Spanish Words That Start with K

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Words starting with K don’t have Spanish origin

The letter K is among the less frequent letters in Spanish words. In general, words that begin with K in Spanish have their origin in other languages. Some of the words retain their exact spelling from the original language, while others have been a bit adjusted to look more Spanish (typically by changing the ending or adding a little accent).

Spanish words that start with K

A big group of K words commonly used in the Spanish language are metric units with the prefix kilo- (1,000 multiplier) and Spanish-sounding endings:

  • kilometro or kilometraje (kilometre)
  • kilogramo (kilogram)
  • kilovatio (kilowatt)
  • kilólitro (kilolitre; there is an accent on O in kilo- here)

Other words that begin with K in Spanish are from more exotic regions and languages (the meaning in Spanish is the same as in English):

  • kárate (an accent on A is added in Spanish)
  • kiwi
  • koala

Replacing K with Q at start of Spanish words

Many words which begin with K in other languages start with Q in Spanish (Ke- is often transformed to Que-, or Ki- replaced with Qui-). With some words, both the Ke-/Ki- version and Que-/Qui- version are common:

  • kiosko or quiosco (kiosk)
  • keroseno, kerosén, queroseno, or querosén (kerosene)

Spanish adjectives that start with K

All the example listed above are nouns, as nouns are the most typical foreign origin words in Spanish. Adjectives can be derived from some of these nouns, e.g.:

  • kilométrico (kilometric) from kilometro (kilometre)
  • kaleidoscópico (kaleidoscopic) from kaleidoscopio (kaleidoscope)
  • kaki (khaki) from kaki (adjective which means having the khaki colour)

Spanish verbs that start with K

Similarly, you can derive Spanish verbs from some foreign origin nouns (usually by adding -ar or -ear ending):

  • kilometrar (to measure to kilometres)
  • kidnapear (to kidnap)
  • knockear (to knock-out somebody)

Although none of these words feel 100% Spanish, they are the closest you can get to Spanish words that start with K.

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