Embora – A Double Meaning Word

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Words often have different shades of meaning, but some words have double meanings that are completely unrelated to each other. This happens in English, Portuguese and many other languages. When this happens, we have to rely on the context in which the word is used to determine which meaning applies. The word “embora” in Brazilian Portuguese is one such example.

The word embora has evolved from “em boa hora” which means “in good time.” But in today’s spoken Portuguese, it means “to go and not come back.”

Example: Ele foi embora. He left (and is not coming back in a hurry).

A shortened form of “embora” is often used in local Brazilian dialect. Example, “bora!” This means, “let’s leave!” or “let’s go.” Bora could also used to say “let’s go and get it done” or “let’s do it.”

The word “vamos” also means “let’s go” but it has a slightly different shade of meaning. While embora has the understanding of leaving and not coming back, “vamos” means “let’s go” regardless of whether you’re making a quick spin around town or you’re leaving for good.

The word embora also has the meaning of “although.” Here is an example.

Eu não como abóbora embora seja saudável. I don’t eat squash although it is healthy.

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