I have to confess that it was hard coming up with a list of ten words because the ones I rememberd came from Latin via Portuguese so I didn't want to include those.
Anyway, here we go:
I guess you know what it means: it's a small flesh-eating fish. The word comes from Tupi, which is the language originally spoken in Brazil before it was colonized by the Portuguese.
What you probably didn't know is that "piranha" is also a Brazilian Portuguese curse word.
Another word that comes from Tupi via Portuguese. So, whether you're talking about the animal, the car or the OS, you're speaking a bit of Portuguese!
Don't worry, my list doesn't only have animal names, but I couldn't leave out "zebra".
In Brazilian Portuguese, "zebra" might also refer to "the underdog" in a competition/game.
"Samba" refers to both the dance and the music that is so popular in Brazil. It's the music/dance of Carnaval. I have to tell you, though, that I can neither sing nor dance samba. I'd much rather listen to jazz.
5. BOSSA NOVA
It's a kind of music originated in Brazil in the 50s. The literal meaning is "new trend", but we rarely use the word for "trend" (bossa) nowadays.
If you've never heard of it, check out this YouTube "video". It's just the song and not a video of the singer, but it's got subtitles in English:
The singer is João Gilberto and this is one of the most famous bossa nova songs.
If you like tapioca pudding, you should know that "tapioca" is a Brazilian word and dessert. Would you believe that I've never eaten it? If you've got any recipes, let me know!
The next three words are borrowed from Portuguese, but their spelling has changed on their travel through languages.
In Portuguese "cashew" is "caju" and it's my favorite nut.
I love how languages work. "Toucan" comes from Tupi via Portuguese via French! Hence, the French spelling instead of the Portuguese one: tucano.
The toucan is also the symbol for one of the most important political parties in Brazil.
"Tank", as in fish tank or fuel tank, comes the Portuguese word "tanque". I have to say that this one surprised me as I was researching for this post as I had never realized where the word had come from!
If you've never heard of "caipirinha" and you have never drunk it, stop everything and go check out how to prepare it. It will change your concept of summer drink. This is one of the most popular drinks in Brazil. It's a cocktail made with lime, sugar and "cachaça", a Brazilian liquor distilled from sugarcane. Just be careful, it's super strong, but you won't feel it until you stand up.