You’re in Minas Gerais and you hear:
– Pó pô pó?
– Pó pô!
What it really means in Portuguese:
– Posso pôr o pó? (or Pode pôr pó?)
– Pode pôr!
– Can I put in ground coffee?
– You can put it in!
Said to be a typical mineiro (from Minas Gerais) way of phrasing things, in reference to making coffee when you ask someone how many spoonfuls of ground coffee (pó-de-café) they prefer. In Portuguese, it takes advantage of the lesser-known verb apocopar, meaning to “cut a phenome or syllable at the end of a word”, which is something a mineirin knows how to do with skill!
In linguistics, there’s a really interesting subfield called Pragmatics which deals with meaning of words and phrases, specifically within their given context. In the coffee example, asking if you can put in coffee grounds really means to say, “how much do you want?” If you understood that, you’re said to have “pragmatic competence”. Congrats!
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