15 Spanish Words Starting With W You Should Learn
- Jada LòpezSpanish teacher, translator🎓 B.A., Translation and Interpreting English and Spanish, Universidad de Granada🎓 M.A., Formación de Profesores de Español como Lengua Extranjera (ELE), Universidad Pablo de Olavide
Passionate language teacher and translator. Wife, mother of 3 and amateur surfer.
Are you curious about which Spanish words start with the letter W?
There are a few advantages to knowing which words begin with this letter, so your curiosity is about to be rewarded.
Read the whole article if you also want to learn how to find words that begin with W in Spanish, and what the letter W is called in Spanish (to augment what you’ve learned in a Spanish course).
As a spoiler warning - the Spanish letter W has a similar name to its English equivalent.
What is the Spanish letter W called, and why is it unique?
The Spanish letter W is called the “uve doble” or, sometimes, the “doble u,” much like the English name for this consonant (“double u”).
It’s a unique letter in Spanish because there are not many Spanish words that begin with W.
Are there any Spanish words that start with W?
Are there any words that start with W in Spanish?
The fact is that there are very few Spanish words that begin with the letter W. You’ll notice that many of the Spanish words that do begin with W are loan words. This fact means that many Spanish words starting with W originate from other languages, including English.
If you’re an English speaker learning Spanish, you’ll probably recognize many of the words that begin with W.
That’s a bonus, right?
You’ll already know various words and won’t have to memorize them!
How can I find Spanish words that begin with W?
The fastest and easiest way to find Spanish words that begin with W is to look in Spanish dictionaries.
If you want to know if an English word that begins with W exists in Spanish, you can go to the Real Academia Española, or the RAE, to search for the word.
When you search for the word, the dictionary will either give you a definition or tell you that the word doesn’t exist in the dictionary.
You can also consult the WordReference website to get precise translations, so you can check whether an English word that begins with a W also begins with the same letter in Spanish just by running a translation.
When is the letter W used in Spanish, and how do you pronounce it?
The letter W is used in Spanish mainly for words originating from other languages.
For this reason, when you see a word that begins with W in Spanish, you can pronounce the letter W in the word as you would in the same way you would pronounce the word in English (or its language of origin).
But the vowels that follow the W may be shorter or sharper just due to the Spanish accent.
For example, the letter W is used in the Spanish word WiFi. While you can pronounce the W in the same way you would in English, “wuh,” the word WiFi is pronounced Whi-fee in Spanish.
WiFi makes my list of examples of Spanish words below, so continue reading to find out about it.
Spanish words that start with W
Without further ado, let’s look at the some Spanish words that start with the letter W.
Have you heard of these?
The first Spanish word that begins with W on this list is whisky.
This borrowed word is the alcoholic spirit consumed by people across the world. Whisky is the same as the English word “whisky.”
There are practically no phonetic differences between the English and Spanish pronunciation of “whisky.”
WiFi is another loaned word from the English language.
It means the same as its English equivalent and refers to the internet connection we establish with a router.
It’s pronounced slightly differently, though. While in English, we pronounce the word “waiy-fai,” in Spanish, we would say whi-fee.
From whisky, the Spanish word whiskería _was born. _Una whiskería is a bar that sells alcoholic drinks, including whisky.
The English equivalent would be a “whisky bar.”
A wéstern is another loan word that the Spanish have adopted from the English equivalent of “Western.”
It refers to the films set in the West of the US in the late 19th century. Note, in Spanish, the word wéstern has an accent mark on the first “e.”
The accent mark lets Spanish speakers know it’s pronounced “wÉstern” and not “westeurrn.”
The adopted word windsurf is used to talk about the sport in the sea, in which windsurfers slide over the surface of the water using a surfboard and a sail.
From windsurf, other nouns and verbs also exist in Spanish, as you’ll see in the following example. There’s a slight difference between the pronunciation of windsurf in English and Spanish.
In English, it’s “wind-seurf” and in Spanish, it’s “wind-soourf”
Look up the word windsurfista, and you’ll get a definition that refers to a person who does windsurfing.
This Spanish noun is the equivalent of the word “windsurfer.”
Here’s another noun that Spanish speakers have adopted into the language.
Waterpolo refers to the swimming pool sport “water polo” in which players attempt to score goals by passing the ball between each other and, eventually, past the goalkeeper.
Search for _waterpolista _in the RAE, and you’ll get a definition that describes a person who takes part in the waterpolo sport.
In English, sadly, we don’t have such a compact word for this definition. Instead, we must use “water polo player.”
9. Whisky de malta
Here’s another variation of the first word on our list.
Whisky de malta means “malt whisky” in English.
You’ll notice how this phrase contains the word de, which gives us an exact, literal translation of “whisky of malt.”
Wolframio is a strong and dense metallic chemical element known as “tungsten” in English.
When you search in the RAE for Wólfram, the dictionary will tell you that it’s a masculine noun also referred to as tungsteno.
With this in mind, Wólfram has the same meaning as the word wolframio (number 10 on this list).
Windsurfing is included in the RAE entries.
Of course, it’s an English word adopted into Spanish, but it refers to the sport I’ve listed as number five on this list.
You’ll hear Spaniards using windsurfing as part of their conversations related to water sports, even though it’s an English gerund, especially if you’re near the beach.
The word Wagneriano is an adjective that refers to a type or style of music that reflects the style or composition of the German musician Richard Wagner.
In other words, if the music has characteristics similar to Wagner’s work, you can use this adjective to describe it.
The adjective contains the name of the composer and musician, so for that reason, it begins with W.
Although WWW is not a word, it makes this list because it’s critical in the digital age. WWW is also referred to as tres uves dobles or triple uve doble in Spanish.
Alternatively, you can call this phrase uve doble, uve doble, uve doble, just as we would say “double u, double u, double u, dot” but what does it mean?
Tres uves dobles refers to the three Ws found at the beginning of a website address.
In adverts trying to market a product and direct you to a company website, you’ll hear the phrase tres uves dobles or uve doble, uve doble, uve doble before they give the website name.
This final word on our list is heard in English and originates from Chinese cutlery and cuisine.
The word wok is also another loan word that Spanish speakers use. You’ll find it in the RAE, which describes it as a deep and wide frying pan used in oriental kitchens.
Can you pronounce geographical places containing a W in English the same as in Spanish?
Yes, places that contain a W in English get pronounced the same way in Spanish.
Spanish speakers may pronounce these words with an accent, but generally, if a loaned proper noun that refers to a place or location originates from the English language, you can pronounce it the same way.
For example, nouns such as Washington, Windsor, Wisconsin, and Winnipeg are pronounced the same way you would pronounce them in English.
Since these are places, the pronunciation shouldn’t change.
Other Spanish words that start with W
Here are the other Spanish words not listed above that start with W for reference:
|Other Spanish ‘W’ words|
Learn Spanish words that start with W and give yourself an advantage
As you learn Spanish as an English speaker, you begin to appreciate the many similar words between Spanish and English.
Words that start with W are just one example, so learning these Spanish words doesn’t have to be complicated.
Many loan words are spelled the same, and places or locations are pronounced the same way as well.
Which Spanish W words have I missed?
Share them with us in the comments!
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