"Xicara" and "Copo"

Duo teaches us:

Xicara = cup Copo = glass

Soooo......are teams from all over the world playing in the "world glass" in Brazil right now?

June 26, 2014


I can say you:

  • Copa do mundo = World Cup
  • A copa = The pantry
  • Taça (prêmio) = goblet (award)
  • taça (para vinho) = glass (for wine)
  • xícara (chá, café ou medida) = cup (tea, coffee or mesure)
  • copo (bebidas frias) = glass (cold food)
  • caneca (bebidas frias ou geladas) = mug (cold or hot drinks)
June 26, 2014

cup = plastic cup = copo descartável (is it correct?)

E se eu for na Starbucks tomar um café e não quiser naquele copinho de plástico, mas sim em uma xícara? xD

July 5, 2014

Não, copo descartável sim, mas não um qualquer, aqueles mais grosso para bebidas quentes. Eu vou perguntar para amigos, mas acho que a diferença é se for para viagem ou não.

July 5, 2014

É achei aqui uma menina que reclamou da experiência de beber café num copo plástico (de papel), ela disse que para tomar em xícara ela pedia "... for here". Também é possível [achei noutro texto] pedir em muitas cafeterias a re(-)usable cup, que você devolverá mais tarde.

July 5, 2014


July 5, 2014

Well, yeah, I am a Brazilian native portuguese speaker, and I can help you with that.

The xícara / copo (mind the accent on xícara instead of xicara) thing is correct as duo teaches us, but the problem is that the feminine version of copo, "copa" is not being in use with this meaning for at least some tens of years. If you're speaking about a drinking glass, copo is the way to go. There is a female word with the same meaning that is "taça", but is used only for "fancier" glasses (or cups), like wine or champagne glasses for instance.

About the championship, thinking about what I've said previously, the cup (that is, the trophy the winning team takes home) is called the "taça do mundo". You can see the reason for that right? It's the world cup, and it's shape resembles a wine cup, hence a "taça". But the championship itself it's called the "copa do mundo", and the confusion is understandable. The word "copa" in "copa do mundo" has, with time, transformed into being the championship rather than the trophy, and even though I have no safe sources I can estimate that it is due to historical reasons. As an hypothesis, Imagine this timeline:

  • In a very old portuguese, 'copa' would still be a synonym of "taça", and the world cup gets very popular.
  • Because language changes with time, people stop using 'copa' for "glass", and are happy with 'copo'; the name of the championship however is very popular and continues to be 'copa do mundo'.
  • Enough time given, Brazilians don't recognize copa as a female for glass, and start calling the trophy "taça do mundo", even though the championship keeps its original name.
  • Nowadays, I'm a Brazilian and copa means nothing but the world cup championship to me, that is so true that most of Brazilians use only the word 'copa' to say 'copa do mundo'.

This is one of the hypothesis, another one may be that 'copa' actually means glass/cup in european portuguese, and the championship name stayed the same even though Brazilians didn't inherit that.

Copa is also a room in the house where you have meals, as mentioned, but that is not seen very often in spoken, daily language.

So, a summary is that, nowadays:

  • 'Copa' is not a female for 'copo';
  • It is most used in and refers mainly to the world cup;
  • It refers to a room in the house also, but you don't see that very often.
  • Copo doesn't have a female word with the same meaning;
  • Taça may be a synonym but it refers only to the shape of wine/champagne glasses;
  • Xícara can be thought more of a mug if you prefer;
  • Copo means a 'common' cup, that is, a 'taça' is not a 'copo'... because it is a 'taça', got that?

I'm just a Brazilian speaking my thoughts, sorry if that's just too long an answer for a simple question, but I like investigating this weird things about language, especially my own :D

June 26, 2014

I agreed almost everything, dude, your answer is awesome! I just have to say I use copa as room, cause' my house has one. And thanks, I wanted to say taça can also be trophy, and you did remind me.

June 26, 2014

Yes! haha, good to know, i may have sounded a bit harsh with the room thing, thanks for mentioning though! I'm still to learn what a 'copa' properly is.

June 26, 2014

It is okay, you showed you know it. you comment was great!

June 26, 2014

"Copa" as a room is very common in office contexts. Where I work, everyone goes to the "copa" to get a cup of coffee, wash their mugs, heat their lunch etc.

July 1, 2014

It is true Desmond. The words have different genders, and World Cup in portuguese is "Copa do mundo". Xícara is to drink coffee or tea, it is the small one. And the "Copo" is the bigger one, to drink almost anything. Search in the internet about "Movimento Não vai ter Copa", you'll see a little bit of the manifestations in Brazil against the World Cup and will also study portuguese. Boa sorte.

June 26, 2014
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