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NAMES OF ARABIC ORIGIN IN SPAIN, PORTUGAL AND THE AMERICAS

Most of the names starting with Al-, Ar-, Cala-, Guad- and Medina are corrupted forms of Arabic names originally given to places, rivers, mountains and other natural features during the Muslim rule in Spain and Portugal. These names were later adopted in the Americas after the migration of Hispanic population to Florida, California, Mexico, Central and South Americas in 1500s and later centuries, following the voyages of Christopher Columbus to the continent. The Muslims of the Iberian peninsula are commonly known in the West as the 'Moors' and their period of activity between 711 - 1492 C.E. as the Moorish Civilization.

The table below shows names, their original Arabic names and the meaning.

 

 

Name Original Arabic Name Meaning
Alhambra al-Hamara The Red
Almaden al-Maydan The Field
Alqazar al-Qasr The Palace
Alcantara al-Qantarah The Bridge
Almenara al-Manarah The Mosque Tower, English Minaret
Alborg al-Burj The Tower
Alcove al-Qubbah Dome
Almansil al-Manzil The Stopping Place
Alqueria al-Qariyah The Village
Almeria al-Mirayah The Mirror
Alpujarras al-Bajara The Highlands
Calahorra Qalat al-Hajar Castle
Guadalquivir Wadi al-Kabir Great River
Guadalajara Wadi al-Hijarah Stony River
Taifa Ta'ifah Party or Faction
Andalusia al-Andalus  
Azulejo az-Zulayj Burnished Pebble
Alcaids al-Qa'ids Warden
mattress Matrah  
Sofa Suffah Pad
Sherbet Sharbah Drink

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