136 variations of Brazilian skin colors | Inquirer Lifestyle

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136 variations of Brazilian skin colors


RIO DE JANEIRO — When Brazilians were given a chance to describe their skin color, they came up with 136 shades and variations. The survey was done in 1976 by the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, and was published again in a 2011 Congressional document titled: The Constitutional Commission on Justice and Citizenship.


The list illustrates how Brazilians see themselves, a far more complex color system than simply black or white. English translations are provided.


  1. Acastanhada: Somewhat chestnut-colored
  2. Agalegada: Somewhat like a Galician
  3. Alva: Snowy white
  4. Alva escura: Dark snowy white
  5. Alvarenta (not in dictionary; poss. dialect): Snowy white
  6. Alvarinta: Snowy white
  7. Alva rosada: Pinkish white
  8. Alvinha: Snowy white
  9. Amarela: Yellow
  10. Amarelada: Yellowish
  11. Amarela-queimada: Burnt yellow
  12. Amarelosa: Yellowy
  13. Amorenada: Somewhat dark-skinned
  14. Avermelhada: Reddish
  15. Azul: Blue
  16. Azul-marinho: Sea blue
  17. Baiano: From Bahia
  18. Bem branca: Very white
  19. Bem clara: Very pale
  20. Bem morena: Very dark-skinned
  21. Branca: White
  22. Branca-avermelhada: White going on for red
  23. AP PHOTO
  24. Branca-melada: Honey-colored white
  25. Branca-morena: White but dark-skinned
  26. Branca-palida: Pale white
  27. Branca-queimada: Burnt white
  28. Branca-sardenta: Freckled white
  29. Branca-suja: Off-white
  30. Branquica: Whitish
  31. Branquinha: Very white
  32. Bronze: Bronze-colored
  33. Bronzeada: Sun-tanned
  34. Bugrezinha-escura: Dark-skinned India
  35. Burro-quando-foge: Disappearing donkey (i.e. nondescript) humorous
  36. Cabocla: Copper-colored (refers to Indians)
  37. Cabo-verde: From Cabo Verde (Cape Verde)
  38. Cafe: Coffee-colored
  39. Cafe-com-leite: Cafe au lait
  40. Canela: Cinnamon
  41. Canelada: Somewhat like cinnamon
  42. Cardao: Colour of the cardoon, or thistle (blue-violet)
  43. Castanha: Chestnut
  44. Castanha-clara: Light chestnut
  45. Castanha-escura: Dark chestnut
  46. Chocolate: Chocolate-colored
  47. Clara: Light-colored, pale
  48. Clarinha: Light-colored, pale
  49. Cobre: Copper-colored
  50. Corada: With a high color
  51. Cor-de-cafe: Coffee-colored
  52. Cor-de-canela: Cinnamon-colored
  53. Cor-de-cuia: Gourd-colored
  54. Cor-de-leite: Milk-colored (i.e. milk-white)
  55. Cor-de-ouro: Gold-colored (i.e. golden)
  56. Cor-de-rosa: Pink
  57. Cor-firme: Steady-colored
  58. Crioula: Creole
  59. Encerada: Polished
  60. Enxofrada: Pallid
  61. Esbranquecimento: Whitening
  62. Escura: Dark
  63. Escurinha: Very dark
  64. Fogoio: Having fiery-colored hair
  65. AP PHOTO
  66. Galega: Galician or Portuguese
  67. Galegada: Somewhat like a Galician or Portuguese
  68. Jambo: Light-skinned (the color of a type of apple)
  69. Laranja: Orange
  70. Lilas: Lilac
  71. Loira: Blonde
  72. Loira-clara: Light blonde
  73. Loura: Blonde
  74. Lourinha: Petite blonde
  75. Malaia: Malaysian woman
  76. Marinheira: Sailor-woman
  77. Marrom: Brown
  78. Meio-amarela: Half-yellow
  79. Meio-branca: Half-white
  80. Meio-morena: Half dark-skinned
  81. Meio-preta: Half-black
  82. Melada: Honey-colored
  83. Mestica: Half-caste/mestiza
  84. Miscigenacao: Miscegenation
  85. Mista: Mixed
  86. Morena: Dark-skinned, brunette
  87. Morena-bem-chegada: Very nearly morena
  88. Morena-bronzeada: Sunburnt morena
  89. Morena-canelada: Somewhat cinnamon-colored morena
  90. Morena-castanha: Chestnut-colored morena
  91. Morena-clara: Light-skinned morena
  92. Morena-cor-de-canela: Cinnamon-colored morena
  93. Morena-jambo: Light-skinned morena
  94. Morenada: Somewhat morena
  95. Morena-escura: Dark morena
  96. Morena-fechada: Dark morena
  97. Morenao: Dark-complexioned man
  98. Morena-parda: Dark morena
  99. Morena-roxa: Purplish morena
  100. Morena-ruiva: Red-headed morena
  101. Morena-trigueira: Swarthy, dusky morena
  102. Moreninha: Petite morena
  103. Mulata: Mulatto girl
  104. Mulatinha: Little mulatto girl
  105. AP PHOTO
  106. Negra: Negress
  107. Negrota: Young negress
  108. Palida: Pale
  109. Paraíba: From Paraíba
  110. Parda: Brown
  111. Parda-clara: Light brown
  112. Parda-morena: Brown morena
  113. Parda-preta: Black-brown
  114. Polaca: Polish woman
  115. Pouco-clara: Not very light
  116. Pouco-morena: Not very dark-complexioned
  117. Pretinha: Black – either young, or small
  118. Puxa-para-branco: Somewhat toward white
  119. Quase-negra: Almost negro
  120. Queimada: Sunburnt
  121. Queimada-de-praia: Beach sunburnt
  122. Queimada-de-sol: Sunburnt
  123. Regular: Regular, normal
  124. Retinta: Deep-dyed, very dark
  125. Rosa: Rose-coloured (or the rose itself)
  126. Rosada: Rosy
  127. Rosa-queimada: Sunburnt-rosy
  128. Roxa: Purple
  129. Ruiva: Redhead
  130. Russo: Russian
  131. Sapecada: Singed
  132. Sarará: Yellow-haired negro
  133. Sarauba (poss. dialect): Untranslatable
  134. Tostada: Toasted
  135. Trigo: Wheat
  136. Trigueira: Brunette
  137. Turva: Murky
  138. Verde: Green
  139. Vermelha: Red



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