By Pedro Souza
June 26, 2016
Most Brazilians are somewhat familiar with the carioca accent and expressions. Foreigners however, might have some trouble with the vocabulary used by cariocas in their daily life. To help you, we have compiled some common slangs and expressions you will be hearing in Rio de Janeiro.
Mermão (shortened version of “my brother”): One of the most used expressions in Rio, it is more or less the equivalent of “dude” or “bro”. Cariocas frequently say this at the start of a sentence.
Sangue bom (good blood): When someone is nice or trustworthy, that person is “sangue bom”.
Caraca!: An expression of astonishment, it is the carioca equivalent of “holy cow!”.
Maneiro (cool): When something is cool, people from Rio call it “maneiro”. This is their way of expressing approval of something.
Irado (irate): This slang is an upgrade from “maneiro”. If something is extremely cool cariocas will call it “irado”.
Partiu: Cariocas will exclaim “partiu!” when they are down to do something. You will hear this a lot when proposing an activity.
Formou (formed): Another expression said by cariocas when they are down to do something, it can replace or be replaced with “partiu”.
Deu ruim: When something goes bad, Cariocas say that it “deu ruim”. This expressions can be used for all sorts of bad situations, from a minor annoyance to a serious incident.
Na mão do palhaço (in the clown’s hand): Cariocas will say that someone was in the clown’s hand when that person became too drunk and acted in an embarrassing way.
Perdeu a linha (lost the line): This is the same as saying that someone lost composure in a situation.
Pela saco: A pela saco is a person that is annoying, sticky and doesn’t have much of a personality. If someone is a pela saco, you might want to stay away from that person.
Bolado: If a person is worried or stressed about something, Cariocas might say that person is “bolado”.
Parada: A common slang that means “thing”. Simple as that.
Vacilar (to hesitate): When someone “vacila”, that person made a mistake or lost an opportunity.
Arroz (rice): In Rio de Janeiro, an “arroz” is a man who flirts with every girl he can.
Bombando: When you to an event that is rocking, cariocas say it is “bombando”. A good party for example, is “bombando”.
Caído (fallen): A term used to designate a place that is unpleasant or not good enough.
Dar bolo (give cake): When someone scheduled a meeting and didn’t go, that person “deu o bolo” (gave the cake).
É nós (it’s us): Nothing more than an expression of companionship, this is another one you will hear a lot.
Marcar um dez (mark a 10): To “marcar um dez” is to wait for a few minutes.
Meter o pé (to put the foot): An expression that means getting away from somewhere.
Zero-bala: Something that is brand new or renewed. When a car has just been washed or repaired for example, it might be said that it is “zero-bala”.
Trocar uma idéia (exchange an idea): To have a conversation.