Unveiling “Peúgo”: A Word with Two Meanings in Portuguese

The beauty of languages lies in their depth and versatility. A single word can hold multiple meanings, depending on the context. In Portuguese, “peúgo” is one such word with a surprising double life. Let’s delve into the two distinct meanings of “peúgo” and explore its etymological roots.

Peúgo: The Short and Stylish Sock

The most common meaning of “peúgo” in contemporary Portuguese refers to a type of sock. Here’s a breakdown of this meaning:

  • Part of Speech: Noun (masculine)
  • Definition: A short sock that reaches just above the ankle.
  • Context: Peúgos are often worn with sneakers, loafers, or boat shoes for a casual yet stylish look. They are a popular choice in warmer climates or for everyday wear.


  • “Vou comprar alguns peúgos novos para usar com meus tênis.” (I’m going to buy some new peúgos to wear with my sneakers.)
  • “Prefiro usar peúgos com mocassins do que meias longas.” (I prefer wearing peúgos with loafers than long socks.)

Peúgo: A Legacy in Theatre (Less Common Meaning)

A lesser-known meaning of “peúgo” has theatrical roots. Here’s a glimpse into this historical usage:

  • Part of Speech: Noun (masculine)
  • Definition: An actor who plays the role of a father figure in tragedies and high comedies. (Archaic)
  • Origin: Derived from “pai” (father) and “nobre” (noble)

This meaning of “peúgo” is rarely used in modern Portuguese. However, it’s a fascinating reminder of the evolution of language and its connection to the performing arts.


  • (Historical context) “Na peça de Édipo Rei, o papel do pai de Édipo era desempenhado por um peúgo.” (In the play Oedipus Rex, the role of Oedipus’ father was played by a peúgo.)

Comparison Table: Common vs. Less Common Meaning

FeatureCommon MeaningLess Common Meaning
Part of SpeechNoun (masculine)Noun (masculine)
DefinitionShort sockActor playing a father figure (archaic)
ContextCasual wearTheatre (historical)
UsageEveryday PortugueseRarely used


  • Is “peúgo” a formal or informal word?
    The meaning related to socks (“peúgo” as a short sock) is informal.
  • What are some synonyms for “peúgo” (socks)?
    Some synonyms include “meia curta” (short sock), “sapatilha” (ankle sock), and “soquete” (sockette).
  • Are there any other words in Portuguese with multiple meanings?
    Yes! Portuguese has many words with double meanings, like “lima” (file/lime fruit) and “cobra” (snake/copper).


“Peúgo” serves as a prime example of how a single word can encompass diverse meanings. Whether referring to a comfortable sock or a historical theatrical role, “peúgo” enriches the tapestry of the Portuguese language. So, the next time you slip on your peúgos, remember the hidden theatrical legacy this word carries!

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