Words of Lisbon

Words of Lisbon

Our country isn’t a big place! For this reason you probably wouldn’t imagine that there are many words and expressions that are different in accordance with the different parts of the country.
The differences more relevant are probably between the capital (Lisboa) and Porto. However, there are other words that are used only in specific parts of Portugal. Lets check a few exemples:


If you decide to go for a bar and if you aska beer you might have to face a few questions. If you’re staying in the capital you can ask for an “imperial”. However, if you decide to go to Coimbra or Porto you should ask for a “Fino”. If you just want a coffee, in Lisbon you can just say “bica” but in Porto you should say “cimbalino”. If you want to play safe just use the word “café” because it works everywhere in Portugal.



If you think that drinking in our country is complex, I have to say that eating is a bit harder! Lisbon and Porto use different words sometimes exactly for the same dish…

A few examples:

If you like bread you should now that we have a type of bread called “carcaça” in Lisbon and, in other parts of the country they call it  “papo-seco”.

A “milk bread” can be either a “pão de leite” (word by word translation) or a “bico de pato” in Porto.


If you need a shirt hanger you should ask for a “cabide” in Lisbon and a “cruzeta” in all the other places in Portugal.

Na easy way to know if a person is from the Capital of Portugal is by asking them the time. Someone from Lisbon will say “um quarto para as seis” (a quarter to six) while someone from another portuguese city will say “cinco menos um quarto” (five minus a quarter).
Finally, a very controversial one: “sneakers”…  In Lisbon we cal it “ténis” but in Porto and other cities they are called “sapatilhas”.

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