I publish a slang word or colloquial expression on our Facebook page every week. In this lesson, you will learn 3 of these words. I will give you real-life examples so you can get a feel for how they are used.
Here is the video lesson:
Keep in mind that Brazil is a very large country and we have different slang words in different parts of the country. The words I will show here are used all over Brazil, but some may be more used in some parts of the country than in others.
3 Brazilian Slang Words You Need to Know
It seems that every Portuguese learner quickly learns the word legal. Bacana is a synonym. It means: cool, nice, good.
The word bacana remains the same whether you are talking about a man or a woman.
Sofia and Liane are going to the movies.
Sofia: Que filme você quer ver?
Liane: Ouvi dizer que o novo filme do Kleber Mendonça Filho é bem bacana.
Sofia: What movie do you want to see?
Liane: I heard that the new film by Kleber Mendonça Filho is really cool.
Sofia: Quero te apresentar ao meu amigo João. Ele é um cara muito bacana.
Sofia: I want to introduce you to my friend João. He is a great guy.
The feminine of moleque is moleca.
There are different meanings for moleque:
- a kid or person of young age
- a person without character or integrity
- a street kid
- a naughty kid
- a playful person who likes to prank friends
The context will tell you how the word is being used.
When it relates to age, people often use the word moleque to refer to someone of a younger age, even if that person is not exactly a kid. For example, José is 60 years old. André is 30. José may refer to André as a moleque just because André is very young from José’s perspective.
Eduardo is shopping with his son Tiago when he runs into his old friend Fernando. He introduces his son:
Eduardo: E aí?!! Há quanto tempo! Esse é o meu moleque, Tiago.
Eduardo: Hey! It’s been a while! This is my kid, Tiago.
Milena is giving advice to her friend André:
Milena: Não faça negócios com o Arnaldo. Ele é um moleque e não merece confiança.
Milena: Don’t do business with Arnaldo. He doesn’t have good character and is not trustworthy.
3. Nó cego
Nó literally means a knot.
Cego literally means blind.
Nó cego = dead knot.
As a slang word, nó cego is:
- a problem with no apparent resolution
- a very complicated situation
- a person who is not trustworthy; irresponsible; someone who creates many problems
Diana and Jessica work in the same company.
Diana: Você parece preocupada.
Jessica: Estou trabalhando num projeto que é um nó cego. Não sei o que fazer.
Diana: You seem worried.
Jessica: I’m working in a very complicated project that is full of problems. I don’t know what to do.
Diana: Meu sobrinho Márcio é um nó cego. Está sempre criando problemas para todo mundo.
Diana: My nephew Márcio is a big problem without apparent resolution. He is always unemployed and always creating problems for everyone.
Practice your new vocabulary to use it with confidence. Street Smart Brazil offers Brazilian Portuguese lessons via Skype. It is a simple, convenient, and effective way to learn Portuguese.