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Vocabulary and Expressions to Talk about the Body

Whether it’s a stop at the farmácia, pharmacy, to buy remédio para dor, pain medicine or, tomara que não, perish the thought, a visit ao pronto socorro, to the emergency room, it’s important to know what is what when talking about the body. 

O Corpo, The Body

cabeça, head / olhos, eyes / orelhas, ears / boca, mouth / nariz, nose / testa, forehead / queixo, chin / mandíbulas, jaws / sobrancelha, eyebrows / pescoço, neck / dente, tooth

braço, arm / cotovelo, elbow / pulso, wrist / mão, hand / dedo, finger / dedão, thumb pernas, legs / coxa, thigh / joelho, knee / canela, shin / tornozelo, ankle / , foot / dedo do pé, toe

barriga, belly / cintura, waist / anca, hip / peito, chest / ombro, shoulder / traseiro, backside / costas, back

Quando você tem dor de cabeça, você toma uma aspirina, when you have a headache, you take an aspirin. 

For other aches and pains, such as dor de dentes, toothache, dor de barriga, stomachache, dor de garganta, sore throat, you take remédio, medicine, xarope, cough medicine, pastilhas, lozenges, or uma injeção, an injectionAi! Ouch!

Now, some interesting Brazilian popular expressions use parts of the body, but have nothing to do with medicine. Here are some examples:

Bater perna, literally, beat legs, is used to say that you walked a lot.  For example: Estou cansada, bati perna o dia todo, I’m tired, I walked around all day.  

Dor de cotovelo, literally elbow pain, means that you have the blues. For example: Acabei meu relacionamento de dois anos e agora estou com dor de cotovelo. I ended my two-year relationship and now I have the blues.

Mão de vaca, literally cow hand, is used to say that someone is stingy. For example: Quem não pagar uma rodada é mão de vaca. Whoever doesn’t pay a round is stingy.

Nariz empinado, literally a turned up nose, means to be snooty. For example: Paulo está com o nariz empinado, desde comprou um carro novo. Paulo’s been snooty after he got a new car.

Dois pés esquerdos, two left feet, means you’re a bad dancer. For example: Eu não sei dançar, nasci com dois pés esquerdos. I can’t dance; I was born with two left feet.

Empurrar com a barriga, literally means push with your belly, means that things are really getting any better. For example: Eu não gosto do meu emprego, mas vou empurrar com a barriga até arrumar outro. I hate my job, but I’ll bear it until I find another.

Cara de pau, literally wood face, is used to talk about a person that is brazen. For example: Você tem a cara de pau para pedir um convite para a festa dela? Are you brazen enough to ask her for an invitation for her party? 

Do you have an expression with a part of the body in your language that you can translate into Portuguese? 

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