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Expressions with food in Portuguese Posted by on Sep 16, 2018 in Brazilian Profile, Culture, Customs, Food, Idioms, Learning, Vocabulary

Ei, galera! Tudo beleza? Hey guys! Are you alright?

If you are feeling hungry right now, you had better head over to the kitchen right now and have a snack before you start reading this post, because today’s post is going to go over expressions and proverbs in Portuguese connected to food. There are a number of them, which goes to show that our day to day metaphors are closely tied to our eating habits. Come on, it will be a piece of cake!

Photo by Olearys – Frutas e Vegetais, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60319279

But first, you might want to check out these previous posts to practice some words related to meals and cooking:

Cooking vocab


Going to the supermarket

Snack Food in Portuguese

Expressions related to food in Portuguese


no frigir dos ovos

Literal translation: in the frying of the eggs

Meaning: “at the end of the day”, “when it comes down to it”

  • Eles ficaram preocupados com o projeto, mas no frigir dos ovos tudo acabou dando certo | They were worried about the project, but at the end of the day, everything worked out just fine

a rapadura é doce mas não é mole

Literal translation: the panela is sweet, but it is not soft

Meaning: even though at a first glance things might seem great, achieving success was not an easy process

  • -Vai viajar para a Europa nas férias de novo? Que vida boa você leva, ein? – Ah, a rapadura é doce mas não é mole não! | – Are you going to Europe on your vacation again? What an amazing life you have! – Oh, you don’t know how hard it was to get this far!

chorar as pitangas

Literal translation: to cry the Surinam cherries

Meaning: to feel upset about something, to complain a lot

  • Ele passou o dia chorando as pitangas porque perdeu o emprego | He spent the whole day complaining because he lost his job
  • Não adianta nada ficar aí chorando as pitangas e não agir | There is no point in moaning all day and not do anything about it

mandar às favas

Literal translation: to send everything to the beans

Meaning: to get rid of something that bothers you

  • Mandei as boas maneiras às favas e fui embora sem me despedir | I got rid of my good manners and left without saying goodbye

de meia tigela

Literal translation: half-bowl

Meaning: something of little value, completely worthless

  • Eu não confio naquele mecânico de meia-tigela, ele é incompetente demais | I don’t trust that crooked mechanic, he is too incompetent

o que não mata engorda

Literal translation: what doesn’t kill you makes you fatter

Meaning: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

  • Vou comer mais uma fatia de bolo, afinal o que não mata, engorda! | I’m going to eat another slice of cake. After all, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

Essa semana tem mais! There’s more to come this week!

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