I Love Portuguese: #4


  • show, show de bola  –  [adjective] awesome, spectacular
    This is a hilarious expression to me, because it’s an English word, but it doesn’t at all mean what English-speakers would think it means. Are Brazilians the only ones who do this? Are they the only ones that take words from other languages and make them mean a whole different thing? …Actually I think this happens in Thai too.. Anyway, I digress. This word is used whenever someone thinks something is awesome. For example, your friend wins a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu match: that was “show de bola!” (‘bola’ means ball, as in a ball game). Or you cook an awesome meal, so your cool aunt says “show!” (awesome!). The logic goes something like this: Whatever awesome thing someone did was so awesome that it was like a “show.” And if it was super awesome, then it was like watching a ball game (i.e. a soccer game), because soccer games are like the best ever. Hilarious to me.
  • De pé?   – [expression] Are we still on?
    This is something you would say to confirm with a friend that you guys are still going to grab dinner at that restaurant. “De pé” literally means “on foot.”
  • o/a pirralho, -a  –  [noun] pipsqueak
    I love this word in any language. This can also refer to people younger than you, but who are still adults. For example, this hilarious GIF from the Tumblr called “Quando Você Mora no Rio” (When You Live in Rio). It translates to “When you arrive at Pista 3 (a famous alternative music party that actually no longer happens) and all you see are ‘pirralhos’ in the line..” and the accompanying gif is of Victoria Beckham decked out walking onto a stage.. seeing the crowd, and then backing back off the stage.
  • sarado, -a  – [adjective] hunky, built
    In terms of body type. Not to be confused with “safado” hahaha…
  • o/a safado, -a  – [noun] asshole, bastard, dick
    Somehow this word came to mean just someone who is a general asshole, though the dictionary defines it literally as a person who is lewd.
  • o girino  – [noun] baby dyke
    A “girino” is literally a tadpole. “Sapatão,” which literally means “big shoe” but colloquially means “dyke,” is often shortened to just “sapa.” Since a “sapo” is a frog, lesbians (or maybe just the gays in general?) decided to call baby dykes tadpoles, since they’re not yet frogs, haha. Gay slang ftw.
  • o forninho  – [noun] the first woman that a girl sleeps with
    In other words, the first woman who pops a girl’s lesbian cherry. This word is the diminutive of the word “forno” which literally means “oven.” I’m not exactly sure where the logic is in that… I just accept it.

For the full history of words I’ve defined, see the I Love Portuguese Dictionary!


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