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The Origins of 'Luso'

What exactly does 'luso' mean and how did it come to describe Portuguese people?

What is luso?

Luso. You've seen the word before, especially if you were raised in and around Portuguese communities. Not only is our community is called liveLUSO, but many Portuguese-owned business names start with the prefix luso. Even one of Portugal's major bottled water companies is named Luso and a Portuguese version of Venmo is called Lusopay. As you've probably already figured out, this is no coincidence!

Luso: a Latin root word with origins traced to the Lusitanian tribe.

Well...luso is a Latin prefix meaning "relating to Portugal or the Portuguese culture."Its origins are traced to the Lusitanian tribe, a group of people that lived near the Beira Alta province and Serra da Estrela mountains in present-day Portugal. At one point, their territory extended from the Douro River in northern Portugal all the way to the Tagus River in central Portugal.

The Lusitanians were led by a man named Viriathus. For many years, Viriathus helped the tribe successfully fend off the Romans and their attempts at conquest. Soon after Viriathus' assassination in 139 B.C., the Lusitanians were finally conquered by the Roman Empire and their territory became an official Roman province called Lusitania, now known as Portugal.

And so, the prefix luso came to mean anything associated with Portugal, its culture, or its language.

Map of Lusitania, former Roman province
Map of Lusitania, a former Roman province

Aspiring to live luso everyday

Our website and online Portuguese community adopted the name liveLUSO because, as you may have guessed, we encourage you to live a little luso everyday! Our mission is to celebrate Portuguese culture and connect people of Portuguese heritage, globetrotters, and culture enthusiasts. By sharing the experience of Portuguese culture and its people, we aim to help Portuguese traditions thrive for generations to come.

liveLUSO is a space that houses the first online Portuguese community, bringing together people from all over the world who embrace Portuguese culture — whether you're someone who was born in Portugal, who traveled there one summer and fell in love, or perhaps married into a big fat Portuguese family.

Join our online community and follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. And, if you're eager to experience Portuguese culture near you, check out our directory to discover Portuguese restaurants, stores, organizations, and more!


Patrons of Portuguese Culture

Do you have a zest for Portuguese culture? An unbridled joy for the charisma of Portugal's people and traditions? Become a Patron of Portuguese Culture and join those who share your passion to support liveLUSO, the first online Portuguese community.




1 Comment

Aug 19, 2023

What does Lusitania have to do with the god Lusus, friend or son of Bachus?

Tarcisio de Assis Resende, Brisbane, Australia or Guarapari, Brazil

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