[Na lista da ATypI, escrevi:] In Portuguese-speaking Brazil "@" in emails is read out as "arroba" which indeed is recognised (monocameral or not) as the name of a weight unit (around 15Kg I think).

People will say fulano-arroba-computador-ponto-com-ponto-br (johndoe@computer.com.br), few know of it's English use as "at" and nobody reads it as the Portuguese equivalent prepositon "em"(at).

A Brazilian journalist once proposed it should be read as "A/c" or "Aos cuidados de"(At the care of) but the idea didn't spread.

[Hrant H Papazian comentou:]
Increasingly I realize how deep the Arabic influence is in western languages: "arroba" comes from "al-roube'", which means "the quarter" (the arroba is/was one-forth of some larger measure); and in Arabic "foulaan" means something like "that guy".

[Respondi:] [...] Thanks for your comment Hrant!

You see, in Portuguese we have three words like that: fulano, sicrano & beltrano

(something like, "a guy", "another guy" and "yet another guy") the last two are not used very often, but people will recognise them as a "family" of names for "someone not named". Hard to explain the feeling & use of them.

The "arroba", used mainly for cattle, comes from a quarter of a "quintal", that is "32 arr‡teis" but both are ancient measures, I have no idea of what they mean.

Fantastic the influence of Arabic in the Portuguese language, but I only get to recognise some "al" starting words...