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10 Portuguese Slang Expressions You Need to Know

As a language learner, diving into the world of Portuguese slang will deepen your immersion in the culture and make you sound more authentic when you speak. 

To help you connect with Portuguese speakers on a deeper level, I will show you 10 common Portuguese slang words that might impress your Portuguese-speaking friends. 

Let’s go.

1. Gajo/gaja

Gajo/gaja (masculine/feminine) are the Portuguese equivalent of guy in English.

This term is only used in informal contexts and can sometimes be used to show contempt for someone.

Example
Este gajo é meu amigo.
That guy is my friend.
Essa gaja deve ter a mania que é esperta.
That girl must think she is smart.

2. Fixe

Fixe is a versatile slang word that means “cool” or “awesome.” It’s often used to describe something enjoyable or impressive.

Example
Esta cidade é tão fixe!
This city is so cool!

3. Chato

Chato is used to describe someone or something that’s annoying or boring. It’s a common term to vent frustration.

Example
O filme foi super chato.
The movie was super boring.

4. Bater a bota

Literally meaning “to hit the boot,” this idiom refers to dying.

Example
Ontem senti-me tão mal! Estava a ver que ia bater a bota.
Yesterday I felt so sick! I thought I would die.
Aquele já bateu a bota!
That one is already dead!

5. Dar pica

Dar Pica is an idiomatic expression conveying enthusiasm and excitement.

Example
Fazer surf dá muita pica!
Surfing is so exciting!

Dive deep into Portuguese Indecorous Language.

6. Arregaçar as mangas

This phrase is used to encourage someone to get to work or make an effort to achieve their goals, just like “roll up one’s sleeves” in English.

Example
Vamos lá arregaçar as mangas e terminar este projeto!
Let’s roll up our sleeves and finish this project!

7. Tuga

Tuga is slang for a Portuguese person. While this colloquial term is often used humorously, it can also be used self-deprecatingly by the Portuguese.

Example
Os tugas são conhecidos pela sua hospitalidade.
Portuguese people are known for their hospitality.
Que palerma! Vê-se mesmo que é tuga.
What a prick! He could only be Portuguese.

8. Marrar

Marrar means “to study” or “to hit the books” and is often used by students.

Example
Tenho que marrar para o exame de amanhã.
I have to study for tomorrow’s exam.

9. Deitar a baixo

Deitar a baixo means to repress or put someone down. 

Example
Porque é que estás-me sempre a deitar a baixo?
Why are you always putting me down?

10. Meter o bedelho

Meter o bedelho means to interfere in someone else’s business or affairs.

Example
Não metas o bedelho onde não é chamado.
Don’t interfere when it doesn’t concern you.

Conclusion

Slang adds humor and depth to language and therefore consider using these Portuguese expressions to engage in more authentic conversations with native Portuguese speakers. Have fun. (Diverte-te.)

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Olá! This is Pedro and I'm the founder of Portuguesepedia, a platform created to support and accelerate your Portuguese learning journey. Até já, p

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