15 Common Portuguese Phrases to Sound Like a Native Speaker!
If you’re wondering what gave you away as a tourist last time you were in Portugal or Brazil, don’t worry. Most probably, it wasn’t your beautiful accent, but your choice of words. Just like English, Portuguese is full of slang and colloquialisms that add color and personality to the spoken language. So, if you’re learning Portuguese, it’s essential to study not only the grammar but also the most common Portuguese phrases used by native speakers.
That’s why, today, we are bringing you 15 must-know Portuguese slang expressions that will help you sound like you were born in Rio… Or in Lisboa, whichever you prefer!
Common Portuguese Phrases to Use in Brazil
Brazil is a country known for its lively culture, beautiful landscapes, and warm, passionate people.
While not completely different from the variety of the language found in Portugal, Brazilian Portuguese is infused with its own set of colloquial expressions that reflect the country’s incomparable energy spirit.
Here are common Portuguese phrases to use while visiting Brazil:
1. “Ficar de boa”
Do you sometimes feel like sitting on the couch and doing nothing for a couple of hours? If that’s a mood you can relate to, you’ll want to remember this Portuguese slang expression, which translates to “to chill” or “to be cool” in English.
“O que você está fazendo com esses arquivos? Vamos só ficar de boa na praia hoje!”
(What are you doing with those files? Let’s just chill at the beach today!)
2. “Pô” or “Poxa”
This is an interjection used to express surprise, disappointment, or empathy. It’s similar to saying “wow” or “oh, man” in English.
“Pô, você ouviu a nova música de Taylor Swift? É incrível.”
(Wow, did you hear this new Taylor Swift song? It’s amazing!)
3. “Dar uma moral”
This phrase literally means “to give moral,” and it is used to describe a situation when someone encourages or cheers up someone who is, well, demoralized.
“Ele sempre dá uma moral quando estou passando por um momento difícil”
(He always helps me out when I’m going through a hard time.)
4. “Tá ligado?”
When we speak in English, we sometimes use questions such as “You know?” to make sure someone’s on the same page or understands what we’re saying. In Portuguese, the way to seek this type of confirmation or agreement is “Tá ligado?”.
Portuguese Slang: Brazilian Curse Words
Oh, curse words. Everyone’s favorite part when it comes to learning a new language and, without a doubt, a very big part of all slang in Portuguese!
Understanding the meanings of the Portuguese words below can help you navigate casual conversations and understand when someone is angry or in a bad mood. Just remember to use them with caution!
Having a bad day? This is a swear word that can be used to express extreme anger or frustration.
“Você acabou de quebrar a minha garrafa! Caralho!”
(You just broke my bottle! Damn it!)
6. “Puta que pariu”
Literally, this means “the whore that gave birth”. In practice, however, it’s quite similar to “Son of a b*tch!” in English, i.e., something people say to express shock, disbelief, or anger.
“Puta que pariu, me esqueci de levar as chaves!”
(Son of a b*tch, I forgot to take the keys!)
7. “Raios me fodam”
Similar to “F*ck me!” in English, this Portuguese slang phrase literally means “Let lightning strike me!”. Naturally, it is used to express frustration at your bad luck!
“Raios me fodam, o que eu vou fazer agora?!”
(F*ck me, what am I gonna do now?)
When things don’t go your way, you’ll want to remember this Portuguese slang expression, which translates to “Sh*t!” in English.
“Merda! Eu deixei meu celular em casa!”
(Sh*t! I left my cell phone at home!)
Common Portuguese Phrases to Use in Portugal
Portugal, with its rich history and distinct cultural traditions, has its own flavor of Portuguese.
So, if you’re planning a visit Portugal soon and you need to learn Portuguese fast, don’t forget to brush up on these common Portuguese phrases:
Did someone just have an excellent idea? Tell them it’s ‘fixe’ to express approval or admiration. This expression is used to mean “great” or “awesome” in Portuguese slang, and it’s one of the most common phrases in Portuguese.
“A festa ontem à noite foi mesmo fixe!”
(Last night’s party was really cool!)
This verb means “to leave” or “to go” in Portuguese slang, and it’s often used when someone wants to indicate their intention to leave a place or situation. It’s just more informal and cool than saying “I’m leaving”!
“Já está tarde, vou bazar”
(It’s getting late, I’m gonna take off).
Do you have a friend who always has the craziest anecdotes? This noun translates to “crazy” or “madman” in English, and it’s a term you can use to affectionately refer to eccentric, unpredictable, or unconventional people.
“Aquele cara é maluco, sempre fazendo coisas estranhas”
(That guy is crazy, always doing weird things).
Not to be confused with “bueno” (good), this word is used as an intensifier and translates to “a lot” or “very”. You can use it to emphasize the degree or quantity of something, similar to the English word “super” or “really.”
“Aquele filme era bué interessante”
(That movie was really interesting).
Portuguese slang: Popular curse words from Portugal
This is a Portuguese insult Portuguese people use to refer to someone who’s dirty and untidy. Parents often use it to warn their children of the consequences of not showering every day or brushing their teeth!
“Para de andar por aí com essa roupa toda suja, pareces um badalhoco!”
(Stop walking around in those filthy clothes, you look like a slob!)
When someone’s so scared or intimidated that they just can’t move, they can be said to have ‘caga-se’. This is a vulgar Portuguese phrase literally meaning “*t yourself”.
“Ele ficou tão assustado que parecia que cagou-se!”
(He was so scared he looked like he was sh*tting himself!)
15. Vai tomar no cu!
Do you sometimes wish you could say “Up yours!” to that annoying colleague or classmate? Well, if you’re ever in Portugal (or Brazil) and need to say something like that, this phrase will do the job!
“Vai tomar no cu se tu não parar de falar bobagem!”
(Up yours if you don’t stop talking nonsense!)
So there you have it, language enthusiasts! These common Portuguese phrases will help you sound like a native speaker, whether you’re conversing with locals in Brazil or Portugal.
Just remember to use them appropriately and with respect for the cultural context!
Go Beyond Slang in Portuguese: Learn the Portuguese Language Now
Knowing some slang in Portuguese is a great step toward learning the language. But if you really want to improve your Portuguese skills, you mustn’t forget to focus on other aspects like pronunciation, grammar, and vocabulary
If you want to work on your Portuguese language skills through a personalized learning approach, Language Trainers is here to help. For more than 20 years, we have been helping thousands of Portuguese learners from all over the world to achieve their language goals.
Whether you want to learn a few common Portuguese phrases ahead of a trip, or you want to become truly fluent in the language, we have the perfect lesson plan for you. With our flexible Portuguese language courses taught both online and in-person, you’ll be able to learn at your own pace, without compromising the quality of your learning experience.