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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

type of pepper, by 1957, literally "of Jalapa," from Mexican Spanish Jalapa, place in Mexico, from Aztec Xalapan, literally "sand by the water," from xalli "sand" + atl "water" + -pan "place."


n. (alternative spelling of jalapeño English)


n. A cultivar of hot chili pepper, ''Capsicum annuum''

  1. n. plant bearing very hot and finely tapering long peppers; usually red [syn: cayenne, cayenne pepper, chili pepper, chilli pepper, long pepper, Capsicum annuum longum]

  2. hot green or red pepper of southwestern United States and Mexico [syn: jalapeno pepper]


The jalapeño ( or , ) is a medium-sized chili pepper pod type cultivar of the species Capsicum annuum. A mature jalapeño fruit is long and hangs down with a round, firm, smooth flesh of wide. It is of mild to medium pungency, having a range of 1,000 to 20,000 Scoville units, depending on cultivar. Commonly picked and consumed while still green, it is occasionally allowed to fully ripen and turn red, orange or yellow, and is wider and milder than the Serrano pepper. The Chile Pepper Institute is known for developing colored variations.

Usage examples of "jalapeno".

He was also snacking on a plate of poppers: batter-fried jalapeno peppers filled with molten cheese.

I took one and bit into it, experiencing the spurt of melted cheese before the heat of the jalapeno set my tongue aflame.

I called and ordered a medium sausage-and-pepperoni pizza with jalapeno peppers and extra cheese on top.

He was heavy into pickles, olives, anchovies, jalapeno peppers, and other foodstuffs in which no germs could live.

Part of her unique stage shtick, her comedic ID, was to present herself as a true Southwest chick, a sand-sucking cactuskicker who ate a bowl of jalapeno peppers every morning for breakfast, who hung out in country-music bars with guys named Tex and Dusty, who was a full sun-ripened woman but also tough enough to grab a rattlesnake if it dared to hiss at her, crack it like a whip, and snap its brains out through its eye sockets.

  Liz had given him a bowl or two of Guinness and I, after the chicken bones had no visible effect, had plied him with everything from whole jalapeños to the bottlecaps from Liz's home brew.

The Strip delicacy was a Philly cheesesteak served with red and yellow chilies instead of the usual onions, and jalapeno cheese in place of Swiss.

In the States, for instance, he acquired a taste for sour-mash bourbon whiskey, jalapeno peppers, chili con carne (which he insisted on not only making himself, but forcing upon civilized people), and the really outrageous habit of rising in the middle of the night to go to work.

There was a dish of jalapenos for Hoke, black and green olives, and a bowl of jellied cranberry sauce.

I listened, holding my breath, nearly as silent as the dead except for the faint gurgle of my stomach, which continued to work on a pre-midnight snack of jack cheese, onion bread, and jalapeno peppers.

It also contained jalapenos and chopped red peppers that had never been grown in the state of Arkansas.