Everything that comes from the city of Rio de Janeiro is Carioca. And of course, natives are called Cariocas as well. Cariocas are different (in a better way) from the rest of the cities in Brazil, specially with the life style and the accent, kindly called Carioquês. But what does Carioca mean, really? Where does that come from?
What does carioca mean
Like many things in Brazilian culture, Carioca comes from the indigenous Tupi language and there are controversies about its meaning, but the most accepted one is that the word kara’i oka means house of carijó, a tribe in Rio de Janeiro that was close to the Carioca River in Tijuca’s natural park, in the city’s northern zone.
Carioca or Fluminense
When you first come to Rio, you may hear the word Fluminense as a way to name someone who lives in Rio de Janeiro. The difference between Carioca and Fluminense is that the former is used when speaking about someone who lives in the state of Rio de Janeiro, while Carioca is only for the city itself.
Other names in Rio de Janeiro state
And Rio’s big! And we also have different names for each county in Rio de Janeiro, most of then have the termination ense or ano, so don’t call everyone a Carioca! Check them out:
Duque de Caxias
São João de Meriti
Carioca da Gema
We also have a specific name for someone who’s born and raised in the city of Rio de Janeiro: Carioca da Gema, roughly translated to Carioca from the egg yolk.
And that’s it, guys! Now you know what carioca mean and you’re almost one yourself!
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