Gringoes > Portuguese Language > 16 Funny Brazilian Expressions
16 Funny Brazilian Expressions

By Pedro Souza, Staff Writer
July 21, 2015

Brazilian Portuguese is a curious language, being a mix of traditional Portuguese and the indigenous languages of Brazil. In the hands of Brazilians, it can take some creative turns, as expressions emerge from the daily use of language. Below, we have compiled 16 of those expressions, some unique to Brazil.

1. Abotoar o palet (To button up the blazer):Despite what it sounds like, this expression has nothing to do with clothing. It is a euphemism for dying.
2. Jogar verde para colher maduro (Throwing the green fruit to pick it ripe): This is another expression you won’t hear anywhere else. It means hinting that you know something which you suspect is true in an attempt to make another person admit it.
3. Encher a linguia (To fill the sausage): You know when you have to write an essay, and after you said everything you had to say you start writing anything just to get to the minimum number of words required? In Brazil this is known as filling the sausage.
4. De cavalo dado no se olha os dentes (You don’t look at the teeth of a horse someone gave you): If you haven’t guessed what this expressions refers to, it is about gratitude. Brazilians say that when others complain about a received gift, or they will say it when they have received a bad gift, implying that it wouldn’t be proper to complain.
5. Baixa a bola (Lower the ball): If someone is acting too cocky or arrogant, he might be told to lower the ball. In English, the equivalent expression might be "slow your roll".
6. Viajar na maionese (To travel in the mayonnaise): This is probably one of the funniest expressions Brazilians use. To say someone is travelling in the mayonnaise means that the person referred to is talking nonsense.
7. Puxar o saco (To pull the sack): Brazilians are not bootlickers or ass kissers, but they can be sack pullers.
8. Catar coquinho (To pick "coquinhos"): Coquinhos are small orange fruits that resemble cononuts. But when someone tells you to go pick coquinhos, that person is basically telling you to get lost.
9. Tempestade em copo d’agua (A storm inside a glass of water): When someone is blowing an issue out of proportion, you tell that person to stop making a storm inside a glass of water.
10. Cara de pau (Stick face): People in Brazil are not shameless. They simply have stick faces.
11. Que brisa (What a breeze): Because in Brazil things are not "trippy", they are a breeze.
12. Pisar na bola (To step on the ball): When someone messes up something, Brazilians call it "stepping on the ball"
13. Onde o Judas perdeu as botas (Where Judas lost his boots): This curious expression is used to refer to a remote place.
14. Engolir sapo (Swallowing the frog): Sometimes in life, you have to swallow your pride and and hear some things that you don’t want to hear. In Brazil, this is called swallowing the frog.
15. Fogo no rabo (Fire in the tail): When a Brazilian is really restless, he has fire in his tail.
16. Mais perdido que cego em tiroteio (More lost than a blind man in a gunfight): When someone is really lost and clueless, Brazilians will say he is more lost than a blind man in a gunfight.

You can contact Pedro via pedro@gringoes.com

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