EP word of the week (#41): canalizador/a

If you’re in need of a plumber, that’s usually a bad sign – both for your house, and your wallet! No dig at plumbers intended – the work they do is obviously very valuable to us as a society. Also, without plumbers we wouldn’t have Super Mario Bros. (because only a plumber would know how to drop out of a gigantic tube/pipe without breaking this entire skeleton to pieces, right?), and that’s another big win for humanity. If that sounded snarky, it wasn’t supposed to – I actually do love Mario games (:

In EP, we call plumbers [o/a] canalizador/a. In Brazil, they’re commonly known as [o/a] encanador/a, or even [o/a] bombeiro/a; this one is quite confusing to me since that’s the exact same word as the one we used to call a firefighter over here and, well, that’s also true in Brazil! To make the distinction clearer, BP uses the longer term [o/a] bombeiro/a hidráulico/a, which specifically refers to plumbers.

In Portugal, however, only [o/a] canalizador/a will do, and that’s why it is today’s Word of the Week!

O Mário é canalizador (e herói nas horas vagas). Mario is a plumber (and a hero in his spare time).

Um canalizador a sério. An actual plumber.

Related words:

  • [a] canalização: plumbing (set of pipes that provide water to a house)
  • [os] SMAS (Serviços Municipalizados de Água e Saneamento): local government agencies in charge of water and sewer management; every municipality ([o] concelho) has one



4 thoughts on “EP word of the week (#41): canalizador/a

  1. edmeyr June 8, 2016 / 3:46 pm

    Essa confusão entre “bombeiro” e “encanador” aconteceu comigo Sábado passado. Em uma conversa com um “visiting scholar ” de São Paulo, eu falei de um bombeiro (plumber) e o Ederson ficou confuso. Foi a primeira vez que ele tinha ouvido que no RJ , não se usa “encanador”. De fato, aprendendo português no método de “imersão total”, nunca me estranhei que “bombeiro” servia para “life guards” e “plumbers”. Em uma cidade como o RJ, parecia completamente normal. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • luisdomingos June 8, 2016 / 8:46 pm

      Thank you for your input! It does seem like BP associates “bombeiro” with a lot of professions involving water (the word does come from [a] bomba, “[water] pump”) which is quite confusing. Over here, it’s only associated with firefighters (I’ll deal with lifeguards later on in the segment), which makes things slightly easier.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. João Duarte June 9, 2016 / 12:24 am

    In the north of Portugal (i.g. Braga) people often use “picheleiro” for plumber (the person who sells “pichéis”, vases to drink wine).

    That was a weird sounding word for me to learn but my wife is from there and so I have to learn the lingo… :)


    Liked by 1 person

    • luisdomingos June 9, 2016 / 5:36 pm

      Interesting note, João, thanks for sharing! (:

      Liked by 1 person

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