The Spanish word "chile" is a cognate of the Nahuatl word "chīlli". Which means that for both the anglicized spelling* and the actual pronunciation of "chili" or "chilli", English is closer than Spanish to the original. *The actual written Nahuatl language is a more complicated matter because there were several competing writing systems used over the centuries and none became standardized. Source: I actually knew this off the top of my head and didn't have to look it up on Wikipedia. Yeah, that's the ticket.