Since I have an interest in etymology, that is, the study of words and their origins, I’m going to be choosing words at random or merely that are to my liking.

Lets get right into it, shall we?

Cotidiano – day to day, daily, everyday, quotidian. It comes from the Latin quotus (how many) and dies (days).

Embora – although, even, in good time (em boa hora), and when combined with the verb IR, it takes on the act of leaving, of going away. Ex. Vá embora! – Go away!

Outrora – formerly, of old, long ago, in former times. Probably from outra hora (another hour).

Folga – pause, temporary inturuption of work, leisure, rest. From Latin follicare and in Spanish, it is holgar which means to be idle and also, albeit historically, to fornicate. Ex. Este é o meu dia de folga. – This is my day off.

Cadê – meaning “Onde está”. Cadê comes from “que é feito de” (that is made of) which became “quedê” which then became “cadê”. I’ve read that in Santa Catarina, they also say “quedele” or “what is made of him” which can be understood as “what happened to him?” Don’t ask me how or why, but thats how it seems to have evolved. Cadê is only used in Brazilian Portuguese and it is informal. Another point to note is that it doesn’t change based on the noun that follows (be it singular or plural). On the internet, it’s written ‘kd.’ 

Cadê seu amigo? Cadê seus amigos? (Where is your friend? Where are your friends?)

Veado/Viado/24 – Well, Veado means deer. Viado is a derogatory term for homosexual and an obvious twist on the word deer. The number 24 is connected to both, as its the number in the Jogo do Bicho (future post), or the Animal Game which is an illegal lottery in which numbers are connected to animals. I’ve read that Viado comes from the fact that a deer is an efeminate animal, such as in the Disney movie Bambi, but this would mean that the term is rather recent (something I don’t think can be confirmed). 

Fôlego – In following with the last post on Etymology, where I mentioned folga, the word fôlego is related, meaning breath, rest, respiration, repose. Boa forma means to be in good shape, both on the outside and inside but fôlego is a way to talk about the latter. 

Eu corri sem fôlego (I ran without taking a break/rest)

Fofo/a – Soft, cuddly, sweet but it can also mean a little pudgy…so be careful how you use it. I recommend using only with children, teddy bears and the like.

2 thoughts on “Etymology

  1. Hello there
    My friend Quesia told me about your blog! My husband wants to learn portuguese and your blog is a great tool for beginners. He knows little to no portuguese, reading just a few introduction from your blog gave him a good start. It is amazing to see an american speaking/writing portuguese the way you do! Thanks for sharing it with us ;)

  2. For me being bulgarian, when i first learned that “Cadê” means “where?” was really interesting, because that’s the exact word used in bulgarian, when you want to ask “where?”. (in russian is “kuda”) As a bulgarian i know that there’s no portuguese influence on our language, actually very little foreign influence, apart from some turkish words (due to turkish ocupation) or french (due to pro fench politics in the 19th century) Don’t think there’s any relation, but too odd for a coincidence, no?

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