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My understanding was that "cachorro" is Brazilian and "cão" is European. Now I've seen "um cachorro quente" (a "hot-dog" I presume) in a book of European Portuguese. So, is "cachorro" in Portugal only used for this type of meal or is it also a typical word for an animal?

2 Answers 2

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Yes, "cachorro" is used in Portugal, but it means a puppy, a young dog.

It is used especially of baby or very young dogs, in which case de diminutive “cachorrinho” is the word usually used.

For adult dogs, the word used is "cão".

According to the Priberam dictionary:

ca·chor·ro |ô| (origem duvidosa)
nome masculino

  1. Cão com menos de seis meses; cão jovem. [imagem]

  2. [Portugal: Madeira, Brasil] Cão adulto. [imagem]

  3. Cria, geralmente não desmamada, de animal semelhante ao cão.

  4. (...)

"cachorro", in Dicionário Priberam da Língua Portuguesa [em linha], 2008-2020, https://dicionario.priberam.org/cachorro [consultado em 15-06-2020].


For the hot-dog, both "cachorro" and "cachorro-quente" are used, but the short version is preferred - for brevity.

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  • I use cachorrinho for a very young dog only. Haven't you ever heard, "Ainda é cachorro?" about an almost, but not quite, fully-grown dog? I wouldn't call cachorrinho to one of those.
    – Jacinto
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 21:15
  • I think you're right, @Jacinto. I think of "cachorro" as a sort of adolescent-dog, and cachorrinho as a sort of baby-dog. I'm not sure how to include this in the answer.
    – ANeves
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 0:18
  • Feel free to do that edit, and if you bother to do it you can make it community-wiki. :)
    – ANeves
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 0:19
  • Fiz uma edição minimalista. Retirei a referência a "puppy" vs. "pup". Os dicionários dizem que são sinónimos. Vê se tá bem. Eu não fazia community-wiki; foi uma coisita de nada.
    – Jacinto
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 8:06
  • @Jacinto Tá bom. 👌
    – ANeves
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 11:37
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In Portugal is most used "cachorro" for the "hot-dog" and "cão" for the animal, but "cachorro" is also used for animals, generally "cachorrinho" for a puppy dog.

In Brazil it most used "cachorro" for the animal and "cachorro quente" for "hot-dog". "cão" is not so common, and in some regions "cão" can even mean a very restless person, who does a lot of mess, for example "esse garoto é um cão", something like "this boy is a dog".

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  • 1
    Olá Ricardo, bem-vindo. Podes editar a tua resposta para também responder à pergunta primária? Não pareces abordar a parte principal da pergunta: "Is “cachorro” (for an animal) also used in Portugal?"
    – ANeves
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 12:35
  • obrigado pela dica, editei a resposta Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 15:02
  • Bem vindo Ricardo! a pergunta foi feita em Inglês, talvez a pessoa que o fez não tenha conhecimento em Português o suficiente para entender tua resposta. Terias como escrevê-la em Inglês, por obséquio?
    – gmauch
    Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 15:03
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    entendi, obrigado @gmauch, traduzido ;) Commented Jun 15, 2020 at 16:08
  • Nas novelas elas dizem muito "você e um cachorro"
    – ClMend
    Commented Jun 16, 2020 at 8:25

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