EP word of the week (#19): atacador

Most shoes (including tennis shoes) require shoelaces; if anything, there’s an anthropological and social imperative that associates laces with growing older (presumably old enough to tie your shoes). Until the velcro industry lobbies people’s hearts and minds,we’re going to keep seeing shoelaces everywhere (:

In EP, the word used for shoelace is [o] atacador (or [o] cordão, albeit less frequently); in BP, it’s [o] cadarço (a word I had no idea existed until I caught it on a page while I was doing some research on tennis shoes for our previous Word of the Week). The verb to tie (shoelaces) is also different; EP uses atar ou apertar [os atacadores] (one can say “atacar os sapatos/tênis/etc.”, but that’s not so common nowadays), while BP prefers amarrar [o cadarço].

In EP at least, the word tends to be used in the plural when we’re making reference to shoelaces already strung on a shoe (their two ends are seen as a plural item – os atacadores).


2 thoughts on “EP word of the week (#19): atacador

  1. edmeyr March 26, 2016 / 9:16 pm

    I liked the mention of anthropological and social imperative associated with that all-important task of learning to tie one’s shoes. But why did I bother? All my shoes are “slip ons” with the one exception of my velcroed trainers/running shoes/”plimsolls” (archaic).

    By coincidence, I used one of your vocab words for the first time in a post recently..as mãos “atadas”. That comes from “atar”, does it not?


    • luisdomingos March 28, 2016 / 2:33 pm

      It’s always good to know someone isn’t “playing by the rules” (:

      Yes, “atadas” in that situation means “tied” [hands], as in “to have one’s hands tied”, which does come from “atar”. Portuguese prefers the saying “ficar de mãos atadas”, which is slightly different than the English, since “ficar” highlights a process that started sometime before (my hands became metaphorically tied, that’s why I didn’t/couldn’t help you).

      Liked by 1 person

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