OK, maybe you know that Portuguese is a language of the latin group of languages, as well as French, Spanish, Italian. But did you know that there are a lot of Arabic words on it? Kinda hard to believe, huh?
Well, the Iberian Peninsula, the region where Portugal and Spain are located, was occupied by the Moors from the 9th century until 1492. The Moors were a Arab/Beduin group which crossed the Gibraltar Strait and conquered the Iberian Peninsula, except the northern part. (Gibraltar comes from Jibal al-Tarik. Jibal in Arabic is "mountain" and Tarik is the name of the general who commanded the invasion.)
The muslim territory was called al-Andalus, Several political crisis and divisions and the strong pressure from the christian kingdoms pushed the moors out of Spain and Portugal, being Granada the last muslim kingdom to fall in the beginning of 1492.
Almost 600 years of arab/muslim influence were not irrelevant in the lifestyle of the local population. The arabs were by far one of the most advanced society in the world for a long time, and the europeans have taken a lot from their works and inventions, such as astrolabe, rudder, surgical instruments, philosophy etc.
In the Portuguese, the words from Arabic roots are more than one thousand. Here are some examples:
Acerola (Az zurura): Literally means "from the bushes". Very popular fruit in Brazil.
Assassino (Hashashim): The "hashish smoker". It comes from the Order of the Assassins of Alamut, a terrorist organisation in the MIddle Ages, whose members killed both the crusaders and sarracens. In English it is "Assassin"
Açúcar (As-Suqar): The pronounciation is the same in both languages. It means sugar, and in Arabic means literraly "small stone".
Álcool (Al-Kuhul): "Metallic powder". Alcohol is present in many things, including your beer.
Bairro (Al-Barri): Divisions within a city (Neighborhood in English).
Cabide (Al-Qabbid): The clotheshanger means literally "something that hangs tight".
Marfim ('Asm al-Fil): The word for Ivory means in Arabic "Elephant's bone".
Mesquinho (Al-Miskin): Poor in Arabic was passed on to Portuguese as a person who doesn't like to share a thing, and it's very selfish.
Gênio (Al-Jinn): In Arabic Folklore and Tradition, it is an entity superior than humans, but inferior to the angels. The word for gênio in English is genius
Sofá (Al-Suffat): Sofa means literally "large bench".