Portuguese Genealogical Word List

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Portugal Gotoarrow.png Glossary

This list contains Portuguese words with their English translations. The words included here are those that you are likely to find in genealogical sources. If the word you are looking for is not on this list, please consult a Portuguese-English dictionary.

Portuguese is a Romance language and is very similar to Spanish. It is the national language of Portugal, Brazil, Mozambique, and Angola. It is also spoken on the Chinese island of Macau and in the Goa region of India and used in some of the official records of these places. In the United States, Portuguese is spoken in places such as Fall River and New Bedford, Massachusetts, as well as many areas in California and Hawaii where Portuguese immigrants have settled.

Language Characteristics

Portuguese words for persons, places, and things (nouns) are classified as masculine, feminine, or, in some cases, neuter. O (the masculine form of the) is used with masculine words. A (the feminine form of the) is used with feminine words. Masculine nouns generally end in o, r, l, and ma. Feminine nouns generally end in a, ão, dade, tude, and ume. Nouns which end in or generally are masculine; an a is added to indicate the feminine version.

Adjectives which end in o or a reflect the same gender of the nouns they refer to. For example, the married son would be translated as o filho casado,while the married daughter would be translated as a filha casada.

Many adjectives do not end in o or a and so do not indicate gender. For example, the large book would be translated as o livro grande, while the large parish would be translated as a paróquia grande.

Variant Forms of Words

In Portuguese, as in English, the forms of some words will vary according to how they are used in a sentence.Who—whose—whom or marry—marries—married are examples of words in English with variant forms. This word list gives only the standard form of each Portuguese word. As you read Portuguese records, be aware that some words vary with usage.

Plural forms of Portuguese words usually add s to the singular noun as well as the article and adjective. Thus, o avô materno (the maternal grandparent) becomes os avôs maternos (the maternal grandparents).

Alphabetical Order

The Portuguese alphabet uses the same 26 letters and alphabetical used in English. The letters k and w are used only in words that are not of Portuguese origin.

Accent Marks

Some letters in Portuguese can carry accent marks that indicate how to pronounce the letter, or which syllable in a word is stressed. They do not affect alphabetical order. The accent marks include:

agudo  á, é, í, ó, ú
cedilha ç
circunflexo ê, ô
grave à, è
til ã, ẽ, õ, ũ
trema ü

Spelling

Although Portuguese spelling was standardized by the mid-1700s, scribes usually spelled words the way they sounded. Generally, variations between old and modern spellings should not cause too much trouble for the researcher. The following words are examples of old and modern spelling variations:

Variation Ancient Modern
y became i Pereyra Pereira
h became silent hum, honze um, onze
ã became am tãpa tampa
became em bẽ bem
ũ became um um
ph became f pharol farol
nn became n annos anos
mpç became assumpção assunção
pt became t baptismo batismo (Brazilian usage only)

Additional Resources

This word list includes words most commonly found in genealogical sources. For further help, use a Portuguese-English dictionary. Several Portuguese- English dictionaries are available at the Family History Library in the European collection. The call numbers begin with 469.321.

The following dictionary is on microfilm and available to Family History Centers:

Additional dictionaries are listed in the Subject section of the FamilySearch Catalog under PORTUGUESE LANGUAGE - DICTIONARIES. Most bookstores also sell inexpensive Portuguese-English dictionaries.

A helpful guide for reading Portuguese genealogical records is:


Wiki articles describing online collections are found at:

Key Words

To find and use specific types of Portuguese records, you will need to know some key words. This section gives key genealogical terms in English and the Portuguese words with the same or similar meanings, including varying forms of the same word.

For example, in the first column you will find the English word marriage. In the second column you will find Portuguese words with meanings such as marry, marriage, wedding, wedlock, unite, joined, and other words used in Portuguese records to indicate marriage. When a word has both a masculine and a feminine version, the feminine ending is given in parentheses.

English Portuguese
baptism batismo, batisei, foi batisado(a)
birth nascimento, nasceu, nascido(a), deu à luz, crisma
burial enterro, enterrei, enterrado(a), sepultado(a), sepultura
Catholic Church Igreja Católica
census censo, rol
child filho(a), criança, párvulo(a)
church record registro paroquial
confirmation crisma, confirmação
day dia
death morte, falecimento, óbito, falecido(a), defunto(a)
father pai
husband marido, esposo, homem
index índice
marriage casamento, matrimônio, recebimento
month mês
mother mãe
name, given nome, alcunha, graça
name, surname nome, sobrenome, apelido
parents pais
parish paróquia
wife esposa, mulher
year ano

Numbers

In some genealogical records, numbers are written out. This is especially true with dates. The following list gives the cardinal (1, 2, 3) and the ordinal (1st, 2nd, 3rd) versions of each number. In Portuguese, days of the month are written in ordinal form.

Cardinal # Cardinal (word) Ordinal # Ordinal (word)
0 zero

1 um 1st primeiro
2 dois 2nd segundo
3 três 3rd terceiro
4 quatro 4th quarto
5 cinco 5th quinto
6 seis 6th sexto
7 sete 7th sétimo
8 oito 8th oitavo
9 nove 9th nono
10 dez 10th décimo
11 onze 11th décimo primeiro
12 doze 12th décimo segundo
13 treze 13th décimo terceiro
14 catorze 14th décimo quarto
15 quinze 15th décimo quinto
16 dezesseis 16th décimo sexto
17 dezessete 17th décimo sétimo
18 dezoit 18th décimo oitavo
19 dezenove 19th décimo nono
20 vinte 20th vigésimo
21 vinte e um 21st vigésimo primeiro
22 vinte e dois 22nd vigésimo segundo
23 vinte e três 23rd vigésimo terceiro
24 vinte e quatro 24th vigésimo quarto
25 vinte e cinco 25th vigésimo quinto
26 vinte e seis 26th vigésimo sexto
27 vinte e sete 27th vigésimo sétimo
28 vinte e oito 28th vigésimo oitavo
29 vinte e nove 29th vigésimo nono
30 trinta 30th trigésimo
31 trinta e um 31st trigésimo primero
40 quarenta 40th quadragésimo
50 cinqüenta 50th quinquagésimo
60 sessenta 60th sexagésimo
70 setenta 70th setuagésimo
80 oitenta 80th octogésimo
90 noventa 90th nonagésimo
100 cem, cento 100th centésimo
200 duzentos 200th ducentésimo
300 trezentos 300th tricentésimo
400 quatrocentos 400th quadringentésimo
500 quinhentos 500th quingentésimo
600 seiscentos 600th sexcentésimo
700 setecentos 700th setingentésimo
800 oitocentos 800th octingentésimo
900 novecentos 900th nongentésimo
1000 mil 1000th milésimo

Dates and Time

In Portuguese records, dates are spelled out, for example:

No vigésimo terceiro dia do mês de março do ano de mil oito centos e trinta e tres [On the twenty-third day of March of the year of one thousand eight hundred and thirty and three].

To understand Portuguese dates, use the following lists as well as the preceding "Numbers" section.

Months

English Portuguese
January janeiro
February fevereiro
March março
April abril
May maio
June junho
July julho
August agosto
September setembro
October outubro
November novembro
December dezembro

Days of the Week

English Portuguese
Sunday domingo
Monday segunda-feira
Tuesday terça-feira
Wednesday quarta-feira
Thursday quinta-feira
Friday sexta-feira
Saturday sábado


General Word List

This general word list includes words commonly found in genealogical sources. Numbers, months, and days of the week are listed both here and in separate sections prior to this list.

In cases where significant spelling variations between old and modern Portuguese affect alphabetical order, words are listed twice (for example, batismo and baptismo). Optional versions of Portuguese words or variable endings (such as feminine endings) are given in parentheses. Parentheses in the English column clarify the definition.

Click the letter below to get to the words starting with that letter.
Words starting with:
A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P Q R S T V

A

Portuguese English
a the (feminine)
a to, toward
à to the, toward the (feminine)
abaixo-assinado undersigned
abcesso abscess
abril April
acordo agreement
acougueiro butcher
acre acre
acta record, document
açúcar sugar
administração administration
adotado (a) adopted
adultério adultery
adúltero (a) adulterer
advogado (a) lawyer
afogamento drowning
agosto August
ainda still
alcunha name
além beyond
alemão (a) German
alfaiate tailor
algodão cotton
algum (a) some
ali there
alma soul, person
alto (a) high
altura height
aluguel rent
amanhã tomorrow
amarelo (a) yellow
ambos (as) both
amigo (a) friend
ancestral ancestor
aniversário anniversary, birthday
anjo angel, deceased child
ano year
antepassado (a) ancestor
anterior former, previous
antes before
antigo (a) old, ancient
anual annual
anuário yearbook
ao to the (masculine)

B

Portuguese English
baía bay
baixo (a) low
baptismo baptism
baptizar to baptize
barão baron
barco boat
batismo baptism
batizar to baptize
bem good, well
bênção blessing
biblioteca library
bisavô great-grandfather
bisavó great-grandmother
bisavôs great-grandparents
bisneta great-granddaughter
bisneto great-grandson
bisnetos great-grandchildren
bispado bishopric
bispo bishop
boca mouth
boda wedding, marriage
boieiro herdsman
bom (oa) good
bosque grove, forest, woods
braço arm
branco (a) white

C

Portuguese English
cabeça head
caçador hunter
cadastro land census
cadeia jail
café coffee
cafezal coffee plantation
campo field, plain
camponês (a) peasant, small farmer
cana de açúcar sugarcane
câncer cancer
capela chapel
cara face
carpinteiro carpenter
cartório archive
casa house
casado (a) married
casamento marriage
casar-se to marry
castelo castle
catedral cathedral
católico (a) Catholic
cavalheiro gentleman, knight, nobleman
cedo early
cego (a) blind
cem one hundred
cemitério cemetery
censo census
centenário centennial
cento one hundred
cerca near, approximate
certidão certificate
cervejeiro brewer
cidadão (ã) citizen
cidade city
cinco five
cinqüenta fifty
clérigo clergyman
clero clergy
colheita harvest
colina hill
colônia colony
colono settler
comerciante merchant
como as, how
comunhão communion
concelho council, counsel
concernente concerning
conde count, earl
conhecido (a) known, acquaintance
conhecido (a) como known as
cônjuge spouse
cônjuges partners, couple
consangüinidade blood relationship, kinship
consorte spouse, partner
constipação constipation
consunção consumption
conta account, bill
conteúdo contents
contra against
contraente contracting party in a marriage
conversão conversion
convulsão convulsion
coqueluche whooping cough
cordoeiro rope maker
corrente current
corte court
cortiça cork
cova grave
coxo (a) lame
criada maid
criança child
cristão (ã) Christian
cujo (a) whose
cunhado (a) brother-in-law, sister-in-law
cura clergyman
curato parish
cúria religious tribunal
curtidor tanner

D

Portuguese English
da of the (feminine)
daquele (a) of that
data date
de from, of, belonging to
década decade
décimo tenth
décimo nono nineteenth
décimo oitavo eighteenth
décimo primeiro eleventh
décimo quarto fourteenth
décimo quinto fifteenth
décimo segundo twelfth
décimo sétimo seventeenth
décimo sexto sixteenth
décimo terceiro thirteenth
declaração declaration
declarado (a) declared, stated
dedo finger
defunto (a) deceased
dele (a) his, hers, its
dente tooth
dentição teething
dentro within
denúncia accusation, complaint
depois after
derrame seizure, stroke
derrame cerebral stroke
descendente descendant
desconhecido (a) unknown
descrição description
desde since
desobriga exemption from
desquitado (a) legally separated
desquite legal separation
desse (a) of that
deste (a) of this
dez ten
dezembro December
dezenove nineteen
dezesseis sixteen
dezessete seventeen
dezoito eighteen
diário daily, diary
diarréia diarrhea
dicionário dictionary
digno (a) worthy
digo that is, I mean to say
diocese diocese
direito law
direito right, privilege
disenteria dysentery
dispensa exemption, permission
disputa disagreement
disso of this
distrito district
distrito de paz peace district
dito (a) stated, said, mentioned
divorciado (a) divorced
dízimo tithing, donation
do of the (masculine)
doação donation
documento document
doença disease
dois two
doméstica domestic, maid
domicílio dwelling
domingo Sunday
dono (a) owner, master
doze twelve
duque duke
duquesa duchess
duzentos two hundred

E

Portuguese English
e and
é you are, he/she/it is
eclesiástico (a) ecclesiastical
ela she
ele he
eles (as) they
em in
em face da igreja before the church, full church marriage
emigração emigration
emigrante emigrant
empregada maid
empregado (a) employee
empresa business
enfermidade disease
engenho sugar plantation, mill
enteado (a) stepchild
enterrado (a) buried
enterro burial
entre between, among
epidemia epidemic, plague
epilepsia epilepsy
era was, were
eram (they, you) were
éramos (we) were
escarlatina scarlet fever
escola school
escravidão slavery
escravo (a) slave
escrevente scribe
escudo de armas coat of arms
esmola alms, donation
espanhol (a) Spanish
esposo (a) husband, wife
esse (a) that
está you are, he/she/it is
estação station, season
estado state, status
estamos (we) are
estância ranch, estate
estão (they, you) are
estar to be
este east
este (a) this
estômago stomach
estou (I) am
estrada road
estrangeiro (a) foreigner, stranger
eu I
evangélico (a) evangelical
exército military, army
exposto (a) foundling
extrato extract
extrema unção last rites

F

Portuguese English
fábrica factory
face presence, front, surface
falecer to die
falecido (a) deceased
falecimento death
família family
fazenda estate, farm
fazendeiro farmer
febre fever
febre tifóide typhoid fever
feijão beans
feito (a) done, completed
fêmea female
feminino (a) feminine
feriado holiday
férias holidays
ferreiro blacksmith
ferrovia railroad
feudo fee
fevereiro February
ficar noivo (a) to become engaged
ficheiro card file
fidalgo nobleman
filha daughter
filho child, son
filhos children
floresta forest, woods
fogo fire, hearth
foi you were, he she it was
folha page
fomos (we) were
fonte fountain, source
fora out, outside of
foram (they, you) were
forasteiro (a) foreigner, stranger
fortaleza fortress
francês (a) French
fraqueza weakness
freguês (a) parishioner, resident
freguesia parish
frente front, in front of
fronteira border
fui (I) was
fundos funds
futuro future

G

Portuguese English
gado cattle
gazetário gazetteer
gêmeo (a) twin
gêmeos (as) twins
genealogia genealogy
genro son-in-law
gente people
gota drop, gout
grande great, large
grávida pregnant
grêmio fraternity, guild
gripe influenza
guarda guard, warden
guia directory, guidebook

H

Portuguese English
hemorragia bleeding
heráldica heraldry
herança inheritance
herdeiro (a) heir
hidropisia dropsy
história history
hoje today
holandês (a) Dutch
homem man, husband
honesto (a) honest
hora hour
hospedaria hostel, shelter
hospedeiro innkeeper

I

Portuguese English
icterícia jaundice
idade age
idioma idiom
idoso (a) elderly
igreja church
Igreja Católica Catholic Church
ilegítimo (a) illegitimate
imigração immigration
imigrante immigrant
imóveis real estate
impedimento impediment
império empire
imposto tax
inchação swelling
incógnito (a) unknown
índice index
indígena indigenous, native, Indian
indigente indigent
informação matrimonial marriage papers, such as banns, declarations, consent, baptismal records, and such
inglês (a) English
inocente innocent, deceased child
inquilino (a) renter
intestinos intestines
inverno winter
irmã sister
irmandade brotherhood, sisterhood
irmão brother
irmãos brothers, siblings
isso that
isto this
italiano (a) Italian

J

Portuguese English
janeiro January
jardineiro gardener
jesuíta Jesuit
jornal newspaper
judeu (ia) Jewish
juiz judge
julho July
junho June
junto together
jurado jury man

L

Portuguese English
there
lago lake
lançamento record, entry
lar home
lavrador agricultural worker, peasant
legal legal
legítimo (a) legitimate
lei law
leiteiro dairyman
leste east
liberto (a) freed slave
língua language, tongue
livro book
lugar place
luterano (a) Lutheran

M

Portuguese English
macho male
madrasta stepmother
madrinha godmother
madrugada early morning
mãe mother
maio May
maior larger, elder
mais more
mais jovem youngest
mais novo (a) youngest
mais velho (a) eldest
manhã morning
mão hand
mapa map
marceneiro cabinetmaker
março March
marido husband
marinha navy
marinheiro sailor
marrano (a) Jewish convert to Catholicism
mas but
masculino (a) masculine
materno (a) maternal
mato jungle, wilderness
matrimônio marriage
matriz main church, "mother" church
médico doctor
meia irmã half sister
meia noite midnight
meio (a) half
meio dia noon, midday
meio irmão half brother
membro member
mendigo (a) beggar
menino (a) boy, girl
menonita Mennonite
menor younger, smaller
menos less
mercado market
mercadoria goods, wares
mês month
mesmo (a) same
mestre master
metade half
meu my (masculine)
mil one thousand
milha mile
milho corn
mina mine
mineiro miner
minha my (feminine)
ministro minister
moça young woman, youth
moço young man, youth
moinho mill
molestia disease
montanha mountain
monte mountain
morada dwelling
morador (a) resident
morar to live (location)
morrer to die
morte death
móveis furniture, household goods
mudo (a) dumb
muitas vezes often
muito (a) many, very
mulato (a) mulatto
mulher woman, wife
município municipality, city

N

Portuguese English
na in the (feminine)
não no
nariz nose
nascido (a) born
nascimento birth
natimorto (a) stillborn
natural natural, illegitimate
navio ship
negro (a) black
nenhum (a) none
nesta in this (feminine)
neste in this (masculine)
neta granddaughter
neto grandson
netos grandchildren
no in the (masculine)
nobre noble, nobleman
nobreza nobility
noite night
noiva bride, fiancée
noivado engagement
noivados betrothed
noivo bridegroom, fiancé
noivos betrothed
nome name
nono (a) ninth
nora daughter-in-law
norte north
nós we
nosso (a) our
notário notary
nove nine
novecentos nine hundred
novembro November
noventa ninety
novo (a) new
novo-cristão (ã) New Christian, Jewish convert to Catholicism
número number
nunca never
núpcias wedding, marriage

O

Portuguese English
o the (masculine)
óbito death
obreiro worker, laborer
oeste west
oferta donation
ofício office
oitavo (a) eighth
oitenta eighty
oito eight
oitocentos eight hundred
oleiro brick mason
óleo oil
olho eye
onde where
onomástico (a) onomastic—referring to names
ontem yesterday
onze eleven
operário worker
oração prayer
orelha ear
orfanato orphanage
órfão (ã) orphan
ou or
ouro gold
outono autumn
outro (a) other, another
outubro October

P

Portuguese English
paço palace, government offices
paço municipal city hall
padeiro baker
padrasto stepfather
padre priest
padrinho godfather
padrinhos godparents
página page
pai father
pais parents
país country
palácio palace
pão bread
para for, to
pardo (a) mulatto
parente relative
parentesco kinship
paróquia parish
parteira midwife
parto birth
párvulo (a) child, deceased child
passado past
passageiro (a) passenger
passar a ser to become
pastor pastor, minister
pastor shepherd
paterno (a) paternal
patrão employer, master
foot
pedreiro stonemason, brick mason
pelo (a) by the, by way of
penitenciária penitentiary
periódico periodical, journal, magazine
permissão consent, permission
perna leg
perto near
pescador fisherman
peso weight
pesquisa research
peste plague
pleito lawsuit, plea
pneumonia pneumonia
polaco (a) Polish
ponte bridge
população population
por by, for
porque why
porto port
português (a) Portuguese
possuir to have, to possess
povo people
povoação town, village
povoado town, village
praça city square
prata silver
prazo term
prece prayer
prefeito mayor
prefeitura city hall
presente present
pretérito past
preto (a) black
prévio (a) former, previous
primavera spring
primeiro (a) first
primo (a) cousin
princesa princess
príncipe prince
prisão prison
professor (a) teacher
profissão profession, occupation
progenitor progenitor
prole progeny
propriedade property, land
proprietário proprietor, owner
protestante Protestant
próximo (a) next
pulmão lung
pus os santos óleos I placed the holy oil

Q

Portuguese English
quadro genealógico genealogical chart
qual which
quando when
quarenta forty
quarta-feira Wednesday
quarto room
quatorze fourteen
quatro four
quarto (a) fourth
quatrocentos four hundred
que that, what
quem who, whom
quilômetro kilometer
quinhentos five hundred
quinta farm, ranch
quinta-feira Thursday
quinto (a) fifth
quinze fifteen

R

Portuguese English
rainha queen
rapaz boy
real royal
realizar accomplish
receber to receive
recebimento receipt
recursos resources
registro civil civil registration
registros registers
registros civis civil registers
rei king
reino kingdom
religião religion
residência residence
residente resident
retrato portrait
riacho stream
rio river
rito rite
rol list
rosto face
rua street
rúbrica rúbric
russo (a) Russian (a)

S

Portuguese English
sábado Saturday
sacerdote priest
sacristão sexton
sagrado (a) holy, sacred
sala room
Santa Casa da Misericórdia Catholic charitable hospital
santo (a) holy, sacred, saint
santos óleos holy oil
são (they, you) are
são holy, sacred, saint, healthy, sound
sapateiro shoemaker
sarampo measles
secenta sixty
século century
segunda-feira Monday
segundo (a) second
seicentos six hundred
seis six
semana week
sempre always
sendo because, being
senhor mister, lord
senhora madam, lady
separado (a) separated
sepultado (a) buried
sepultamento burial
sepultura grave, sepulchre
ser to be
serra mountain range, ridge
serralheiro locksmith
servente servant
sete seven
setecentos seven hundred
setembro September
setenta seventy
sétimo (a) seventh
seu our, his, her, their (masculine)
sexo sex, gender
sexta-feira Friday
sexto (a) sixth
sim yes
sítio place, site
sobre about, above, concerning
sobrenome surname
sobrevivente surviving
sobrinho (a) nephew, niece
sociedade society
sogro (a) father-in-law, mother-in-law
solar manor house
soldado soldier
solenemente solemnly
solteiro (a) single
somente only
somos (we) are
sou (I) am
sua our, his, her, their (feminine)
subdistrito subdistrict
sueco (a) Swedish
suíço (a) Swiss
sul south
surdo (a) deaf

T

Portuguese English
talvez maybe
também also
tanoeiro cooper
tanto quanto as much as
tarde afternoon, evening, late
taxa fee
tecedor cloth maker
tecelão weaver
tem (you, he, she, it) has
têm (they, you) have
temos (we) have
tempo time
tenho (I) have
ter to have
terça-feira Tuesday
terceiro (a) third
termo record, entry
terreno tract of land
testamenteiro executor
testamento will, testament
testemunha witness
testemunho testimony
tia aunt
tintureiro dyer
tio uncle
título title
todos (as) all, everyone
tomo volume
tornar-se to become
tosse cough
trabalhador laborer, farmhand
três three
treze thirteen
trezentos three hundred
trigésimo thirtieth
trigésimo primeiro thirty-first
trigo wheat
trinta thirty
trinta e um thirty-one
tuberculose tuberculosis
tudo all
tumor tumor
tutela guardianship

V

Portuguese English
vale valley
variola smallpox
velho (a) old
vender to sell
verão summer
verde green
vereador town councilman
vermelho (a) red
vez turn, time, occasion
vigário vicar, cleric
vigésimo twentieth
vigésimo nono twenty-ninth
vigésimo oitavo twenty-eighth
vigésimo primeiro twenty-first
vigésimo quarto twenty-fourth
vigésimo quinto twenty-fifth
vigésimo segundo twenty-second
vigésimo sétimo twenty-seventh
vigésimo sexto twenty-sixth
vigésimo terceiro twenty-third
vila village, town, community
vinha vineyard
vinhedo vineyard
vinte twenty
vinte e cinco twenty-five
vinte e dois twenty-two
vinte e nove twenty-nine
vinte e oito twenty-eight
vinte e quatro twenty-four
vinte e seis twenty-six
vinte e sete twenty-seven
vinte e três twenty-three
vinte e um twenty-one
visitação pastoral visit
viúva widow
viúvo widower
viver to live
vivo (a) alive
vizinhança neighborhood
vizinho (a) neighbor
você you
volume volume, book
vossa mercê your grace