EP word of the week (#48): barbatana

Today, we’re heading out to sea (or a lake, or your local swimming pool) to cool off and swim. Portuguese people are known for their attachment to the sea and all its products (to the point of cliché, really); Portugal has one of the world’s highest per capita seafood consumption rates, and the sea still fascinates a good share of its population.

Today’s word of the week is [a] barbatana, which is the EP word for both flipper (swimfin) and animal fin (both fish and marine mammalian). A pair of the former can be may also be referred to as [os] pés de pato (lit. “duck’s feet”, since their shape resembles a duck’s feet and mimic their swimming ability), which is also the word used in Brazil to name them.

If you want to specify you’re talking about swimfins and not any other kind of fins, you can also add the adjectival complements de mergulho (diving) ou de natação (swimming) to the noun [a] barbatana.

In Brazil, both kinds of fin may also be referred to using the noun [a] nadadeira, which is much less common in Portugal.

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