urbanidade vs polidez

Discussion in 'Português (Portuguese)' started by kra, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. kra Senior Member

    the EU
    Ukrainian/American English
    Hello everyone,
    I recently came across urbanidade in a context where it meant "politeness." Is it synonymous with polidez? How is it different?
  2. percivalpc Senior Member

    Hi, kra. I guess their meanings are very close. Polidez may express kindness in a more amicable, natural way, while urbanidade (or, more commonly nowadays, civilidade) implies a certain formality tied to the exercise of good manners. I guess the former can be used for the meaning of the latter, but not the other way around.

    I'm curious as to when the text that you read dates from. I've only seen urbanidade being used with that meaning in pre-1970 books, so I'm guessing that's a bit of an unfashionable word – today you'll probably hear civilidade –, but this might be just my impression.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  3. mglenadel

    mglenadel Senior Member

    Rio de Janeiro
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Possibly because when you are urban, it means you were not raised in a barn, as the saying goes.
  4. kra Senior Member

    the EU
    Ukrainian/American English
    Hi percivalpc, thank you for your answer (and sorry for the late reply!).

    I think I got it now. In English, we have urbane, which has pretty much the same meaning as its Brazilian counterpart. It's not widely used these days either, but you can still find it in magazines like The New Yorker. :)

    You were right about the text being dated: it was written in 1965 by Fernando Sabino.

    I have a question. This is not the first time that I come across a Brazilian making a distinction between texts written before and after the 1970s. What happened in that decade?
  5. patriota Senior Member

    Foi nessa época que a população urbana do Brasil começou a aumentar bastante, enquanto a rural encontrou seu declínio (gráfico de texto do site da Unesp). Não faria mais sentido associar a vida urbana a algo especial.

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