English words of Portuguese origin

All words are either original portuguese, or imported to the english language from other countries (usually colonies) through portuguese. Many more exist of course. Some were excluded from this list because they are identical in portuguese and spanish, and are therefor difficult to attribute to just one of the languages (Breeze, Baroque, Caramel, Caste, Junk, Lasso, Mosquito, Patio, Petunia, Potato, Savvy, Vigilante, etc).
Quiz by lifemare
Last updated: October 14, 2012
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First submittedOctober 14, 2012
Times taken1,564
Average score36.1%
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You can type both portuguese and english spellings.
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Pandas can't live without it.
Bamboo (bambu)
What indians hunted.
Buffalo (búfalo)
Elite soldier.
Commando (comando)
The sacred animal of the Aztecs and Mayans.
The chinese language. Also an asian bureaucrat.
Mandarin (mandarim)
Quince jam.
Marmalade (marmelada)
A striped horse
A thick dark sugary syrup.
Molasses (melaço)
An enclosure for livestock.
Corral (curral)
A seasonal deluge in India.
Monsoon (monção)
Extinct flightless bird.
A person of mixed race.
Japanese dish of deepfried seafood or vegetables.
Tempura (tempero)
A turn in a dance.
A gluten-free starch used in puddings.
The sea that contains the Bermuda Triangle. Also a seaweed.
A type of sweet potato.
Yam (inhame)
A balustrade or balcony.
Verandah (varanda)
A medium sized African wild cat.
Serval (cerval)
Someone with no skin pigment.
A sometimes sexual obsession towards objects.
Fetish (Feitiço)
An oblong sweet tropical fruit very popular in juices.
Mango (manga)
A very agressive small fish with sharp teeth.
A 15th century highly maneuverable ship which could sail against the wind.
Caravel (caravela)
A type of large fish that includes Sea Basses.
Grouper (garoupa)
Public penance of condemned heretics during the Inquisition.
A prison island. Also a large sea bird.
Alcatraz / Albatross
Monkeys can't live without it.
Another name for monkeys.
Macaque (macaco)
A type of snake.
A kidney shaped nut.
Cashew (Caju)
A pink bird.
An asian tiered tower, usually used as a temple.
Pagoda (pagode)
Another name for sperm whale.
Cachalot (cachalote)
An armored vehicle.
Tank (tanque)
World's most populous country
Level 2
Nov 4, 2012
Actually, "Feitiço" means "spell", not "fetish"
Level 13
Jan 14, 2013
The title of this quiz is "english words of portuguese origin". The meaning of the loan word "fetish" is not the same as the original word "feitiço". But that is something that happens when words are borrowed from different languages. "Commando" for instance (refering to a soldier), just meant "to command" in portuguese, long before there were any actual Commandos in Portugal. Same with "tempura", which in the original portuguese "tempero" just meant condiment.
Level 14
Dec 22, 2014
what about "Embarrassed?" from the word "Imberasa"
Level 68
Jan 27, 2015
And what does "imberasa" mean?
Level 75
Jun 28, 2015
most of the words you mentioned are borrowed from other languages. for example banana is from arabic "banan" meaning fingers. pagoda is from persian word "botkade" meanin the place were idols are worshipped. monsoon is burrowed from indian and must not be confused. china and korea are both borrowed from persian that is derived from ancient persian traders.
Level 73
Sep 14, 2017
Several more, like bamboo, were simply introduced into English via Portuguese and are not actually of Portuguese origin
Level 71
Jan 19, 2019
that is what is commonly meant when talking about loanwords. The country/language they adapted that word from. not the etymology of the word...

edit: but I agree the title can be confusing with the word origin in it.

edit two: I guess this quiz is intentionally a mix of both (origins and loanwords) which can be very confusing.

Level 71
Jan 19, 2019
Ok, I like etymology and I like accuracy (but yes I often dont capitalize names..) so I looked them all up:

Bamboo is from dutch, same with monsoon. Zebra from italian, volta I think aswell. Marmalade, serval, caravel, macaque, cashew and cachalot are from french (portuguese->french->english) Corral from spanish. Tempura from japanese. Veranda from hindi.

Sometimes etymologists do not know which language it came from first, so they say from language x or y. If one of them was portuguese I didnt include those words in the correction.

these are the languages the english language got/borrowed these words from. If you mean the actual Origin of the word, well than you get a completely different list.. I suspect most would ultimately come from latin, greek or arabic (should ve looked when I was looking up the words..)

Level 71
Jan 19, 2019
I think you should stick to either a list of words that are directly borrowed from portuguese, or where the actual origin is portuguese. Because now you just have a list of words that have similar words in english.

(Not meant as an attack, just trying to help to get a clean quiz)

Level 48
Jul 4, 2021
Great quizz!
Level 89
Mar 1, 2023
Love it, very tricky, informative - obrigado!