Portuguese locations with funny names
Have you ever imagined yourself at Paraíso (Paradise) or at Purgatório (Purgatory)? These are just two examples of the many Portuguese towns with funny names that you'll want to visit.
The menu of Portuguese locations with funny names is quite extensive, and originated several jokes and analogies. If you're one of those people who like to take pictures next to the village's signs boards with funny names, this article is for you, and there are a lot of examples from north to south, and even on the islands. The origins of such peculiar denominations are diverse, and some are lost in history. On this authentic journey through Portugal, there are small, almost unpopulated places, but also parishes, and even towns, that All About Portugal will show you.
Moinho de Maré is one of the Coina's attractions
We suggest starting with a romantic tour of Portuguese towns with “tender” names. Nothing better, then, than starting with Amor (Love), a parish in Leiria municipality, whose name brings with it some legends and myths, one of which is about King D. Dinis and a supposed lover. In country center, we recommend going to Babe, in the parish of Bragança, and then going down to the south to Felizes (Happy), in Almodôvar, in Alentejo, and to Sítio das Solteiras (Single Girls Place), in Tavira. Also in the Algarve, we suggest a visit to Vale do Paraíso (Paradise Valley), in Albufeira, and also, as it is on the way and in the same municipality, to Purgatório (Purgatory). But there is another Vale do Paraíso (Paradise Valley) in the municipality of Azambuja and two locations called Paraíso (Paradise), in Castelo de Paiva and in São Pedro do Sul.
If you find “naughty” designations funnier, there is also plenty to choose from and in this “chapter”, the municipality of Pedrógão Grande stands out for bringing together two of the Portuguese towns with funny names that many people cannot pronounce without cracking a smile. They are Picha (male sexual organ, in slang) and Venda da Gaita (term commonly connoted with penis). Interestingly, they are separated by less than a kilometer from each other and there is another place, in the municipality of Tomar, with the same name as the second. There is also Pau Gordo (another term commonly connoted with penis), in Cascais. In opposition, there are several locations in Portugal whose name can be associated with the female sexual organ. These are the cases of Coina (its spelling has similarities with a word used in slang, as a reference to vagina), in Barreiro, Colo do Pito (another term commonly related to female sexual organ), in Castro Daire, and Casal do Grêlo (slang for clitoris), in Figueira da Foz. There is also Fonte da Rata (slang for female genital parts), in Espinho, and Vale da Rata (also referring to the female sexual organ), in Almodôvar. To round off this section dedicated to lands with more “spicy” names, we add Vila Nova do Coito (reference to coitus), in Santarém, Vilar dos Prazeres (Pleasure Village), in Ourém, Prazeres (Pleasures), in Calheta (Madeira), Anais (Annals) and Gême (Groan), both in Vila Verde, Bendada ("V"lindfolded), in Sabugal, or Mamarrosa (Pink Breast), a village in the municipality of Oliveira do Bairro.
Avô (Grandfather) is a parish at Oliveira do Hospital
There are a lot of Portuguese lands with funny names that refer to animals. To start with the man's best friend, there is, for example, Pé de Cão (Dog's Foot), a village in Torres Novas, Carnicães (Meatdogs), in Trancoso, or Matacães (Killdogs), in Torres Vedras. The bovine cattle is also well represented in this list of Portuguese localities with curious names. In Terras de Bouro there is Matavacas (Killcows), in Castanheira de Pera there is Vacalouras (Blondecows) and in Alcobaça there is Monte de Bois (Bull Mountain). From the same “family” is São Vilar de Boi (Saint Bull Village), in Vila Velha de Ródão, and Boidobra (Bullbend), parish of the Covilhã council. Other places with animal names in their designation are Gata (Cat), in Guarda, Carneiro (Sheep), in Amarante, Leitões (Piglets), in Guimarães, Venda da Porca (Female Pig Sales) and São Lourenço de Mamporcão ("Mam"-Bigpig), in Estremoz, Aldeia do Camelo (Camel Village), in Castanheira de Pera, Vale da Mula (Mule Village), in Almeida, Rabo de Peixe (Fish Tail), in the Ribeira Grande (Açores), and Casais Lagartos (Lizard Couples) and Vale da Zebra (Zebra Valley), both in the Ribatejo district of Cartaxo.
Another “group” of Portuguese localities with funny names is related to feelings, physiognomy or certain personal characteristics. Some funny cases are Angústias (Anguishes) and Porreiras (Coolness), both in Paredes de Coura, Teimosas (Stubborn), in Santiago do Cacém, Vale de Azia (Heartburn Valley), in Castro Daire, or Terra da Gaga (Stuttering Valley), in Lousã. Since misfortune never comes alone, in the municipality of Leiria there is a place called Triste Feia (Sad Ugly) and, relatively close, in Óbidos there is A-da-Gorda (From-the-Fat). Going in the direction of the Alentejo, we find Degolados (Beheaded), in Campo Maior, Cabeça Gorda (Fat Head), in Beja, and Mal Lavado (Poorly Washed), in Odemira. There is also Pai Torto (Crooked Father), in Mirandela, Filha Boa (Nice Daughter), in Torres Vedras, and, to conclude this “family reunion”, nothing better than joining Avô (Grandfather), parish of Oliveira do Hospital, and A-dos Cunhados (From-Brothers in Law), in Torres Vedras. Lands with people's name also exist, as Gonçalo, in Guarda, Miguel Chôco, in Trancoso, and Rita, in Póvoa de Lanhoso. For a gathering at a table with friends or family, there is Lombo do Doutor (Doctor's Loin), in Calheta, Água de Todo o Ano (All Year Water), in Ponte de Sor, Carne Assada (Roast Beef), in Sintra, Porto da Carne (Port of Meat), in Guarda, and Pouca Farinha (Little Flour), in Sabugal and in Santiago do Cacém, and Malaqueijo (Cheesebag), in Rio Maior.
Quarta-Feira (Wednesday) is a small village in Sabugal
In this list of unbelievable names, there are also localities that in their designation include parts of the human body, as happens with Bexiga (Bladder), in Tomar, Nariz (Nose), in Oliveira do Bairro, Cabeça (Head), in Seia, Gonçalo Bocas (Gonçalo Mouth), in Guarda, or Canelas (Shin), in Vila Nova de Gaia.
A land that gained notoriety when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out was the parish of Covide, located in the area of the beautiful Peneda-Gerês National Park, in the municipality of Terras de Bouro. The similarities in the graphics are obvious, and many people took pictures and made jokes with it.
A prodigal region on lands with funny names is the Guarda district. Besides the ones already referred, there are also Carrapichana and Vale de Azares (Badluck Valley), in Celorico da Beira, Nave de Haver (Ship of Having), in Almeida, Venda do Cepo (Stump Sales) and Vila Franca das Naves (Honest Village Ship), in Trancoso, and Quarta-feira (Wednesday) and Terreiro das Bruxas (Witch Yard), at Sabugal. Nearby, at Fundão, there is Lavacolhos. Other towns that fit perfectly to this extensive list of Portuguese towns with funny names are Carro Queimado (Burnt Car), in Vila Real, Rego do Azar (Badluck Trench), in Ponte de Lima, Chiqueiro (Sty), in Lousã, Venda das Raparigas (Girls Sales), in Alcobaça and in Rio Maior, Ranholas (Snot), in Sintra, Deixa o Resto (Leave the Rest), in Santiago do Cacém, Vales Mortos (Dead Valley), in Serpa, and Balança (Scale), in Terras de Bouro. Finally, we suggest that a last trip to Imaginário (Imaginary), in Caldas da Rainha. In the end, it was necessary a lot of imagination to name all these towns in Portugal.