Quando o oficial de justiça chegou lá na favela
E, contra seu desejo, entregou pra o seu narciso, um aviso, uma ordem de despejo

Assinada, seu doutor
Assim dizia a "pedição":
"Dentro de dez dias
Quero a favela vazia
E os barracos todos no chão"

I understand everything here, except "seu doutor" is this some sort of title or slang term for a landowner?

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  • 2
    I've always interpreted that as a a slang or verbal shortening of "Senhor" (Mister) as in something like Senhor > Seôr > Seô > Seu. Not sure if its the case here – Duarte Farrajota Ramos Nov 18 '16 at 3:22
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    @DuarteFarrajotaRamos I thought exactly the same! But I can also agree with the answer of Centaurus. – Bruno Costa Nov 18 '16 at 9:46
  • O Adoniran Barbosa sempre usa essas "formas faladas" dos dialetos da epoca nas suas letras, (por exemplo "pra mim não tem probrema"), acho que o "seu" aqui é senhor mesmo. – Some_Guy Nov 18 '16 at 10:26

Not exactly the landowner, not a slang term either, "seu doutor" was used here in substitution for a name. I presume the author means the judge who signed the evacuation order. Judges, attorneys, prosecutors, and lawyers in general are all addressed as "doutor" (doctor), just as MD's are. In the past, humble people used to address doctors of medicine and lawyers as "o seu doutor" or "o senhor seu doutor", instead of "doutor fulano" ou "doutor sicrano" (doctor what's his name")

"oficial de justiça" is the civil servant who delivers an evacuation order, a summons, etc.

  • So in this case "doutor" is an honorary title similar to "the honorable" or something like that. One question though, is "o senhor seu doutor" ever really spoken? I thought the "seu" in "o seu doutor" or "o seu professor" etc. was in itself a spoken form of "senhor"? – Some_Guy Nov 18 '16 at 10:28
  • "" is "o senhor seu doutor" ever really spoken?"" In Brazil? Hardly ever. It sounds like a form of address from the first half of the twentieth century. But I'm inclined to believe some people still use it in Portugal as I have a few Portuguese patients who have addressed me this way. "seu professor" can refer to "você" (your professor) or "ele/ela" (his/her professor) depending on context. O "seu" in "o senhor seu doutor", however, is a different matter. It's like "your/his/her" in "you honor" or "his/her majesty" – Centaurus Nov 18 '16 at 15:24
  • Do you have any comment on these answers here? portuguese.stackexchange.com/questions/866/seu-antes-de-um-nome ? These seem to suggest seu as short for senhor, rather than being a "teu/dele" type of seu. Then again, the fact that, as you've mentioned, it's possible to use both seu and senhor together confuses the issue a little. When someone says just "seu dotour" I guess that kind of makes it kind of impossible to tell which type of seu it is (as in possessive or short for senhor). – Some_Guy Nov 18 '16 at 16:36
  • Either way, this answers my question, the fact that lawyers are also doutores in the titular sense, thanks! – Some_Guy Nov 18 '16 at 16:36
  • @Some_Guy I understand "seu doutor" as "senhor doutor". But em "o senhor seu doutor" it would sound awkward to read it as "o senhor senhor doutor". In any case, it's outdated and nobody says it anymore. – Centaurus Nov 18 '16 at 22:12

In short, "Mr. Doctor". "Seu" is short for "o senhor" when used in conjunction with a name or other individualized expression, and especially in vocatives:

Seu Carlos, o senhor esqueceu a sua carteira.

Mas isso não foi falta, seu juiz.

Seu guarda, pode me informar onde fica a Rua da Anunciação?

Seu doutor, me dê licença pra minha história contar (Luiz Gonzaga)

"Doutor" is a popular form to address anyone with a college degree, or even just perceived as what Theon Greyjoy would call "our betters" - medical doctors (which in standard language should be "médicos", not "doutores") and lawyers, yes, but also engineers, professors, veterinarians, economists, etc. - and rich people, people dressed in a suit, people driving a car, well dressed white people in general, and so on.

  • This makes a lot of sense and answers my question well. Se eu pudesse escolher duas respostas eu faria. Muito obrigado – Some_Guy Nov 21 '16 at 8:52
  • @Some_Guy - disponha. – Luís Henrique Nov 21 '16 at 9:39

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