Sunday, July 4, 2010


Much of the blame for Brazil’s World Cup exit has been placed on Juventus midfielder, Felipe Melo. During Brazil’s defeat against The Netherlands, Melo was sent off following a disgraceful stamp on Dutch winger (=ala), Robben.

The adjective disgraceful derives from the noun a disgrace. This is a false cognate in English. The word disgrace may look like it means “desgraça” in Portuguese, but it translates as “vergonha” instead. Synonyms include ‘dishonor’, ‘discredit’ and ‘shame’.
  • Felipe Melo faced public disgrace after the incident.

The word disgrace is also used to refer to something that is not acceptable or right.
  • The country’s health care system is a national disgrace.

These are other ways we can use disgrace in a phrase:

bring disgrace on -> He brought disgrace on his country.

in disgrace -> The team arrived in Brazil in disgrace after their World Cup exit.

an absolute disgrace -> It is an absolute disgrace that the government does nothing about this social problem.

no disgrace -> There’s no disgrace in not winning the World Cup. // It is no disgrace to be poor.

to be a disgrace to -> Politicians are a disgrace to this country.

The adjective disgraceful therefore translates as “vergonhoso”. These are the words we normally use with disgraceful:

We generally talk about a disgraceful behavior, a disgraceful conduct, a disgraceful situation, a disgraceful mistake, a disgraceful act, disgraceful manners – and similar ideas. Synonyms include dishonorable, shameful and infamous.

Words in English that mean “desgraça” include misfortune and catastrophe.


Wil said...

Nossa Edu, taí uma palavra que eu nunca parei pra pensar a respeito. Sempre pensei que era "desgraçado" mesmo e pronto. Living and learning!

Eduardo de Araújo said...

glad I was was able to help you out, Willie!