How to Say Dude in Portuguese Posted by on Sep 25, 2007 in Slang

Dude! Man! Mate! Bro!

For many learners who are seeking to speak the informal Portuguese of Brazil, the following vocabulary items are an absolute ‘must.’ Though the terms vary from region to region, a firm grasp of these words will help the casual Portuguese speaker fit in and make friends in no time.

  • Cara dude: Rio de Janeiro
  • Meu Buddy: São Paulo
  • Meu rei Lit: my king; buddy: Bahia
  • Mano Bro: São Paulo (and beyond)
  • Rapaz Guy: everywhere
  • Broder Brother: Bahia, Ipanema and beyond
  • Mané Dude (slightly aggressive): Rio de Janeiro
  • Malandro Lit: street hustler; Dude: Rio de Janeiro
  • Mermão Lit: my brother; Bro: Rio de Janeiro
  • Cabra Lit: goat; Dude: Nordeste
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  1. Wagner:

    Hey, there!

    You missed “véio”, or, less colloquially, “velho”, used mostly in Porto Alegre, capital of the southernmost state, Rio Grande do Sul.


    I love Brazil! And your Blog!Parabens

  3. Ana Santos SIlva:

    Meu. Mate
    Minha. femin. of Meu
    Man. Mate
    Meu irmão. My brother (very friendly)
    Minha irmã. My sister (very friendly)
    Chavalo/ Chaval (altern. spelling Xavalo). Bloke
    Garina. femin. of Chavalo
    Nina. Mate (only for girls)

  4. juliana:

    I dunno if in Rio grande do Sul they say véio as well…but i’m sure véio is mineiro( belo horizonte and MINAS GERAIS!)

  5. me:

    Véio (or velho), cara, mané and mermão are used everywhere.
    “Cabra” is not commonly used in the northeast, “mermão” is more common, specially in Pernambuco.

  6. espero q brasileiros freqüentem este site:

    You missed too “tchê” or “chê” used in Rio Grande do Sul, and “velho”, used in Rio Grande do Sul too.
    “Meu” is too very used in Rio Grande do Sul

  7. Fabiana:


    Here in São Paulo, we use “mano”, “véio” e “meu” a lot to refer to men.
    To refer to women, we use “mina”.

  8. Paulo Scardine:

    it’s curious that Argetinian slang (called lunfardo) for men and women are also ‘mano’ and ‘mina’.

    My theory is that it’s due to both São Paulo and Buenos Aires being heavily influenced by Italian migration.

  9. ESL Podcast Google Group:

    As said, there is a lot of work to express dude in portuguese. In fact each word depends on the Brasilian´s region.

  10. Felix:

    Just another comment about “véio” or “velho”. In case of Minas Gerais and Brasilia, most of people tend to shorten the word, saying simply “véi”. Mineiros tend to shorten all words, subtracting the last syllable. As Brasilia is strongly influenced by Minas Gerais, it is common to use this expression there, too. “E aí, véi?” (What´s up, dude?).

    “Cara” is also used in all urban areas, not only in Rio.

  11. Nat:

    Some regions also say “muleque” or “parceiro” to refer to male friends

  12. vortex:

    Here in Rio Grande do Sul it’s very usual “loco” for example: “Como é que tu tá loco?” = “What’s up dude?”. Or otherwise for the same: “Qualé que é loco?”. That’s very commom.

  13. Murilo Fidelis:

    Here in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro we use to say
    “fera – beast”
    “cara- as man”
    “meu querido – My dear” for both, men and women
    “meu filho – my son”
    “children” when you want to call someone when him did something wrong

    there is a lot of different way to say DUDE in portuguese ,,, in anywhere there is a different way,,,
    Enjoy it

  14. Carlos:

    There is Véi (preferred), Véio, or Velho, that is more fresh today in we use a lot in Minas Gerais. Here we also say Fii ou Meu Fii meaning literally Son or my Son, etc

  15. Eduardo Beloni:

    Tchê, this blog is awesome and a kind of weird: an american who likes Portuguese Language…

    Another subject you could post here is about the brazilian football (soccer for you and futebol for us) teams. My team is the Sport Club Internacional, also know as Inter (see, or Colorado (vermelho in Spanish)

  16. edson ovidio:

    in lots of cities in S.Paulo state they use CABOCLO especially referring to action did by a third person.

  17. Diego:

    I’m from Pernambuco and I use “véio” 24/7
    It’s more like a filler word to me actually

    as for “cabra” we only say that if we’re trying to sound funny.

  18. Luis Augusto:

    I’m from Brasília, these are the ones I commonly hear (or say):

    Brou/Bróder/Mano = Bro(“broder” from english)(“mano” from “hermano” spanish)
    Véi/Véio/Velho = Bro/Guy
    Cabra/Caba = Man (Masc. “One”)
    Malandro/Doido(Doidão)/Maluco = Bro/Man(street lang.)
    Zé/Otário/Mané = Bro/Man/Dude (some street lang., a kinda aggressive)

  19. Melissa:

    “Vei” is quite popular in Bahia… but “meu rei” isn’t said since , I dunno, the 60’s???

  20. JamesP:

    “Chapa” is very Dude-like.

    A member of the Constubulary used “Cidadâo” at me once in a very Dudish way. Maybe it was the tone of voice.

  21. Fabiane Mazzochi Scheultz:

    Hey guys!

    you missed the gaucho’s (from the southernmost state of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul) way of saying dude!
    guri: dude
    guria: girl

    see ya!

  22. Eduardo:

    Esqueceram de “cumpadi”. Usado (muito) no Rio e em outro sentido no nordeste.

  23. Antonio Ricardo:

    In Rio de Janeiro, You can say “cara”, “mermão” as well. But if you heard a “gringo” speaking “cumpadre”… You will laugh a lot!

  24. Aisha:

    are there applicable for females as well? or would it be weird?

    meu reinha, mana ou malandra??

  25. Aisha:

    are there applicable for females as well? or would it be weird?

    minha reinha, mana ou malandra??

  26. Angie:

    These are awesome!! “Mané”” can also be seeing as “looser” though. When you say ““pô, o cara é muito mané” you are pretty much saying “F**, the dude is such a looser”. Mané as a noun= dude, Mané as an adjective=looser (or similar). Semantics, semantics, semantics.