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Global Language

English is a global language in the most strict sense of the word. Not only is it spoken by billions all over the world as a second language, but many different languages, from distant Bengali, to geographically close French have contributed in making English one of the Indo-European languages with the richest vocabulary.

The British and the Portuguese have maintained the oldest continuous alliance in history, in the 14th century the two Crowns became allied and ever since Portugal and Britain have been virtually 'inseparable friends.' How has the Portuguese language contributed to the global language - English?

Here are some curious words:

Portuguese - English - Meaning -> Notes

1. albino - albino - white
2. Bossa Nova - Bossa Nova - new tendency -> Brazilian samba-like dance.
3. brisa - breeze - light wind
4. casta - caste - pure -> Hindu hereditary class.
5. cobra - cobra - hood -> A poisonous hooded snake. One of many animal / bird words from Portuguese.
6. Crioulo - Creole - home-born slave ->A mixed race or language.
7. dodó - dodo - fool -> From the silly appearance of the now extinct flightless bird.
8. embaraço - embarrass - shame
9. fetiche - fetish
10. charme - charm - Worshipped object
11. flamingo- flamingo - flaming -> Tall scarlet wading bird.
12. marmelada - marmalade - quince -> Preserve made from citrus fruit.
13. palavra - palaver - word -> A "palaver" is UK slang for an argument.
14. porto - port - A drink named after its town of origin.


At 7:36 p.m., Blogger sirbarrett said...

This is interesting and very helpful, thank you.

At 7:44 p.m., Blogger The Lioness said...

Hi, found you through BC, I didn't know we'd given you so many words, only "marmelada". Albino sounds Arabic though, and I never heard anyone say "dodo". Dódó, yes, but that's a booboo. Interesting, this.

At 9:29 a.m., Blogger Matthew said...



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