The Real Brazilian Slang | 35 Words You Should Know

The Real Brazilian Slang

One day when I was whipping together some garlic bread bruchetta that the kids in the NGO of Rocinha (largest favela in Rio) would wrinkle their noses at, a kid decided I needed to know more Brazilian slang.

He stepped forward and methodically taught me how to tell people I wanted to get out of there: vou meter o pé. My first Brazilian gíria (slang). I still didn’t know how to formulate a sentence, but I did know how to mutter the street cred slang equivalent of “I wanna split.” It didn’t go so well with my British accented Portuguese. Though it did make me realise that the bulk of what I wasn’t understanding was grammarly correct formulated Portuguese sentences, yet slathered in slang and dotted with cut up verbs.

Did I research these slang words in my Brazilian husband’s WhatsApp? Yes, yes I did.

Here’s some bonified Whatsapp research for you. The real Brazilian slang lying-in-wait to trip you up.


Brazilian Slang Used to Refer to People

Muleque

Means mischevious boy. Muleques for more than one of them!
Cadê os muleques?
Where are the guys?

Mano

Shortened version of “hermano,” the Spanish for brother. Means something like “pal.” Use this for close friends.

Zé mané

A zé mané is just some random guy.

Cara

Another way of saying “man” or “friend.”
Cara, não sei
Man, I don’t know

Maluco

A crazy guy. Maluca would be a crazy girl.

Fala galera

Used to address a bunch of friends.
Fala Galera!
Hey Guys!

Gente

Gente means people but can be used as “us.”
A gente vai para praia
We’re going to the beach

Meu Parceiro

My partner or buddy. It doesn’t sound so cowboy/ country in Portuguese though. You can legit use it.

Bicho

Animal literally, for example “bicho de estimação” is a pet. However, this slang can be used as a derogatory way to refer to something. It could also be used in jest though.

Babaca

Lunatic, madman or idiot. The most common derogatory name yelled out of a window during road rage.


Mico monkey in Rio de Janeiro

Brazilian Slang to Say “Cool”

Massa

If you put it in the dictionary you’ll get “dough” or “pasta,” which is true. However, this also warped into a Brazilian way of saying “great.”

Bacana

Translate as “nice” with more oomph.

Maneiro/a (changes with gender of noun)

“Maneiro” also means “way” or “manner,” but when used as an adjective it means “cool.”

Show de Bola

Great performance (more or less), but can be used to same great or cool or agree with doing something.

Bom demais

So good!

Tudo joia

Everything is great!


Brazilian Portuguese Swear and Cuss Words

Foda

The “F” word.

Pô / Porra

The “F” word in another form. Pô is a shortened version that can tone down the sweary-ness.

Droga

“Damn” and the novelas top choice of cuss word because it would probably get past your mum.

Poxa

Wow or gosh. This can be a good kind of wow or a bad kind of wow.


Brazilian Slang for Expressions

Te Dar um Toque

I will let you know or i’ll text/ message / call you. Free translation would be “to give you a touch,” but not in a explicit way. Totally, ok with amigos.

Se Deus Quiser

If God wishes it! Everyone uses this expression to say, “hope so.”

À Toa

Doing nothing or aimless. Here are some uses below.

“Estou trabalhando á toa”.
I’m working for nothing. There’s no point to my work.

“Não é á toa que encontramos aqui.”
It’s not by chance that we met here.

“Ele sempre fica à toa em casa.”
He always does nothing at home.

Fica na Sua

Mind your own business.

Meter em alguma coisa

To get involved in something, interfere or get in trouble.

E aí? 

What’s up?

Tipo Assim

Like this. In this way.

Né ? 

Right? Use as an interjection and at the end of sentence to get the person to agree with the jist or confirm the jist.

Bora

Let’s go! A shortening of “vamos embora” or “Vou embora.”

Doideira

Craziness.

Hein

“eh.” An interjection used by Brazilians when you want a confirmation.

Viu

Used at the end of a sentence, ‘viu’ means got it?, do you see?, or right?
Viu literally means you/ he or she saw (in the past).

Tá Bravo/a

He / she is mad. Está bravo/a. The verb “estar” is often shortened in speech to the last syllable.

Bagulho

Thing and also refers to marijuana.

Porrada

Punch or punch up. Can use this for a fight that broke out. Or to threaten someone…


You may also enjoy reading Ways to Expand Your Portuguese Vocabulary, Common Pronunciation Mistakes in Portuguese or 30 Portuguese Phrases You Should Know.

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