"pertaining to Spain" (especially ancient Spain) 1584, from L. Hispanicus
, from Hispania
"Iberian Peninsula," from Hispanus
"Spaniard" (see Spaniard
). Specific application to Sp.-speaking parts of the New World is 1889, Amer.Eng.; esp. applied since c.1972 to Sp.-speaking persons of Latin American descent living in U.S.