Portuguese is a colourful language. The Brazilians paint a picture with their words and their gestures. Here is a quick guide to 10 Portuguese idioms Brazilians use all the time. Also refer to our article 5 Brazilian Idioms you need in your life.
Literal translation: gave stick.
Meaning: stopped working.
My Ipad gave stick yesterday = My IPad broke yesterday or stopped working.
A vida não é mole, não
Literal translation: life is not soft, no.
Meaning: Life is hard.
Generally used to say life has been tough recently.
O bicho vai pegar
Literal translation: the bug is going to catch.
Meaning: Sh*t is going to hit the fan.
He crashed her car yesterday, so the bug is going to catch = He crashed her car yesterday, so she is going to go mental.
Literal translation: of light (weight)
Meaning: Take it easy or do it calmly.
Today I’m going to drink of light = Today I’m not going to get blindly drunk
Segurando a minha onda
Literal translation: holding my wave.
Meaning: Keeping you going, mostly financially.
This job is just holding my wave = This job is getting me by and paying my bills.
A ficha caiu
Literal translation: the form fell.
Meaning: I suddenly realised or it sunk in.
I didn’t know what I’d agreed to then the form fell = I suddenly realised I’d taken too much on.
Dar água na boca
Literal translation: give water in the mouth
Meaning: make you drool.
This chocolate cake is giving water in the mouth = This chocolate cake is making me drool. I have to eat it now.
Conversa para boi dormir
Literal translation: talk so the cow sleeps
Meaning: Saying things that don’t mean anything, just filling up time or to make someone leave you alone.
I asked for a raise and my boss just talked so the cow slept = I asked for a raise and my boss changed the subject or agreed and never followed through.
Encher a cara
Literal translation: fill the face
Meaning: get blindly drunk
My job is the worst, let’s go fill the face = My job is the worst, let’s go get stupidly drunk.
Dar o bolo
Literal translation: give the cake.
Meaning: Not turning up or ghosting someone.
You gave me cake at the weekend = You never turned up or you cancelled plans to meet up.