Sunday, July 17, 2016

Carne de frango

Why is chicken called frango in Portuguese?

Someone asked that in a forum... but it was a wrong forum. It was for "lovers of English", which means that frango doesn't mean chicken and is not even close to it. Actually, there are some Frango mints, which were named by the company that made them and changed from Franco to Frango because of General Franco of Spain.

In Portuguese, it's said, "From earlier frângão, of unknown origin."

"it is to be found in R.E.Latham's Revised Medieval Word-List, ISBN 0 19 725 891 3 under "francum", page 200, s.v., as "(?) free range for poultry or pigs, 1318,1419." The interrogation marks show that the data given are not 100% verified as yet, but it could well be as reliable an etymology as the Arabic words, "dajâj" or "farûj`', the most common equivalents given in dictionaries today."

It is interesting that in Latin "frangere" means to break, shatter, vanquish, the word "fragment" and "fragile" comes from this.

Interesting little tidbit: the Thai word for white people is "farang"... they say it meant the Portuguese... are we chicken?

Another thought: you know the Christmas song and "three French hens"... were chicken introduced to Portugal through France?

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