EP words of the week (#21): almofada / travesseiro

After a long day of work, a pillow or soft cushion is a person’s best friend. But when Portuguese speakers go to bed, they do use different names for their pillowy friends; EP uses the word [a] almofada, BP the word [o] travesseiro.

For EP speakers, [o] travesseiro refers only to long and narrow, usually cyllindrical pillows (bolsters) that run across the whole bed (the words atravessar (v.), “to walk/move/jam across”, através (adv.), “through, across”,  and [a] travessia (n.), “[the] crossing”, share the same etymology); it’s also the name of a sweet pastry from the historical town of Sintra, which shares with the pillow its elongated shape and soft con.

If you ever stop by Sintra (which is an absolutely gorgeous town, known for its Medieval, Romantic and Neo-classical architectural landmarks sprinkled over a forested valley and mountains), make sure you stop by a pastelaria at the town centre to have some!

Related words/Useful sentences:

  • [a] fronha: pillowcase
  • [os] lençóis: sheets
  • [o] açúcar: sugar



2 thoughts on “EP words of the week (#21): almofada / travesseiro

  1. Alex April 3, 2016 / 12:08 am

    That’s certainly a lot easier to remember for Spanish speakers – en español se dice “almohada”.

    P.S. I’ve never heard the term “pillow sheet” in English – I say “pillowcase”. Is “pillow sheet” British?


    • luisdomingos April 3, 2016 / 1:19 am

      I’m not sure, I think I read it somewhere, but pillowcase does sound better. I’ll edit that in a sec (: Thanks for the feedback!


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