The prefix Luso- indicates a relation to the Lusitania, Portugal or the Portuguese people,[1][2] as in the terms Portuguese American, Luso- Brasileiros,[3] Luso-Africans,[4] Luso-Asian.[5] It is often used alone, somewhat loosely, to refer to people of Portuguese descent in United States, South America, Africa, Indian subcontinent. It is also used, both in Portuguese-speaking and non-Portuguese-speaking countries pertaining to an area of influence by Portugal in language and culture

Luso is a Late Latin prefix used to denote Portuguese- in conjunction with another toponym or demonym. The word is derived from Lusitania, the Latin name for what would be modern Portugal. Lusitania was an ancient Roman province including approximately all of modern Portugal south of the Douro river and part of modern Spain (the present autonomous community of Extremadura and a small part of the province of Salamanca). It was named after the Lusitanians or Lusitanian people (an Indo-European people). Its capital was Emerita Augusta (currently Mérida, Spain), and it was initially part of the Roman Republic province of Hispania Ulterior, before becoming a province of its own in the Roman Empire.The etymology of Lusitania, like the origin of the Lusitani who gave the province their name, is unclear. The name may be of Celtic origin: Lus and Tanus, "tribe of Lusus", connecting the name with the personal Celtic name Luso and with the god Lugh.[6]

Luso-American ethnic group in the United States

This usage originated in the discussion of the history of Portuguese-speaking people in the United States.[7] Luso-Americans like other Portuguese speakers are traditionally Roman Catholic.The term Luso was generally used for people of Portuguese-American heritage, origin, or background language in magazines,[8] Fraternal Societies[9] and private Portuguese institutions[10]

Luso-Americans and Portuguese-speaking Americans can be found in all states and there are sizable Luso-American communities in California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, New York, Hawaii, Florida, Delaware and Virginia. In total, the members of this community may be more than 3.5 million Americans. Two United States counties, namely Bristol County, Rhode Island and Bristol County, Massachusetts, are home to pluralities of people of Portuguese ancestry. There was dense Portuguese settlement in the Salinas and San Joaquin Valleys in California, namely the cities of Los Banos and Hollister.

Distinct from these, there are in the US communities of non-European Portuguese-speakers such as Brazilian Americans and Angolan Americans.

Jewish Luso-Americans

In September 1654, shortly before the Jewish New Year, twenty-three Portuguese Jews from Recife, Brazil - where they had sided with the Dutch rule which on that year came to an end - arrived in New York, which at the time was under Dutch rule and known as New Amsterdam.[11] This arrival was shortly after the beginning of Jewish-American history. Sephardic Portuguese Jews were also the early settlers of Newport, Rhode Island (where the country's first synagogue was founded), Charleston, Philadelphia and Baltimore.


Portuguese is spoken in the United States by Portuguese and Lusophone communities of immigrants, especially in:

New Jersey
New York
Rhode Island

The Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey is also called "Little Portugal". There are also Portuguese-speaking and Portuguese-based creole languages American citizens from Lusophone countries in the United States from Asia, South America, Africa and India.

Notable individuals










See also


External links

  • Yonkers, New York
  • Portuguese American Community Center, Yonkers, New York
  • Franklin, North Carolina
  • Congregation Shearith Israel — the Spanish and Portuguese Synagogue (New York, NY, USA)
  • Kahal Kadosh Mikveh Israel (Philadelphia, PA, USA)
  • Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island
  • Dighton Rock
  • Distinguished Americans & Canadians of Portuguese Descent
  • Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture
  • - Portuguese Heritage in video
  • NOPA - National Organization for Portuguese Americans
  • Portuguese Social Where Portuguese American organizations and people go to collaborate on projects that foster Portuguese Culture in the Americas.
  • Portuguese American Jornal Portuguese American Journal
  • Becoming an Americano-Luso Becoming an Americano-Luso
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