Culture Information

Caneka Or Caneca For A Pint Of Beer

Since my early days to the archipelago, I knew the Creole word ‘caneka’ was used to describe a kind of glass rather than a size of beer. However and over the years, I have found it easier to order ‘um caneka’ as a large draft beer, typically served in a handled ‘jug’ style glass. To me, a caneka simply translated as a “jugged pint glass”. However close, but no cigar.

This morning it was explained by a local barman that such a caneka is not made of glass, but of metal. A quick image search on Google for “tankard” and the gentlemen confirms the caneka to be a smooth, non decorative metal drinking vessel with a handle.

Now, change the letter ‘k’ to a ‘c’ and caneca is transliterated as “cup or mug” with many varied handled drinking vessels in Brazil akin to the German Stein and all, cerveja biased.

So there you have it boys and girls, I can now confirm the word ‘caneka’ in Cape Verde Creole simply means ‘tankard’. A bastard of the Portuguese word caneca, but with the letter ‘k’ a specific metal drinking utensil that I’m gonna suggest dates back to the Portuguese exploration of the islands in the 1600s.

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