Spanish words that start with ‘K’

Let’s be honest, there are not many words in the Spanish language that start with ‘K‘. This linguistic peculiarity is not just coincidental. It is rooted in several intriguing reasons that have shaped the Spanish vocabulary over the centuries. One of the most prominent factors is the prevalence of the ‘qu’ combination in Spanish.

Spanish words that start with K

The Spanish language, like many others, has evolved over time through influences from various cultures. This includes Latin, Arabic and indigenous languages. This rich tapestry of influences has left its mark on the language’s phonetics and vocabulary.

Sharing starring with ‘Qu’

The ‘qu’ combination, represented by the letters ‘Q’ and ‘U’ (+ i/e) is a quintessential feature of Spanish. It is useful to create sounds that are not present in English. Like the distinctive /k/ sound found in words like “queso” (cheese) and “química” (chemistry). In contrast to languages like English, where the ‘K’ letter typically represents the letter ‘K’ sound, Spanish relies heavily on ‘qu’ for these sounds.

This preference for ‘qu’ over ‘K’ is partly historical. When the Roman Empire left its linguistic imprint on the Iberian Peninsula, by introducing the Latin alphabet. But it did not include the letter ‘K.’ Consequently, Spanish developed a strong affinity for ‘qu’ to accommodate the /k/ sound.

List of Spanish words that start with “K”

Keep in mind that some of these words come from other languages, which is why “K” is not a very common letter in Spanish words.

Spanish WordEnglish Translation
kiwikiwi
kilómetrokilometer
kioscokiosk
káratekarate
karaokekaraoke
karmakarma
kebabkebab
kayakkayak
ketchupketchup
koalakoala

Need to know more words starting with specific letters in Spanish? Check our other posts:

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