large lizard of the American tropics, 1550s, from Spanish, from Arawakan (West Indies) iguana, iwana, the local name for the lizard.
Foure footed beastes ... named Iuannas, muche lyke vnto Crocodiles, of eyght foote length, of moste pleasaunte taste. [Richard Eden, "Decades of the New World," 1555]
name for various native boats in the East Indies, 1810, from Hindi dingi "small boat," perhaps from Sanskrit drona-m "wooden trough," related to dru-s "wood, tree," from PIE root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast," with specialized senses "wood, tree" and derivatives referring to objects made of wood. The spelling with -h- is to indicate a hard -g-.
1670s, "the wood of a tree native to the West Indies and Central America," noted for its rich reddish-brown color, soundness, uniformity, durability, and ability to take a high polish, from Spanish mahogani, of unknown origin; perhaps from the tree's native name in Maya (Honduras). As the name of the tree itself, by 1759. As an adjective from 1730; as a color name from 1737.
1778, "carangoid fish of the West Indies and South Atlantic," highly esteemed for food, from American Spanish pampano, a name given to various types of fish, from Spanish, originally "vine, tendril," from Latin pampinus "tendril or leaf of a vine." In California, used of a different fish abundant in summer along the coast and also highly esteemed for food.
"febrile epidemic disease of the tropics," 1828, from West Indian Spanish dengue, from an African source, perhaps Swahili dinga "seizure, cramp," with form influenced by Spanish dengue "prudery" (perhaps because sufferers walk stiffly and erect due to the painful joints which characterize the disease). The disease is from East Africa and was introduced into the West Indies in 1827.
1785, slang, "practical sense, intelligence, knowledge of the world;" also a verb, "to know, to understand;" a West Indies pidgin borrowing of French savez(-vous)? "do you know?" or Spanish sabe (usted) "you know," the verb in both from Vulgar Latin *sapere, from Latin sapere "be wise, be knowing" (see sapient). The adjective, of persons, is attested by 1905, from the noun. Related: Savvily; savviness.
also pickaninny, "a baby," especially, as used by Europeans, one of any of the black races, 1650s, from West Indies patois, formed as a diminutive from Spanish pequeño or Portuguese pequeno "little, small," a word of uncertain origin, related to French petit (see petit (adj.)). Now offensive; as late as 1836 it was applied affectionately in English to any small child or baby, regardless of race.
Tiphon "violent storm, whirlwind, tornado," 1550s, from Greek typhon "whirlwind," personified as a giant, father of the winds, probably [Beekes] from or related to typhein "to smoke" (see typhus), but according to Watkins from PIE *dheub- "deep, hollow," via notion of "monster from the depths." The meaning "cyclone, violent hurricane of India or the China Seas" is first recorded 1588 in Thomas Hickock's translation of an account in Italian of a voyage to the East Indies by Caesar Frederick, a merchant of Venice:
concerning which Touffon ye are to vnderstand, that in the East Indies often times, there are not stormes as in other countreys; but euery 10. or 12. yeeres there are such tempests and stormes, that it is a thing incredible, but to those that haue seene it, neither do they know certainly what yeere they wil come. ["The voyage and trauell of M. Caesar Fredericke, Marchant of Venice, into the East India, and beyond the Indies"]
This sense of the word, in reference to titanic storms in the East Indies, first appears in Europe in Portuguese in the mid-16th century. It apparently is from tufan, a word in Arabic, Persian, and Hindi meaning "big cyclonic storm." Yule ["Hobson-Jobson," London, 1903] writes that "the probability is that Vasco [da Gama] and his followers got the tufao ... direct from the Arab pilots."
The Arabic word sometimes is said to be from Greek typhon, but other sources consider it purely Semitic, though the Greek word might have influenced the form of the word in English. Al-tufan occurs several times in the Koran for "a flood or storm" and also for Noah's Flood. Chinese (Cantonese) tai fung "a great wind" also might have influenced the form or sense of the word in English, and that term and the Indian one may have had some mutual influence; toofan still means "big storm" in India.
From the thighs downward he was nothing but coiled serpents, and his arms which, when he spread them out, reached a hundred leagues in either direction, had countless serpents' heads instead of hands. His brutish ass-head touched the stars, his vast wings darkened the sun, fire flashed from his eyes, and flaming rocks hurtled from his mouth. [Robert Graves, "Typhon," in "The Greek Myths"]