Affective priming occurs when responses to a target are facilitated when it is preceded by a prime congruent in valence. We conducted two experiments in order to test whether this is a genuine emotional effect or rather it can be accounted for by semantic relatedness between primes and targets. With this aim, semantic relatedness and emotional congruence between primes and targets were orthogonally manipulated. Participants performed a lexical decision task. In Experiment 1 we tested concrete words and in Experiment 2 we tested abstract words. We obtained both an affective priming effect and a semantic priming effect that were not modulated by words’ concreteness. Furthermore, there was affective priming regardless of whether primes and targets were semantically related or unrelated. These results suggest that affective priming is a genuine emotional effect.