If there’s one thing Portugal is not, it’s Texas. Portugal is Portugal, Texas is Texas. How many times must I repeat this, people?
While Texas prides itself on everything being bigger there, european portuguese uses a lot of diminutive endings “inho” and “inha”, at least in conversational use. This doesn’t usually mean the thing they’re talking about is actually small (although it might be), it’s just a way of speaking, and it makes the sentence sound more natural and polished. The opposite phenomenon, augmentative endings, are rarer and the way they are formed is more variable than the diminutive, so they need a little more work to remember. So… let’s Texanise our Portuguese for a bit and look at this list “(from “A Actualidade em Português”)
Where the word is highlighted in red, the augmented form has changed gender from feminine to masculine, and blue highlighting indicates the opposite. Predictably, the former is more common than the latter.
|Voz||Voice||Vozeirão||(Someone who has a) loud voice|
|Porta||Door||Portão||Big door, main door of a building|
|Sala||Room||Salão||Big room especially in a commercial space – eg, dance hall or showroom|
|Faca||Knife||Facalhão/Facão**||Big knife, machete|
|Boca||Mouth||Boqueirão||Large mouth (has several geographical uses – eg a river mouth, hole in the ground, gap between mountains)|
|Prato||Plate||Pratalhão||Big plate, dish|
|Copo||Drinking glass||Copão||Big drinking glass|
|Sábio||Wise person||Sabichão****||Great, wise one|
|Pata||Paw, hoof, animal foot||Patorra||Big paw, big foot|
|Rapaz||Boy||Rapagão/Rapazão||Chonky Boi, absolute unit|
*=This one is in the book but not in Priberam so I guess not standard.
**=Faca has two forms, one of which stays feminine and the other switches to masculine. The first is the one given in the book, but the second is definitely used and is given in priberam
***=Peito has two forms, one feminine and one masculine. Despite what you might think, that’s not because one is used for a woman’s chest and one for a man’s; they’re synonyms. Peitaça is more common and can be used for a man’s swole pecs without implying he has a nice rack, and that makes it interesting because it’s the only example where the supersizing results in a word going from masculine to feminine. Neither of them seems particularly common though, and in fact if you google it you’ll mostly find brazilian websites with ornate breastplates, which isn’t a meaning given in Priberam so I guess it must be specific to the Brazilian variant
****=Informal, often ironic, mocking