Skip to content


Definition of Espanglish

Espanglish, Spanglish in English Language, is a popular term for certain varieties of non-standard Spanish spoken in North America (United States and Canada), in contexts where Spanish and English are in constant and prolonged contact due to individual and group bilingualism.

This situation produces linguistic phenomena that is more like a code or fusion of these two languages and the result of it.


  1. Bilingualism
  2. Linguistic transfer
  3. Linguistic substitution
  4. Spanish-English fusion
  5. Linguistic code

ORIGIN OF Espanglish

The first reference to this linguistic fusion dates back to the 1970s. It is necessary to talk about mock, which is the spiritual antecedent of Spanglish, and this occurred in Spanish-speaking neighborhoods in the United States due to the need of Spanish-speaking communities to express themselves to the American community.

Later, specifically in 1972, the Dictionary of American Regional English collected the first examples of Spanglish. However, it was the Puerto Rican Salvador Tió who coined the term Spanglish for the first time in his column entitled: “Teoría del Espanglish”, published for the first time in the newspaper “El Diario de Puerto Rico” on October 28, 1948.

It should be noted that Spanglish is mainly used in various regions of the United States by Hispanics and Americans, but it has also spread to countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia and Spain. Those who practice it the most are young Hispanics who have just arrived in the United States and who do not have a good command of English.


A few years ago, a BBC article stated that Spanglish is the “form of speech of some Hispanic groups in the United States, in which some lexical and grammatical elements of Spanish and English are mixed, deforming them”.

This concept was later modified, since the word “deforming” caused discomfort to Gerardo Piña Rosales, director of the North American Academy of the Spanish Language (ANLE).