Fernando Pessoa - O Quinto Imperio
St. Patrick’s Day: Green Things you can find in Portugal

10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Portugal

Portugal has a history full of mysteries and adventure. Do you think you know Portugal? Here are 10 Things You (Probably) Don’t Know About Portugal. Take the test and find out how deep is your knowledge is on Portugal…


  1. Why Lusitanos?
    The Portuguese people are often called Lusitanos, as this was the name Latinos called the set of Celt tribes living in Portugal since the Iron Age. Lusas, the Romans said, had left his good friend Bacchus behind to explore the land that would be named for him;

  2. The oldest in Nation in Europe.
    Being the Portugal’s Kingdom created in 1143, with the same borders since 1249, Portugal is the oldest nation-state in Europe; 

  3. Lisbon is the second oldest.
    Lisbon is fourth centuries older than Rome, and the second oldest European capital, after Athens;

  4. Zombie Queen?
    When Dom Pedro I was crowned king in 1357, he proclaimed Inês de Castro, his lover, as Queen of Portugal, although, she had died in 1355;

  5. Have you tasted the “Japanese” Tempura? (Fried vegetables)
    In 1543, the Portuguese arrived on the island of Tanegashima (Japan) being the first European people to make contact with the Japanese. There are still Portuguese influences in language and the fried foods they left behind (along with guns and horses);

  6. Biggest Cork producers in the world.
    The cork oak is a native tree in Portugal. They are protected by law, and the vast cork forests, Montados are the largest forests in Southern Europe - so a large percentage of the world's cork is produced in Portugal;

  7. Know any Silva?
    It is normal… as this surname is older than Portugal. The surname has its origin in the Roman Empire and it was used to call the inhabitants of the forest regions ("silva" – jungle in Latin);

  8. Manuel and Joaquim are not the most common.
    Portuguese like to keep things traditional. Very far from being the most common names in Portugal, Manuel and Joaquim have lost ground in Portuguese lands to the names Miguel and João, the most common;

  9. One of President Obama’s best friends is Portuguese.
    The Cão-de-água Português was the dog breed chosen by Barack Obama as a pet, due to the non-allergic fur;

  10. Fado is Portugal’s fate.
    The word “fado”, part of Portuguese cultural heritage, means "fate" (from the Latin "fatum") and has the same origin of the word fairy (“fada”). So, Portugal’s great popular music, the Fado, is indeed the song of fate.




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John Medeiros

Another bit of trivia, Hawaiian sweet bread is was introduced by the Portuguese immigrants and is virtually the same as Portuguese sweet bread.

Dino Martins

The Japanese word for thank you is Arigato, which was derived from the Portuguese word Obrigado.

Tony Figueiredo

The ukulele originated in the 19th century as a Hawaiian adaptation of the Portuguese machete,(cavaquinho) a small guitar-like instrument, which was introduced to Hawaii by Portuguese immigrants, many from Madeira and the Azores.

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