9 gírias (slangs) from different regions in Brasil.

Posted on 30. Nov, 2015 by in Culture, Slang, Vocabulary

Brasil is so big and diverse that there are a good few words and expressions that are used in some places in the country, but people from a different region wouldn’t even know what they mean.

Last week we learned a little bit more about some words and their correspondent in another part of Brasil, these are different words with the same meaning. Click here to take a look at them one more time.

The idea for this week’s post is similar, the only difference is that now we are going to check out some gírias (slangs) that are used only in specific parts of the country. There are so many gírias in Portuguese that for now we are going to see only some of the ones people say in Minas Gerais, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.


  1. Uai: used in Minas Gerais, this word is and interjection, it doesn’t mean anything and can be used in many different ways to express surprise, doubt, amazement and other emotions, depending on how you say it. It can be used at the beginning or end of a sentence.
  • Uai, você não vai na festa? Achei que ia. – Uai, aren’t you going to the party. I thought you were.
  • Uai, não sei se a Marcela mandou o convite ainda. – Uai, I don’t know if Marcela sent the invitation yet.
  • Essa comida está boa de mais, uai! – This food is really good, uai.


  1. Trem: it is also spoken in Minas Gerais and it translates literally as train, but it is used as a substitute for any place, object or situation. It is very useful for when you cannot remember the name of something.
  • Você recebeu o trem que eu te mandei? – Did you get the thing I sent you?
  • Como que chama aquele trem alí? – What do you call that thing over there?
  • Eu comi um trem muito bom ontem! – I ate something amazing yesterday.


  1. Vei: used in different parts of the country, especially in the south-east of Brasil. It is an adaptation of the word “velho” which means “old”. It would be the correspondent term to “dude” or “man” in English.
  • Véi, o show ontem foi muito bom! – Dude, the gig yesterday was great.


  1. Mano ou meu: spoken mostly in São Paulo. It is used the same way as véi.
  • Meu, você terminou aquele projeto? – Dude, did you finish the project?
  • Mano, eu preciso ver aquele filme. – Dude, I need to see that film.


  1. Top: it is used a lot in São Paulo as well as some other places in the south-east region. The term is used to refer to something amazing.
  • Essa receita de brigadeiro é top. – This recipe for brigadeiro is awesome.
  • Comprei um carro top. – I bought an awesome car.


  1. Breja: it has its origin in São Paulo, but now it is used in different parts of Brasil. It is short for cerveja (beer).

me gusta cerveja


  1. Mermão: people say this word a lot in Rio de Janeiro. It is short for meu irmão (my brother). It is used the same way as véi, meu and mano.


  1. Deu ruim: it is used in Rio de Janeiro when something goes wrong, or it doesn’t go exactly how you intended.
  • Deu ruim, não vai dar para a gente sair hoje. – Bad news, we won’t be able to go out today.


  1. Sinistro: also from Rio de Janeiro, this gíria (slang) is used to refer to something interesting and amazing. It would be close in meaning as “awesome” in English.
  • Fui em um museu de história natural sinistro ontem. – I went to an awesome natural history museum yesterday.


I hope you guys enjoyed the gírias, we will check out different ones from other parts of Brasil soon!


Expressions with “bola”

Posted on 25. Nov, 2015 by in Brazilian Profile, Culture, Customs, Idioms, Learning, Slang, Vocabulary

Brazil is widely known as the country of football. The sport is a national passion and we are famous all across the globe for our talented players and teams. Football is definitely the most popular in our nation and it and an intrinsic part of our culture. Maybe that can explain the number of idiomatic expressions that have the word “ball” in them. Today, we are going to take a look into some of those terms and their definitions, so let’s play ball!

Pisar na bola: to “step on the ball” – to disappoint someone, to screw up

  • Marcelo pisou na bola por ter esquecido de levar cerveja para o churrasco (Marcelo screwed up when he forgot to bring beer to the barbecue)
  • Conto com você na reunião segunda que vem. Não pise na bola dessa vez! (I count on you for the presentation next Monday. Don’t disappoint me this time!)
Você pisou na bola (You disappointed me)

Você pisou na bola (You disappointed me)

Dar bola: to “give ball” – to pay attention to somebody, to flirt

  • Não dê bola pros comentários do Lúcio, ele está de mau humor hoje (Don’t pay attention to Lúcio’s comments, he’s in a bad mood today)
  • Ele me deu bola a noite toda, então decidi beijar ele (He flirted with me all night, so I decided to kiss him)
Com certeza ela está me dando bola (Pretty sure she's flirting with me)

Com certeza ela está me dando bola (Pretty sure she’s flirting with me)

Show de bola: “show of ball” – something spetacular, amazing, really great

  • Nossa viagem para o Rio de Janeiro no feriado foi show de bola! (Our trip to Rio de Janeiro on the holiday was amazing!)
  • A caipirinha daquele barzinho é show de bola. (The caipirinha at the bar is really great!)
Esta festa está show de bola! (This party is spectacular!)

Esta festa está show de bola! (This party is spectacular!)

Estar/ficar bolado: to be “balled” – to be intrigued and surprised, to be upset or pissed

  • Você vai ficar bolado só porque perdeu o vôo? (Are you going to be upset just because you missed your flight?)
  • Ainda estou bolada com a notícia que ela me contou. (I’m still surprised by the news she told me)
Você me deixou bolado (You upset me)

Você me deixou bolado (You upset me)

A bola da vez: “ball of the turn” – something that is the hot issue at the moment, the next big thing

  • O novo álbum da Adele parece ser a bola da vez. (Adele’s new album is the next big thing)
  • Saias longas vão ser a bola da vez nas passarelas essa estação. (Maxi skirts are going to be the next big thing on the runways this season)
Luvas vermelhas são a bola da vez esse outono (Red gloves are the next big thing this fall)

Luvas vermelhas são a bola da vez esse outono (Red gloves are the next big thing this fall)

Com a bola toda: “with the whole ball” – to be full of yourself, to be confident

  • Depois de ganhar aquele prêmio a Paula está com a bola toda. (After winning that award, Paula is full of herself)
  • A chefe elogiou o desempenho do Cristiano ontem e ele ficou com a bola toda. (The boss praised Cristiano’s performance yesterday and he got very confident)
Hoje eu estou com a bola toda (Today I'm feeling confident)

Hoje eu estou com a bola toda (Today I’m feeling confident)

Trocar as bolas: to “exchange the balls” – to get confused, to make a mistake

  • Eu troquei as bolas e acabei dando parabéns para a pessoa errada no escritório (I got confused and said happy birthday to the wrong person at the office)
  • Fui parar no restaurante errado porque o taxista trocou as bolas (I ended up in the wrong restaurant because the cab driver got confused)
Acho que troquei as bolas (I think I got confused)

Acho que troquei as bolas (I think I got confused)

Bola pra frente: “ball to the front” – to move forward, to go on

  • Não faz sentido ficar pensando no seu passado com a Maria. Agora é bola pra frente! (There’s no point in reminiscing about your past with Maria. Now it’s time to move forward!)
  • Pena que a sua ideia de abrir um restaurante não deu certo, mas bola pra frente, em breve você pensa em uma nova ideia de negócio (Too bad your idea to open up a new restaurant didn’t work out, but let’s move forward, soon you’ll come up with a new business idea)

Baixar a bola: to “lower the ball” – to be humble, to play it cool, to take it easy

  • O professor Marcos é tão convencido às vezes! Ele precisa baixar a bola. (Professor Marcos is so conceited sometimes. He needs to be more humble)
  • A Laurinha está ficando empolgada demais com essa viagem para Paris, ela tem que baixar a bola. (Laurinha is getting way to excited about this trip to Paris, she has to take it easy)
É hora de baixar a bola (It's time to take it easy)

É hora de baixar a bola (It’s time to take it easy)

Did you enjoy it? After you practice, you won’t drop the ball!

Different words – same meaning

Posted on 23. Nov, 2015 by in Culture, Vocabulary

Hi everyone.

Did you know that sometimes Brazilians from different parts of the country don’t understand each other even though we speak the same language? That is not only due to the accent, it is also because some of the words people use are regional. We have different names for objects and sometimes even different verbs which have the same meaning.

  1. Mandioca, macaxeira ou aipin: cassava. It is a very popular root in Brazil, it is eaten as a side to many different dishes and it can be boiled or fried.
Photo by Danuta Ferreira Bezerra e Silva

Photo by Danuta Ferreira Bezerra e Silva


  1. Arredar ou afastar: to scoot over; to move something.

Exemplo: Me ajuda a arredar/afastar o sofá? – Can you help me move the sofa?

Afasta/arreda um pouco para eu sentar também? – Can you move a bit so I can sit down as well?


  1. Biscoito ou bolacha: cookies; biscuits

Exemplo: Em São Paulo se fala bolacha, mas no Rio de Janeiro é biscoito. – In São Paulo people say bolacha, but in Rio de Janeiro it is biscoito.


  1. Mexerica, tangerina ou bergamota: mandarin; tangerine


  1. Sinal ou semáforo: traffic light


  1. Encanador ou bombeiro: plumber. The word bombeiro also means firefighter.


  1. Zelador ou porteiro: superintendent of a building. Some of the supers are also doorman, for this reason they could be called either zelador (which would be the same as super) or porteiro when one of the super’s responsibilities is to let people in and out of the building.


  1. Pivete ou trombadinha: young man who steals money and objects from people on the streets.

Exemplo: Ontem um pivete roubou o celular do José na frente da faculdade. – yesterday a pivete stole José’s cellphone in front of the university.


  1. Guardador de carro ou flanelinha: it’s used to refer to the boy or man who makes money helping people park on the streets. It is very common in Brazil and they expect payment for the service even when you haven’t asked for it or want it.

Exemplo: O flanelinha riscou meu carro com uma chave porque eu não dei dinheiro para ele. – The flanelinha keyed my car because I didn’t give him money.


  1. Passeio ou calçada: side walk; path.


  1. Carta de motorista ou carteira de motorista: driving license.


  1. Carteira de cigarro ou maço de cigarro: pack of cigarettes.


  1. Balão ou bexiga: party balloon.

It seems like a lot of words to memorize, but the good news is you don’t have to. You can learn only the word which is most used in the region where you live. Even native speakers sometimes don’t know some of them.

When you travel to a different place in Brazil, it is good to keep in mind that if you talk to people and they can’t understand what you are saying, it could be because they don’t know the word you are using and not the other way around.

Tenham uma ótima semana!