Cor de laranja, but cor-de-rosa

Is there a reason why one is hypenated and the other isn’t?

Thanks in advance for all the great explanations, lovely PP people :grinning:

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Following this thread, as I also have no clue… :thinking:

Great question, but unfortunately, I have no great answer. Our recent spelling reform (Acordo Ortográfico) did away with lots of hyphens, but “cor-de-rosa” is considered an exception and was allowed to keep them in its spelling. You can confirm it here (in Portuguese): http://www.portaldalinguaportuguesa.org/acordo.php?action=acordo&id=15-6&version=1990

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Thanks @Joseph. It’s interesting how languages do things without really knowing why. I guess that’s what makes them so interesting and lovable!

If I’m not mistaken @Joseph, the same goes for “couves-de-bruxelas” (Brussels sprouts).

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Yes, that’s true. All animal and plant species with compound names, such as couve-de-Bruxelas or viúva-negra (black widow spider) continue to be spelled with hyphens (no change from the previous Acordo).

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Now I’m looking out for hyphenated nouns, I’m seeing lots more!
Here are three I’ve spotted in the last couple of days:

o arco-íris (rainbow)
a meia-idade (middle age)
o rabo-de-cavalo (pony tail)

Oh, yes, we do have a few and we had many more in the past. Note that rabo de cavalo is now written without hyphens, though, unless you’re referring to a plant species (apparently, that’s also a thing, I had no idea before).

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Wow, complexity upon complexity! LOL

Thanks, @Joseph. The textbook I got it from says that it uses the new spellings and rabo-de-cavalo was in a section about describing people. If the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade de Lisboa can occasionally make a mistake in its books, I guess that only goes to show that there is confusion even at the highest levels.

As a bewildered learner, I find that strangely comforting! :wink:

There is definitely confusion at all levels. The implementation of the Acordo hasn’t been entirely smooth and we still have dictionaries/reference books that disagree with each other occasionally! In this case, I would still go with no hyphen for “rabo de cavalo”. The Acordo is rather clear when it proposes dismissing them for as many compound nouns as possible.

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