the names of yonsi women. Ña is especially used in rural southern America.

Ño (Mr.)

A shortened version of Señor, provided in former of the name of elderly males in rural south America.

Ñu (Wildebeest, Gnu)

This is just one of the words in this list practically every Spanish-speaking human knows.

I remember castle taught united state this indigenous in school once we were learning the alphabet. Indigenous that moment on, I never ever 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 can refer come both things and people, and it has quite a wide selection of meanings, however they all have actually something in common: blandness, boredom, absence of life.

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

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

¡Qué ñoño eres! (You’re for this reason drippy!)

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

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

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

1. In Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru, it refers to a close friend.

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

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

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

5. In Peru, it is also used to refer to a child.

Ñato (Pug-nosed, Boxer)

Even despite I usually do not use this word myself, having grown up watching telenovelas made words ñato a usual one because I to be a child.

Ñato is a greatly Latin American word offered to to express to world who have actually a pug nose. The identical in Spain is chato.

It to be funny because that me to find this native also method “boxer” in Uruguay. It should be since most the them acquire their noses smashed sooner or later!

Ñuzco (The Devil)

This is how human being in Honduras call the devil. Creepy.

Ñoñez / Ñoñería (Inanity, Isipidness, Spinelessness)

Both this words space nouns that come from words ñoño (see above). They space both offered to refer to people who either space ñoño or act prefer one.

Ñoqui (Gnocchi)

Right here you can see the love we have actually for “Spanishizing” every word us can. The whole human being pronounces this word almost the same, but we decided to also write the in Spanish.

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

Anyway, bon appetit!

Ñongo (Intrusive, Indiscreet)

This native is used mainly in Cuba to refer to a human being who desires to know means too much.

Ñaque (Junk)

This is one of the words in this list the is not really commonly offered anymore.

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

Later on, it started to average junk or stuff, as in a many impractical, non-useful things.

Ñandú (Rhea)

The ñandú is the 2nd animal on this list.

I remember likewise learning this word when I was a kid, and also we always used to describe it together the ostrich whose name starts v a ñ.

Ñáñara (Laziness)

Ñáñara is an remarkable word with two ñ’s and also it is a colloquial means of saying pereza (laziness) in Honduras.

Ñomblo (Obese)

The word ñomblo is how Nicaraguan people say obeso (obese).

Ñatear (To Snort)

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

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

Do friend remember that words ñato means pug-nosed? castle belong come the same household of words!

Ñangazo (Bite)

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

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

Ñamería (Madness)

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

¡Qué ñamería! (What a madness!)

Ñandubay (A form of Tree in the Pea Family)

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

It is a melliferous tree. Yummy!

Ñampearse / Ñampeado (To go Crazy / Crazy)

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

The past participle ñampeado is generally used together an adjective definition loco (crazy).

Ñacurutú (Great Horned Owl)

The last pet on this list in the an excellent horned owl, a.k.a. The ñacurutú.

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

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

This is a very certain pair of words, however I want to include it because they sound therefore gracious come me.

Ñeembucú is a department in Paraguay. Civilization born over there are referred to as ñeembuqueños.

Ñañiguismo / Ñáñigos (A Freemason-like Cuban society / world Who Are component of This Society)

I am including these 2 words due to the fact that when I uncovered them ns was absolutely fascinated.

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

Ñañiguismo is the word that describes practicing the canons created by this society.

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

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

It has three main meanings, which in conventional Spanish would be ponerse en cuclillas (to squat), humillarse (literally “to humiliate oneself”) and also perder el ánimo (to it is in disheartened, accurate “to shed one’s spirit”).

The differences in meaning are huge enough for me to wonder how world are maybe to understand what is gift said, but then again, ns live in a nation (Poland) wherein the very same word have the right to mean a lock, a castle and also a zipper.

And that’s every for today!

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

Spanish consists of a most words that encompass the letter ñ, yet only a portion of them begin with it.

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It is currently your rotate to find out them and also use them with your Spanish-speaking friends.

I bet they perform not know them all!

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

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