Horsing Around in Pará – Learn Colloquial Portuguese

If it’s true there’s a lot of trains (trens) in Minas, then both Pará and Maranhão must have a lot of mares, or female horses (éguas). Of my three-month stay in Pará back in 2009, from the first day to my last, I heard the word “égua” anywhere from one to twenty times per day. Some call it the “vírgula dos paraenses” (the comma of residents of Pará) because it’s so common and they use the word for so many reasons, such as surprise, admiration, happiness, fright, and even anger. In the rest of Brazil, égua is replaced with such words as “poxa!“, “caramba!“, and “nossa!“, which you’re likely already familiar with.

Online, I encountered a few use cases for “égua”. Let’s take a look.