Portuguese phrases

Portuguese phrases/expressions

  • Cantar na mesma igreja (to sing in the same church) = “to match” (like clothing, for example)
  • Jogar confete (to throw confetti) = to flatter
  • Saudades = A profound feeling/longing of missing someone or something, kind of like a nostalgia for something that isn’t necessarily in the past
  • Dor de cotovelo (pain of the elbow) = jealousy, especially after a breakup, sometimes translated as “sour grapes”
  • Sair a francesa (to take the French leave) = to leave without saying goodbye
  • Pelada = naked woman OR pick-up soccer
  • Fica à vontade = Be my guest/feel free
  • Legal/bacana/show/own! = cool/sweet/awesome!
  • Gato/gata (cat) = hot guy/girl
  • enxugar gelo (to dry ice) = to do something useless or in an extremely inefficient manner
  • Fazer uma vaquinha (to make a little cow) = to chip in
  • Fazer um gato (to make a cat) = to McGyver something (i.e. fix/do something using the options/tools available)
  • Um zero a esquerda (a zero to the left) = to be absolutely atrocious at something
  • Não vale um tostão furado (it’s not worth a worthless coin with a hole in it) = it’s worthless
  • Ter pé frio (to have cold feet) = to be bad luck
  • Cair como uma luva (to fall like a glove) = to fit like a glove or to have something go just right
  • Não tem como/não dá para (there is no how/it doesn’t give to) = it’s impossible to/there’s no way to…
  • De cabeça para baixo (of head to low) = upside down
  • Dar uma caneta (to give a pen) = nutmeg someone (as in soccer)

Useful casual phrases

  • Nossa! = my goodness!
  • Droga! = darn
  • Puxa!=Oh my gosh!
  • Vixe!=holy mother!
  • Magina/sem problema/não tem problema = no problem
  • Valeu (vlw) = thanks!
  • Falou (flw) = bye!
  • Beleza (blz) = great!
  • Combinado = it’s a plan
  • Bom vôo/trabalho/descanso/etc. = (Have a) good flight/day at work/rest/etc.
  • De jeito nenhum = at all (e.g. eu não sei jogar tênis de jeito nenhum = I don’t know how to play tennis at all)
  • Um cara = a guy
  • Boazinha/bonzinho = great girl (or brand of cachaça)/guy
  • Ricardão = lover, usually extramarital
  • Mano/a = brother/sister
  • Negocio = thingy (used indiscriminantly and much more than “coisa”)
  • Vamos embora = let’s get outta here!
  • Vamos lá = Let’s!/Let’s get going!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *