2 Vote

While traveling to different spanish speaking countries I have heard both "tomate" and "jitomate" used for the english word "tomato". Is there a difference between these two words or is it just cultural?

  • Posted Mar 29, 2010
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10 Answers

5 Vote

I think that we have had at least one other previous discussion on that topic. You should search under the keywords tomate, jitomate.

¡Bienvenida al Foro

Welcome to the forum.

tomate .vs. jitomate

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jitomate=red tomato

tomate=green tomato

  • I'll be durned! Learn sumptin' new every day! I always thought it was the opposite. Definitivamente los Mexicanos hablan otro lenguaje! :-) - Gekkosan Mar 29, 2010 flag
  • Oh... I usually use el tomate! Yes, like Gekkosan says, learn something new very day!!! You get my vote qfreed! - April-Sarah Mar 29, 2010 flag
1 Vote

it is the same the fatc is that in mexico people uses jitomate but the correct word is tomate

  • Jitomate is used just in the South part of Mexico. North use tomate. - Mokay Mar 30, 2010 flag
  • Both words are accepted in the dictionary, therefore BOTH are correct. - brensg Jul 7, 2010 flag
1 Vote

Tomate comes from the nahuatl (aztec) xiltomatl. Considering that the word was borrowed from nauatl to spanish jitomate is more correct. Tomate is correct too.

1 Vote

Jitomate is used to describe the red tomatoes Americans are familiar with, while Tomate is used to describe what Americans call tomatillos (or the small green tomatoes with husks).

1 Vote

The word jitomate does not belong to Spanish. In Mexico, they use it to differentiate between green and red tomatoes. Tomate = Green tomato, jitomate = red tomatoe. If you say this word to someone from Spain, South America or even some Central American countries, they would have no idea what you are talking about. I didn't until I came in contact with Mexicans.

  • Just to expand the explanation and confirm that the etymology of the word is Xitomatl in nahuatl. - mosquetero Aug 28, 2013 flag
  • X had the sound "Sh" at the begining of the Colonial years so it must have been and it shifted to "Jitomate" which is how it's pronounced today in central and southern.. The loss of the prefix came outside of the nahuatl and mayan speaking areas. - mosquetero Aug 28, 2013 flag
  • SO Jitomate is the remnant of the orginal word and it's no coincidence the prefix remains in the lands it originated - mosquetero Aug 28, 2013 flag
  • Farallon7, I would like to respectfully correct you by saying how utterly wrong you are. Quite frankly your statement is insulting to me. Jitomate *IS* Spanish and **belongs** to Spanish. - ignaciofelip Sep 24, 2015 flag
  • Just because a word is regional doesn't mean it's automatically excluded. That's an absurd and uneducated thing to say. Many words exist in languages, not just Spanish, which are regional - ignaciofelip Sep 24, 2015 flag
1 Vote

Jitomate is synonymous with what we know as a tomato today, though it is a regional word most commonly used in southern mexico.

  • Welcome to SpanishDict. This thread is from 2011, but thanks for your input. - rac1 Sep 24, 2015 flag
0 Vote

Tomate only

0 Vote

¡Bienvenido al foro! Sorry, I've never heard "jitomate" until now so I'm not sure! cheese

0 Vote

One might get flagged, try saying jitomate fast..

0 Vote


Some quotes from above:

Llamado tomate (o jitomate en el centro de México)

Origen del nombre

La palabra jitomate procede del náhuatl xictli, ombligo y tomātl, tomate, que significa tomate de ombligo. El tomate ya se cultivaba 700 años a.C. en México, y en el antiguo Perú antes de la formación del Imperio inca. Como una curiosidad, debe notarse que aunque la palabra tomate proviene del náhuatl tomatl, en el centro y sur de México el tomate es conocido como «jitomate», mientras que se llama tomate al tomatillo o tomate verde (Physalis ixocarpa).

And for the picture:

Nombres del tomate rojo (jitomate/tomate) en México:

En rojo se señalan los estados que utilizan la palabra tomate; en verde, aquellos que lo llaman jitomate.

alt text

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