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Difference Between Hispanic and Spanish

Hispanic vs Spanish

Originally the term “Hispanic” was used to refer to the people, culture, cuisine, and other things relating to Hispania or the Iberian Peninsula comprised by the countries of Spain and Portugal.

After the colonization of the New World by Spain and Portugal, it has come to denote the culture and people of their colonies which have been culturally influenced by both countries. These countries have adapted the language of the two colonizers as well as their customs and traditions. Surnames of people in these colonies are courtesy of Spain and Portugal as many of their people have intermarried with the colonizers.

The term is most commonly used in the United States of America to refer to people who are from Central American countries which have been colonies of the two countries as well as U.S. citizens who are of Hispanic descent. The word “Hispanic” comes from the Latin word “Hispanicus” which means “from Hispania or the Iberian Peninsula.” It later came to refer to the Spanish-speaking parts of the world and still later to the Spanish-speaking Americans citizens of Latin American descent.

The term “Spanish,” on the other hand, refers to all things, people, religion, music, language, culture, traditions, and food which relates to the country of Spain. It refers to the people of Spain and their distinct characteristics. Also called Spaniards, the Spanish people have the Palaeolithic people as ancestors. Later the Celts, Turdetanians, Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, and Romans came to establish settlements.

The Spanish language is also called Espanol or Castillan. It is a Romance language from the Ibero-Romance group which was developed in the 9th century. It is spoken by almost ten per cent of the world’s population and is one of the six official languages of the United Nations.

Spanish cuisine, on the other hand, consists more of seafood and wheat although it has been influenced by food from other parts of the world. Paella, tortilla, embutido, chorizo, and jamon are just some of its most popular culinary offerings.

Spain is a country with a predominantly Roman Catholic population, and it helped in the spread of Christianity throughout the world through colonization. Today, 97 per cent of its population is Roman Catholic with several minor religions comprising the other 3 per cent.

The word “Spanish” comes from the Old French word “Espaigne” and the Old English word “Speonisc” which means “Spain” or “Spaniard.” Its first known use in the English language was in the 13th century.


1.“Hispanic” was originally meant to refer to the people, culture, and other things which relate to the Iberian Peninsula or Hispania while “Spanish” is used to refer to all things relating to the country of Spain.
2.Today, “Hispanic” is used to refer to the Spanish-speaking people in all parts of the world particularly in the USA while “Spanish” refers to the language, people, cuisine, and other things relating to Spain.
3.“Hispanic” comes from the Latin word “Hispanicus” which means “from Hispania or the Iberian Peninsula” while “Spanish” comes from the Old French word “Espaigne” and the Old English word “Speonisc” which means “Spain” or “Spaniard.”

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