Portuguese Language Blog

[Brazilian Slang] – The “aff” in Portuguese Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Uncategorized

[Gírias brasileiras] – O “aff” em português

Oi, gente! Hey, guys!

Whoever wants to become fluent in a certain language should also conhecer (get to know) the gírias (slang) and informal terms that speakers have been currently using. If you interact with Brazilians online, you have probably come across the expression aff at least once. Aff is a very popular and common palavra (word) used on a regular basis mostly on the internet, though it has also been incorporated in speech and is used in spoken language também (too).

But what does it mean?

Aff is an interjection that could be translated like an ‘ugh’, for instance, and it can be interpreted like a verbal eyeroll. It may be an onomatopeic word that simply relates to the transcription of the som (sound) we make when we voice those feelings, because it kind of sounds like a disappointed sigh.

It is used to express either irritation, discontent, frustration and disapproval (hence its common usage in Brazil, haha). We usually say aff when:

  • Someone makes an inappropriate remark
  • There is an upsetting situation going on
  • We want to complain and manifest our indignation about a subject
  • We want to express astonishment
  • Someone says something silly

Now take a look at some examples:

  1. Aff, não acredito que não posso sair de casa hoje à noite! (sentido de indignação) – Aff, I can’t believe I can’t go out tonight! (sense of indignation)
  2. Perdi o ônibus, aff! (sentido de insatisfação) – I missed the bus, aff! (sense of dissatisfaction)
  3. Aff, que tédio (sentido de desapontamento) – Aff, I’m bored (sense of disappointment)
  4. Pintei todo meu cabelo de verde – Sério? Aff, você é louco (sentido de surpresa) – I dyed my hair green – Seriously? Aff, you’re crazy (sense of astonishment)

Here are some more:

  • A minha mãe não me deixou fazer aula de jiu jitsu, aff! – My mom won’t let me take jiu jitsu classes, aff!
  • Aff, meu celular estragou – Aff, my phone broke down
  • Acabei de descobrir que não passei no vestibular, aff – I just found out I didn’t pass the SATs, aff

Now these memes will probably help you have a better idea of what aff means:

“Aff, I can’t take this anymore”

“Aff, I give up”

“Three letter, one feeling: Aff”

“Aff, no one deserves this”

Want more slang? We’ve got plenty! Take a look at these previous posts:

9 gírias (slangs) from different regions in Brasil.

Brazilian slang: ficar na sua

05 Brazilian Slang Words

How To Use Slang Word “Véi” (You Have To Learn This!)

10 Brazilian Slang Words

Be cool and Interjections of Surprise in Portuguese Slang

Dude & “I’m in a Big Trouble” in Portuguese Slang

Cool and Awesome in Portuguese Slang

7 Slang Expressions in Portuguese

Have you ever seen or heard aff before?

Aff, the post is over! But don’t worry, there is more coming next week 😀

Boa semana! Have a good week!

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  1. Jonathan Keller:

    Great post–I was unfamiliar with the Brazilian interjection Aff. One thing that is hard to learn across languages is which nouns are “count” nouns. In English slang is not a count noun so we don’t say “slangs” whearas girias is fine in Portuguese. So you can use a phrase like “a lot of slang” or if you really need to count say “slang words”.

    • carol:

      @Jonathan Keller Hey, Jonathan!
      I appreciate for the heads up, I’ve already made the correction. And it’s true, count and non-count nouns vary greatly from Portuguese to English. That would actually be a great idea for a future post.
      Thanks for reading our blog 🙂