Roupa Histórica de Rapazes*: Glossário Português/
Boys' Clothing Foreign-Language Clothing Glossary: Portuguese

Figure 1.--This is a commercial post card mailed in Portugal, although we are not sure it was produced in Portugal. The lack of multi-lingual printing on the back suggests to us that it probanly was. The boy seems to be wearing a beret-like tam. He also looks to be wearing a high collar with a rubberized or leather cape--a little difficult to tell. Click on the image to see the message on the back. A translation reads, "Good friends: From the heart I thank you for the greetings you sent us, and your [(?) CAN'T READ THE WORD] recognition. Mario. The card is addressed to: Mmss. Victoria and Josephina Forte, R(ue) Costa Manuelle Caravellos". The stamp reads "Portuguese Republic". The year of the stamp is 1912, since it is a "Series 027 - Ceres stylus" of the Republican Portuguese stamps. The history of this particular stamp is interesting. The Government on February 11, 1911, opened a public contest for the design of a new republican stamp (the Portuguese Republic being born just the previous year). The first prize went to Constantino de Sobral Fernandes for a work of art depicting Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture (particularly cereals) and motherly love (Demeter in the Greek panthgeonh). This was the first stamp to bear the new monetary unit "escudo de ouro" ("Golden escudo"). 66.800.000 stamps of 1 cent (1 C, as in the stamp), in the dark green color, were issued.

We will archive foreign language terms here. We will use English language definitions, although we may try to add foreign language definitions in the future. At the least the alphabetical listing of foreign terms will help our non-English speakers find the topics of interest. We also plan to use this page to follow foreign-language fashion terms which provide insights into fashion developments. Again this project will require some time to persue so it will be a while before we will be able to compile a substantial list. Unlike Spanish clothing terms, we do not know of many Portuguese clothing terms that have been incorporated into English.

Portugues Language Terms

Andamos a arquivar aqui termos de línguas extrangeiras. Usaremos definições em língua inglesa, embora seja possível acrescentermos definições em línguas extrangeiras no futuro. Pelo menos a lista alfabética de termos extrangeiros ajudará as pessoas que não são anglófonos a encontrar os tópicos do seu interesse. Além disso pretendemos seguir nestas páginas expressões extrangeiras da moda que forneçam conhecimentos do seu desenvolvimento. Este projecto precisará de algum tempo para ser realisado assim que ainda passará bastante tempo antes de pudermos compilar uma lista substancial. Ao contrário dos termos espanhóis de roupa, não conhecemos muitos termos portugueses de roupa que foram incorporados em ingles.

Bata: The principal word for smock in Portugal is "bata" which is used for a child's or school smock. HBC has also noted other words used for smock, including "blusa" and "guarda-pó".

Blusa: The word "blusa" which also means "blouse" is used for smock in Portugal. There may be other terms as well. Insddition "blusa" is used for other garments as well.

Blusa: The word "blusa" in Portuguese also means a child's or woman's shirt, the cirrent common English usage of the term. Another term is "corpinho".

Blusa de escola: We believe that "blusa" is probably used for school smock, but can not conform currently confirm this. A Portugese reader tells us that in modern Portugal "bata" is much more common.

Bombazina: Corduroy fabric. It's used both for corduroy and for an old fashioned kind of silk fabric. Interestingly while many languages use "corduroy" interchangably with a local term, "corduroy" doesn't ring a bell at all in Portugal.

Boné: The cap (with a visor or brim). HBC has noted two other terms which are used for cap: "barrete" and "gorro". We do not yet know the specific meanings of these different terms.

Botãos: Buttons

Calças: Pants and trousers

Calças curta: Short pants are cut at or above the knee. Trousers cut below the knee we have generally referred to as knee pants if closed with buttons or left open. Trousers cut below the knee and gathered or closed with buckles we have referred to as knickers. Short pants have been referred to by different names in England. The English generally refer to short pants as "short trousers". They also used to refer to them as "knickers" although that term has for many years not been commonly used and more frequently is used to mean ladies underwear. We have also heard "patalones meches" used for short pants in Ecuador. I don't know how common that is.

Calças de bombazina: Corduroy pants

Calças [curtas] de couro: There is no specific term for lederhosen. "Calças [curtas] de couro" would translate as this could be used for any kind of trousers made of leather, incl. bikers' trousers. It might be best just to say "lederhosen".

Calças de ganga: Jeans

Calça longa: Long pants

Camisa: HBC has noted a variety of shirt-like garments.The term "shirt" is a realtively recent term. It only became widely used in the 20th century. In the 19th century, the term "waist" was commonly used to describe what we now call shirts. The term blouse was also used. While it had several meanings, the shirt-like garment was more for children and women than adults.

Camisola: T"-shirts along with jeans are some of the most commonly worn clothes worn by modern boys. In is interesting to note that neither were commonly worn by American boys until after the Second World War (1945). Until the 1940s boys almost always wore shirts with collars, although collar styles had changed greatly over the years. These clothes did not reach Europe and Engand until the 1960s-70s.

Chapéu: Boys and men wore hats and caps much more commonly in the past. No well dressed boy's outfit in the 19th and first half of the 20th century would fail to include a hat or cap. Today headgear is less commonly worn. The difference being a cap is a close-fitting head covering resembling a hat, but differing principally because of the absence of a brim or by having a brim that only partially circumvents the crown. Many Portuguese words are similar to Spanish terms. There are clothing terms, however, like "chapéu" which show a French influence.

Colarinho: Collar

Corte de cabelo: Hair style or cut.

Fato-macaco/macacão: One reader translates rompers as "Fato-macaco". A similar term is used in Spain. The Portuguese meaning used for rompers is probably mono used in the sence of "monkey" or "little monkey suit". Presumably the derivation of the word is that a little boy in a comfortable romper suit is free of restrictive clothing and can romp and swing like a monkey.

Gravata: The neck tie is the most vissible and variable fashion accessory worn by men. "Ties are very related to their times, reflective of trends in society," reports Mark-Evan Blackman, Chairman of the menswear department of New York's Fashion Institute of Technology. Neckties as we now know them are a relatively recent fashion accesory. The primary modern male neckwear can be be traced to the 17th-century cravat, a style developed from Croatian mercenaries honored by Louis XIV. As with so much of male fashion, the style is military in origin. Ties have only been worn by boys since the 1900s, although they only became widely accepted in the 1920s. They were extensively worn in the 1920s-40s as boys routeinly wore suits or blazers to school and to a variety of events and activities that now would call for casual clothes. In our more casual modern era, many American boys rarely wear ties and may not, in fact, learn to tie a knot until their teens. Usually British boys learn to handle a tie at an earlier age.

Guarda-pó: Smock but I'm not positive that this the proper term for childrens' and school smocks.

Impermiables??: Raincoats

Marinheiro serve: Few boys' clothing styles have beenb as imortant or so widey worn as the sailor suit. The sailor suit is certainly one of the classic styles for boys' clothing. Originally conceived in England, it oon became an internatiinally acepted style, easily crossing national borders. The classic sailor suit has changed little over time, although the pants worn with it have changed. While the classic style has changed little, there have been many variation on the classic style worn first by the British princes and subsequently by royals and commoners throughout Europe and America.

Meias: Hosiery or hose are tailored coverings for the feet or legs worn with shoes or sandals. The extent to which legs were covered and not just feet depended on the fashion trnds of the era, especially the hem length of pants, skirts, and related garments. Modern hose are made of knitted or woven fabric, but this has not always been the case throughout history. Hoisery in American usage is synomous with hose, but in Briatain may refer to any machine-knitted garment. The discussion here refers to the American usage.

Meias de joelho: Kneesocks are called "calceta escolar" or school socks in Mexico. There are apparently strongly assocaited with schoolwear. I do not know how widely this term is used in the rest of the Spanish speaking world.

Orfandade/orfanato: HBC has been collecting information on uniforms and clothing in orphanages.

Saia: Little American boys until well after the turn of the 20th Century wore dresses and other skirted garments like kilt suits. Other skirted garments include smocks and pinafores. American boys rarely wore actual Highland regalia with bright plaids. One skirted garment I know less about are actual skirts.

Saiote escocês: The kilt is a knee-length garment skirtlike garment tarditionally worn by men. The kilt as we know it today has ancient origins. It is generally associated today with Scotland or the Gaelic peoples of the British Isles and Normandy, however it has been worn in other countries as well. The kilt became so associated with Scottish nationalism that the English prohibited it for a time. The kilts use as a style of boys' clothing is much more recent in origin. The Higland kilt is simply a skirt, but younger boys might wear bodice kilts. A much more limited kilt-like garment was the kilt suit. This was kilt worn by small boys with matching jacket and skirt which as popular in America during the late 19th century. Today the kilt is primarily worn at ethnic celebrations and at Gaelic dancing competitions, but it is also worn for Scouting and formal events such as weddings.

Sandálias: A sandal is a type of shoe fastened to the foot with thongs or straps. Sandals have been worn since ancient times. There are two basic types of sandals, closed toe and open toe sandals.

Sobretudo: "Sobretudo" means understandably "over all or "overcoat" in English. Other words used are "casaca~o" and "gaba~o"

Sweat-shirt: Sweatshirts, pronounced like peat. As is the case with many other languages, the English (Amweican) word is very commonly used for pieces of clothing that have come to us in recent years: jeans, T-shirt. Our Portuguese consultant couldn't even think of a Portuguese word for sweatshirt.

Ternos: Boys have also worn pants and trousers of different length. [Note: the authors have generally chosen the American word pants. In British English the proper word would be trousers, pants in Britain refer to underwear.] Long trousers were common in the first decade of the 19th Century. Boys wore long pants with their skeleton suits. At mid-century knee-length pants had appeared for boys, but it was not uncommon to see even younger boys wearing long pants, but had generally been replaced by knee-length pants and long stockings by the 1860s boys under 12 years of age, but some older boys were also wearing them. The Englishwoman's Domestic Magazine reported in 1863 that the knickerbocker suit "reigns supreme". It contibued to do well into the first half of the 20th Cenuary. The development appears to be a little later in America, but eventually American boys were also in knee-lenght pants. The knee pants were full, closed at the knee with buckles or buttons, or simply cut off at the knee. The age of boys wearing knee pants gradually increased in the late 19th Century. By the turn of the Century even older teenagers, boys of 18 and 19 years of age were commonly wearing knee pants. The pants worn by boys in the 20th Century have varied widely by decade and country. American boys commonly wore knickers in the 1920s and 30s, but in the 1940s increasingly wore long pants. English and European boys commonly wore short pants, but long pants became more common beginning in the 1960s. Since the 1970s American and European boys have begun wearing very similar styles of clothes, both for dress suits as well as play and casual wear.

Terno de pequeno Senhor Fauntleroy: Francis Hodgson Burnett, an English-born American, helped popularize a style of dress for boys that proved exceedingly popular among romantically inclined, doting mothers. The author modeled her famous fictional creation, Cedric Erol, after her own son, Vivian, and thereby condemned a generation of "manly little chaps" in America and Britain to elaborate, picturesque outfits. The actual description of Cedie's suits were rather brief in her book, Little Lord Fauntleroy. Perhaps even more influential than her text in popularizing the style were the lavishly detailed drawings by Reginald Birch, the artist who illustrated Mrs. Burnett's story. Whether it was the book or the illustrations, combined they were responsible for an enduring vogue of boy's clothes in the romantic style of the Cavalier/Restoration or Van Dyck Period worn by the young American hero of the story.

Sapatos: Boys have worn a wide variety of shoes over time.

Sapatos de tênis: Tennis shoes

Sapatos deportivos: Tennis or sport shoes. Also referred to as trainers in England and sneakers in America.

Uniformes de atletismo: Gym or physical education (PE) uniform. ASlso used for sports uniform.

Uniformes de escola: School uniform.

Vestido: Europeans for centuries dressed little children, both boys and girls in the same styles of dresses, often referred to as petticoats. For most of this time, no special clothing existed for childrn, boys or girls. Boys when they were "breeched", were simplly dressed in smaller versions of the knee breeches and other clothes worn by their fathers. Special clothes for children appeared in the late 18th centuty with distinctive styles for boys and girls. Even so, many mothers continued to dress small boys in dresses for more than a century. This fashion also became common in America and persisted well into the 20th century.

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HBC has been unable to acquire much information on Portugal. We assumed that the was considerable similarities with Spain. One HBC reader reports visiting Portugal in the 1960s and was surprised how the country contrasted with Spain. He felt that the children were not as well looked after or as well dressed as in Spain. The boys wore long shorts or long trousers. One reader reports tht it was very common for Portuguese boys to go barefoot. This presumably reflected the fact that for much of the 20th century, Portugal was a very poor country. The Lisbon town council in 1928 forbade going barefoot in the city. In the photo here we can see a free dispensation of canvas shoes, in order to encourage the use. However a lot of Lisbon inhabitants ignored the town council decree for many years, especially the women and the children. Out of the capital, especially in villages and in the country, the children (and sometimes also the women) went usually barefoot until some decades ago. An Italian reader tells us, "I visited the north of Portugal in September 1979. Except in the towns (Porto and Braga) all the children were barefoot." Since Portugal has joined the European Community, there has bee tremendous economic growth. We suspect that clothing styles are now very similar to those in the rest of Europe. Hopefully our Portuguese readers will provide us some information so we can expand our coverage. We do, however, have a Portuguese-language glossary.

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Brazil is by farthest the largest country in Latin America. About half of Latin America in area and population is Brazil. We have just begun to acquire information and images on Brazil. We are more familiar with some of the Spanish speaking countries, but hope to everntually persur Brazil in some detail. Brail is of course significantly influenced bt Portugal, the European country which colonized Brazil. The Catholic Church has also been an important influence. Brazil became independent somewhat later than neighboring countries and had one of the few Latin Americann monarchies. The Portuguese did not encounter an advanced Native American civilization. Unable to enslave the Indiahns, they imported large numbedrs of African slsves. Hopefully our Brazilian readers will contribute some insights into fashions trends in their country.


* There are perhaps a dozen ways to say "boy" in Portuguese. Off-hand I remember just moço, rapaz, menino, garoto, criado, jovem. If you want to express 'child of the male gender' rapaz and menino are most often used. Menino would evoke a younger person than rapaz (at least in my mind) and it carries more often a feeling of endearment. I believe moço is equal to rapaz in Brazilian, but in Portugal it often has a connotation of being serviceable. It's used in cabin-boy/moço de câmara, deck-boy/moço de convés and errand-boy/moço de recados. It's what the Portuguese in the Congo called the male servant in a colonial household (the Belgians, both Walloon and Flemish said 'boy'). The word for youth is jovem (pl.jovens). It doubles as an adjective meaning young. There may be a connection with shaving (which is more often barbear-se than rapar), but there could also be a link to greed and plunder. In fact, if used as an adjective, 'rapaz' is equivalent to 'rapace' which would translate as rapacious in English.


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Created: September 29, 2001
Last updated: 5:47 AM 4/13/2006