Want more Spanish etymologies? Fill out the form below and we will send you our favorites, Free!
logo

Helado, Hielo and Gelatin, Jello

It’s easy to forget: the silent “h” can turn into a whole variety of soft, almost silent sounds in different languages.

Case and point: helado, Spanish for “ice cream” (and related words: helar for “to freeze”, and hielo, “ice”). All of these come from the Latin for gelare for… gelatin. And what is sweetened gelatin for mass consumption if not the brand… jello!

We can see the pattern best if we remember that the silent h- is very similar to the barely audible soft g- and soft j- sounds in English. Thus, the h-l-d of helado maps to the g-l-t of gelatin!

logo

© 2017 - All Rights Reserved | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions | Sitemap | Etymology Dictionaries To Help Us Learn Spanish | Resources