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Portuguese Loanwords

This is a list of English language words whose origin can be traced to the Portuguese language. Loanwords are integrated words from a foreign language with orthography adapted for the receiving language.

WordMeaning
Albacorefrom albacor from Arabic al-bukr (="the young camels")
Albinofrom albino, with the same meaning, from Latin albus
Albatrossan alteration of albatroz, under influence of the Latin word albus ("white");
Alcatraz(="gannet") from Arabic al-ġaţţās ("the diver")
Amahfrom Portuguese ama, nurse, housemaid, from Medieval Latin amma, mother
Anilfrom anil
Auto-da-féfrom auto da fé (= "act/sentence of faith"); , a judicial ‘act' or sentence of the Inquisition
Bananafrom Spanish or Portuguese (more probably from Portuguese, as the most widespread Spanish word is plátano); Spanish, from Portuguese, of African origin; akin to Wolof banäna banana
Baroquefrom barroco (adj. = "unshapely")
Breeze(= "from Portuguese word brisa")
Bossa nova(= "new trend" or "new wave")
Buccaneerfrom Tupi mukém
Cachalotfrom Portuguese cachalote (same meaning), probably via Spanish or French. The Portuguese word comes from cachola ("head" or "big head").
CarambolaPortuguese, perhaps from Marathi karambal
Caramelfrom caramelo, caramel, from Late Latin calamellus
Caravelfrom caravela
Cariocafrom Tupi "carioca" (cari = white men, oca = house; house of the white men), via Portuguese carioca (native of Rio de Janeiro)
Carnaubafrom carnaúba
Castefrom casta
Cashewfrom caju (a tropical fruit)
Chinafrom china (country), porcelain
Cobrafrom cobra (snake)
Coconutfrom côco (boogeyman head, grinning skull, goblin, coconut)
Commandofrom comando
Cougarfrom French couguar, from Portuguese suçuarana, perhaps from Tupian or Guaraní.
Cow-treea tree abundant in a milk-like juice : from árvore, palo de vaca (="tree of cow")
CreoleFrench créole, from Castilian Spanish criollo, person native to a locality, from Portuguese crioulo, diminutive of cria, ("‘person raised in one's house with no blood relation, a servant'"),< Portuguese criar ("‘to rear, to bring up'") , from Latin creare, to beget;< Latin creo ("‘to create'"), which came into English via French between 1595 and 1605. [same root as creature]
DodoAccording to Encarta Dictionary and Chambers Dictionary of Etymology, "dodo" comes from Portuguese doudo (currently, more often, doido) meaning "fool" or "crazy". The present Portuguese word dodô ("dodo") is of English origin. The Portuguese word doudo or doido may itself be a loanword from Old English (cp. English "dolt").
Embarassfrom Portuguese embaraçar (same meaning), from em + baraço (archaic for "rope")[1]
Emufrom ema (="rhea")
Fetishfrom French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço ("charm", "sorcery", "spell"), from Latin factitius or feticius ("artificial")
Flamingofrom Portuguese flamingo, from Spanish flamenco
Grouperfrom garoupa
Guaranafrom Portuguese guaraná, from Tupi warana
Jaguarfrom Tupi or Guaraní via Portuguese
Junkfrom junco, from Javanese djong (Malay adjong).
Lambadafrom lambada (="beating, lashing")
Macaquefrom macaco, through French
Macawfrom macau
Mandarinfrom mandarim, from the Portuguese verb mandar and the Malay mantri, from Hindi matri, from Sanskrit mantrin (="counsellor")
Mangofrom manga, via Malay mangga, ultimately from Tamil mānkāy
Mangroveprobably from Portuguese mangue mangrove (from Spanish mangle, probably from Taino) + English grove
Maniocfrom mandioca from Tupi
Maracafrom maracá from Tupi
Marimbafrom Portuguese, of Bantu origin; akin to Kimbundu ma-rimba : ma-, pl. n. pref. + rimba, xylophone, hand piano
Marmaladefrom marmelada, a preserve made from marmelo (="quince")
Molassesfrom melaço
Monsoonfrom monção
Mosquitofrom Mosquito meaning 'little fly'
Mulattofrom mulato
NegroNegro means "black" in Spanish and Portuguese, being from the Latin word niger (Dative nigro, Accusative nigrum) of the same meaning. It came to English through the Portuguese and Spanish slave trade. Prior to the 1970s, it was the dominant term for Black people of African origin; in most English language contexts (except its inclusion in the names of some organizations founded when the term had currency, e.g. the United Negro College Fund), it is now considered either archaic or a slur in most contexts.
Pagodafrom pagode
Palavera chat, from palavra (="word"), Portuguese palavra (word), parabola (parable), speech (current fala, discurso), chat (current bate-papo, papo {pronunc. : buatchy papoo}, palavrinha, conversa and also Eng. chat) alteration of Late Latin parabola, speech, parable.
Palmyrafrom palmeira
Pickaninnyfrom pequenina or pequeninha
Piranhafrom piranha, from Tupi pirá ("fish") + ánha ("cut")
Sablefishfrom sável
Sambafrom samba, ultimately of Angolan origin
Sargassofrom sargaço
Savvyfrom sabe he knows, from saber to know
Tankfrom tanque
Tapiocafrom tapioca
Teakfrom teca
Verandahfrom varanda (="balcony" or "railing"), from Hindi varanda or Bengali baranda
Yamfrom inhame from West African nyama (="eat")
Zebrafrom zebra (same meaning), which started as the feminine form of zebro (a kind of deer), from vulgar Latin eciferus, classical Latin EQUIFERVS.
Source: List of English words of Portuguese origin