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.
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.