By Pedro Souza
August 2nd, 2016
With its dazzling beaches, rich cultural heritage and warm people, the state of Bahia is one of the main travelling destinations in Brazil. If you plan to visit it and see for yourself what the hype is all about, it might be a good idea to get acquainted with some local slangs and expressions. For this reason, we have made this compilation.
A culhão: When someone is not interested in doing something, that person might do it without putting too much effort or paying attention to detail. In Bahia, this is called doing it “a culhão”.
Abrir o gás (Open the gas): You don’t leave a place in Bahia, you open the gas!
Abusar (Abuse): To annoy someone.
Abestalhado (Bestified): A stupid person.
Aleive: When you tell an absurd story that is probably a lie, someone might call it an “aleive”.
Colé misera!/Colé meu bródi!: A way of greeting that might be called the baiano equivalent of “what’s up man?”.
Oxê!: An exclamation with no particular meaning that you will be hearing a lot. And trust me when I say “a lot”.
Não to comendo reggae (I’m not eating reggae): To not be eating something’s/someone’s reggae, means to not be giving importance to it.
Bate o baba (Hit the baba): Baianos don’t play soccer, they hit the baba.
Apoquentado: You don’t get nervous in Bahia, you get “apoquentado”!
Arrastar a asa (To drag your wing): When you “drag your wing” for someone in Bahia, it means you are into that person.
Arriar o balaio: To open up and tell someone everything about something or about a situation.
Bodoso: A dirty or smelly person.
Boiar (to float): To “boiar” means to get tired. And when you do become tired, you now “boiado”.
Bater a caixa (To hit a box): To hold a conversation.
Pegar o boi (to get the bull): When you get something easily, you got the bull.
Na lama (In the mud): When you are having a bad day or are in a bad point in your life, you are in the mud.
Na biela (In the biela): When you are single, you are in the “biela”.
Morreu aí (It died here): When ending a conversation or a subject, a baiano might say it “died here”.
Meu nego (My nego): Another expression you will hear a lot in Bahia, it is an affectionate way of referring to someone.
Cachorro magro (thin dog): A thin dog is a person that eats at someone else’s house and leaves right after.
Comer água (To eat water): In Bahia, drinking alcoholic beverages is called “eating water”.
O Cão chupando manga (The dog sucking a mango): When someone is really good at someting, that person is “the dog sucking a mango”. This is easily one of the funnies expressions from Bahia.
Massa! (Mass!): Something cool.
Levar um chepo (To take a chepo): When you try to flirt with a girl and get rejected, you just took a “chepo”.
Despirocar: To “despirocar” is to get crazy!
Chavecar: In most places in Brazil, this means flirting with someone. In Bahia, it means annoying someone.