The English Language

Borrowed Words From
Portuguese

17 Words Listed


Portuguese Language Notes

Portuguese is an Indo-European language spoken in Portugal, Brazil, Angola and Mozambique.

Most words that have been borrowed from Portuguese came during the era of Portuguese exploration; these are animals and plants found around the world ("cobra", "flamingo"). Some words are from Brazilian Portuguese ("Bossa Nova").


WordMeaningNotes
albino white  
Bossa Nova new tendency Brazilian samba-like dance.
breeze light wind  
caste pure Hindu hereditary class.
cobra hood A poisonous hooded snake. One of many animal / bird words from Portuguese.
Creole home-born slave A mixed race or language.
dodo fool From the silly appearance of the now extinct flightless bird.
embarrass    
emu   Large flightless, running Australian bird.
fetish charm Worshipped object.
flamingo flaming Tall scarlet wading bird.
Lambada   Brazilian dance.
marmalade quince Preserve made from citrus fruit.
massage dough Because dough is kneaded.
molasses   Used in USA. In UK the word 'treacle' is used.
palaver word A 'palaver' is UK slang for an argument.
port   A drink named after its town of origin.

[Borrowed Words (Polish)] [Borrowed Words (Potawatomi)]

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A short history of the world's most widespread language from its Anglo Saxon origins via Norman and Latin influences to Modern English.

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