EP word of the week (#58): sumo

Our short foray into beverages best served cold ends today with the Portuguese word for juice[o] sumo.

As those of you who’ve spend some time with the Duolingo (Brazilian) Portuguese course already know, Brazilians use a different word for the drinkable juices (the ones you can buy or make to drink yourself), [o] suco.

While I’ve heard that some Brazilians make a distinction between juice as a by-product of squeazing/grinding fruit and as a drink/liquid used to flavor food, and occasionally using sumo for the former, that doesn’t seem to be set in stone. In any case, when it comes to European Portuguese, [o] sumo is used for all meanings – but there are ways you can tell the different between a juiced fruit and a beverage:

  • In a recipe, juices are usually labeled using numerals [i.e. the amount of fruit you’ll need to use to make a certain quantity of juice]: an example of a recipe instruction could be: “exprema o sumo de meia laranja para dentro da mistura” (trans. “squeeze the juice of half an orange into the mixture”);
  • The beverage follows the pattern (in food and drinks) of adding the main ingredient[s] as a partitive element separated from the more generic noun with deo sumo de morango (strawberry juice); o sumo de laranja (orange juice); o sumo de pêssego (peach juice).
  • We also have a word for lemonade[a] limonada, which sets it apart from regular lemon juice (since lemonade has added sugar).

P.S. Other plant secretions and or by-products have different names: for example, sap – the fluid secreted by plant stems, is known as [a] seiva, resin is [a] resina, and pollen is [o] pólen.

Interestingly enough, in EP [o] sumo is a homonym, since it also refers to the Japanese wrestling art of sumo (as you’ve probably inferred from the images I placed above).

In BP, the word was transformed to [o] sumô, which alters both the stress pattern of the word (from the first to the last syllable) and the actual sound of the vowel o (the two go hand in hand). That’s something BP does quite often (remember bebê?), which provides me with an extra batch of words to mine articles from!

Next week’s feature will reveal another example grammatically similar to sumo/sumô; I hope you check it out to find which word it is!

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