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Gíria - Slang in Portuguese

edited August 2016 in Portuguese




Gíria, or slang, is an essential part of any language. The nature of slang is transitory, showing how organic a language is, so as new terms appear, others are discarded and soon forgotten. There are however, some terms that remain and become common expressões idiomáticas, idiomatic expressions

Here are some expressions Brazilians use in everyday, informal conversation.

1. Pão duro, stingy. Literally meaning ”hard bread”, this expression is used as a light offense. For example: Não seja pão duro! Deixe mais gorjeta! Don’t be stingy! Leave a larger tip!

2. Dar um rolê, take a walk. For example: Quer dar um rolê no parque hoje à tarde? Do you want to go for a walk in the park later this afternoon?

3. Pagar o pato, take the blame. Literally meaning to pay the duck, this funny expression is widely used in Brazil. For example: O meu irmãozinho faz coisa errada e eu sempre pago o pato. My little brother does something wrong and I always take the blame. 

4. Dar as caras, to show up. Cara means face, so this expression is used when talking about attending or being absent from an event. For example: O Jair foi convidado para a festa, mas não deu as caras. Jair was invited to the party but didn’t show up.

5. Estar por fora, to be unfamiliar with, not be up to date on a topic. For example: Minha avó está por for a sobre as novas redes sociais. My grandmother is unfamiliar with the new social network sites. 

6. Bater perna, walk around. Bater means to beat, to hit and perna means leg, so it’s no surprise that this expression is used to talk about walking around a lot. For example: Quando eu vou para Paris o que mais faço é bater perna. When I go to Paris, the thing I do most is walk.

Can you guess the meaning of Maria vai com as outras? Hint: a person without his or her own ___________.

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