Canarian Spanish (Spanish terms in descending order of frequency: español de Canarias, español canario, habla canaria, or dialecto canario) is a variant of standard Spanish spoken in the Canary Islands by the Canarian people. The variant is similar to the Andalusian Spanish variety spoken in Western Andalusia and (especially) to Caribbean Spanish and other Hispanic American Spanish vernaculars because of Canarian emigration to the Caribbean and Hispanic America over the years. Canarian Spanish is the only Spanish dialect in Spain to be called usually español, instead of castellano.
Canarian Spanish heavily influenced the development of Caribbean Spanish and other Latin American Spanish vernaculars because Hispanic America and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands were originally largely settled by colonists from the Canary Islands and Andalusia; those dialects, including the standard language, were already quite close to Canarian and Andalusian speech. In the Caribbean, Canarian speech patterns were never regarded as either foreign or very different from the local accent.
The incorporation of the Canary Islands into the Crown of Castile began with Henry III (1402) and was completed under the Catholic Monarchs. The expeditions for their conquest started off mainly from ports of Andalusia, which is why the Andalusians predominated in the Canaries. There was also an important colonising contingent from Portugal in the early conquest of the Canaries, along with the Andalusians and the Castilians from mainland Spain. In earlier times, Portuguese settled alongside the Spanish in the north of Gran Canaria, but they died off or were absorbed by the Spanish. The population that inhabited the islands before the conquest, the Guanches, spoke a variety of Berber (also called Amazigh) dialects. After the conquest, the indigenous Guanche language was rapidly and almost completely eradicated in the archipelago. Only some names of plants and animals, terms related to cattle ranching and numerous island placenames survive.
Their geography made the Canary Islands receive much outside influence, with drastic cultural and linguistic changes. As a result of heavy Canarian emigration to the Caribbean, particularly during colonial times, Caribbean Spanish is strikingly similar to Canarian Spanish.
Canarian vocabulary has its own regionalisms different from standard Castilian Spanish vocabulary. For example, guagua ('bus') differs from standard Spanish autobús. The word guagua is an onomatopoeia stemming from the sound of a Klaxon horn ("wawa"). An example of Canarian usage for a Spanish word is the verb fajarse ('to fight'). In standard Castilian Spanish, the verb would be pelearse, and fajar exists as a non-reflexive verb related to the hemming of a skirt. The term of endearment socio is a very popular Canarian term. The Canarian vocabulary has a notable influence from the Guanche language, especially in the toponymy. In addition, many Canarian names come from the Guanche language, such as Airam, Gara, Acerina, Aydan, Beneharo, Jonay, Tanausú, Chaxiraxi, Ayoze, Yaiza and Zebenzuí. As Canarian Spanish was influenced by Andalusian Spanish, a few words of Andalusi Arabic origin are found, and there are some doublets of Arabic-Latinate synonyms with the Arabic form being more common in Canarian like alcoba for standard habitación or dormitorio ('bedroom'), alhaja for standard joya ('jewel'), or alacrán for standard escorpión (scorpion); Arabic influence in Canarian Spanish was even brought by returning Canarian settlers and their children from Spanish Sahara after its independence.