The origin of the word for Portugal

LAA   Thu Jul 06, 2006 2:25 am GMT
Someone pointed this out earlier. When you break apart the word, "Portugal", you arrive at :

Portu - Gal.

This looks very similar to "Port of Gaul". The land that now comprises Portugal, was subject to much Celtic influence, and Portuguese to this day, bears the nasalizing influence of the Celtic substratum. Does anybody know the origin of the name?
Aldvs   Thu Jul 06, 2006 2:57 am GMT
Portugal come from the name of two roman cities, Porto (Oporto) and Calem (Vila-Nova de Gaia)
LAA   Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:10 am GMT
Do you know that for sure, because that doesn't seem very convincing.
Aldvs   Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:23 am GMT
Absolutely. Of course both cities are in Portugal, Porto now Oporto and Calem or Cale now Vila-Nova de Gaia. So Porto+Cale = Portugal which would mean "tranquil port".
LAA   Thu Jul 06, 2006 4:26 am GMT
Is the 'e' on "Cale" silent?
Gringo   Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:02 am GMT
««Absolutely. Of course both cities are in Portugal, Porto now Oporto and Calem or Cale now Vila-Nova de Gaia. So Porto+Cale = Portugal which would mean "tranquil port". »»

Porto is still called Porto in Portuguese. OPorto is the English name, it means "The Port" in Portuguese.

Porto= Porto

The name as you can see in old Roman maps is Calle not Porto.

Later on it was called PORTVS CALE.

Some believe that the "Cale" part of Portucale derived from:

1- Cales derives from the Greek word kalós ("beautiful"),[wikipedia]

2-Cales derives from Latin ‘canāles’,

3- Cale, originates in the pré-Roman ‘cale’, ‘cala’, ‘gale’ ou ‘cala’, that means «rock», «shelter», «fortress», [ciberdúvidas]

4-Cales derives from the Celtic root “qel”, “qal”, hide ; it originated the Gaelic word “cala”, “caladh”, a harbour, the Irish. “caladh”, the M.Ir. “calad”.

5- Cales derives from Gallaecia or Callaecia (Roman Galicia) from the name of the Gallaeci (Greek Kallaikoi) a celtic tribe.

These are just theories you choose the one you like the best.
Gringo   Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:08 am GMT
3, 4, 5, are all of the same celtic origin.
Georgero   Thu Jul 06, 2006 10:53 am GMT
Cales could derive, most probably from Latin word "callis".

It could also mean "porto callis". The path to Porto.
Gringo   Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:19 am GMT
Yes, but the first name known is "Calle" not "Portvs Calle". It would be called just "path" (callis) not "Portvs Callis" that would have come later.

You also have to think what possible name the Celtiberians would have given to the port (harbour) they were there before the Romans.

There are many theories but to archeology findings to support it, yet.
todosmentira   Thu Jul 06, 2006 5:47 pm GMT
I know this doesn't answer your question but did you know....
in Arabic, Turkish, Albanian and some other languages the word for Orange is Portokal - apparently this is derived from Portugal - maybe the moors saw lots of oranges there when they invaded??
Gringo   Thu Jul 06, 2006 6:28 pm GMT
If they saw many oranges when they invaded OPorto? I do not think so. Because at that time Portugal did not exist. There was only this place up in the north called Calle that, who knows, could already be called PortuCalle. It was just a harbor the village and the surrounding area.

It was the Arabs that brought oranges to Europe but a bitter variety.
A sweet variety of oranges was brought in the 15th c. from India by Portuguese traders. It became famous, the Portuguese variety was much sweeter and, in some places, became known with the name Portugal .

Bulgarian portokal [портокал],
Greek portokali [πορτοκάλι],
Romanian portocală
Georgian phortokhali [ფორთოხალი].
South Italian dialects portogallo or purtualle,
Arabic burtuqal [برتقال],
Farsi porteghal [پرتقال]
Amharic birtukan
Gringo   Fri Jul 07, 2006 8:21 am GMT