Learn more idioms with the word ‘hand’ in Portuguese Posted by on Dec 4, 2020 in Brazilian Profile, Culture, Customs, Learning, Vocabulary

Olá leitores! Hello readers! Hoje daremos continuidade a um texto que foi uma “mão na roda”. If you are one of our loyal followers, you might know what we are referring to. And for those who haven’t figured it out yet, don’t worry, we’ll te dar uma mão (give you a hand). Today we will be moving forward with our list of useful idioms with the word ‘hand’ in Portuguese. Did you miss the first part? Click here to catch. But now let’s dive right in. Me dá a mão e vamos juntos!

Dar uma mão | “Give a hand”, lend a helping hand

Expressões com ‘mão’ em português (Photo by Alexander Lesnitsky from Pixabay)

To ask for help to perform a task. But don’t mistake it for pedir a mão (asking for the hand), which is usually used when make a marriage proposal.

  • Você pode me dar uma mão para pintar minha casa? | Could you lend me a hand to paint my house?
  • Se não fosse a mão que ele me deu, eu não teria terminado o trabalho a tempo | If it weren’t for him lending me a helping hand, I wouldn’t have finished the job in time.

Mão cheia | “Full hand”, to be talented

To call someone highly skilled, has mastery and a lot of familiarity with a certain subject.

  • Suas empadas são maravilhosas, você é uma cozinheira de mão cheia | Your pies are wonderful, you are such a talented cook
  • Alice é uma professora de mão cheia, por isso você deveria valorizar mais o trabalho dela | Alice is an excellent teacher, so you should appreciate her more

“Uma mão lava a outra” | “One hand washes the other”, You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours

Think about when you wash your hands. One always helps the other to clean and rinse. Therefore this is an exchange that can be beneficial to both parties.

  • Lembre-se que uma mão lava a outra, se você me ajudar agora, eu te ajudo depois | Remember that if you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours, so if you help me now, I will help you later
  • Política é assim mesmo, uma mão sempre lava a outra | That’s how politics go, you scratch my back I’ll scratch yours

    Aperto de mãos (Photo by Reimund Bertrams por Pixabay)

“De mão beijada” | “kissed hand”, on a silver platter

Someone that has achieved something very easily and with little effort and without earning it, as if it were for free.

  • Joana ganhou o concurso de mão beijada, porque era parente de um dos juízes | Joana won the contest on a silver platter, because she was related to one of the judges
  • Tudo que ele tem foi herança de sua família, Marcelo sempre teve tudo de mão beijada | He inherited everything he owns, Marcelo always had everything handed to him on a silver platter

“Mão furada” | “hole in the hand”, to be a butterfingers

To call someone clumsy, unable to hold objects in his hands

  • Meu time de futebol perdeu de goleada porque o goleiro é muito mão furada | My soccer team lost the match because the goalkeeper is a butterfingers
  • Cruz credo, você é muito mão furada, já é o quinto copo que você quebra! | Jesus, you are such a butterfingers, you already broke five glasses!

“Mão leve” | “Light hand”, light-fingered

Someone knows how to cheat in card games or steals objects without being noticed.

  • Não jogo mais baralho com Manoel, ele é muito mão leveI won’t play cards with Manoel anymore, he is a light-fingered player
  • Sempre fico atento quando vou ao centro da cidade, é lá que sempre ficam os mãos leves | I always watch out when I go to the city center, that’s where the light-fingered are

BONUS: “Mão boba” | “silly hand”, wandering hands

Featuring in many songs, this is another Brazilian classic and it has two meanings. The first is when someone caresses another person in their private parts, in a subtle and furtive way. Another possibility is when you use your hands to take advantage of a certain situation.

  • Brasileiros são muito calorosos, mas eles têm a mão boba | Brazilians are very warm people, but watch out for their wandering hand
  • Tira essa mão boba das minhas batatas-fritas, você já comeu as suas! | Get those hands off my French fries, you’ve already had yours!

Phew, we are finally through! Do you have any idioms with hand in your native language? Leave your comment below! Até mais!

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  1. Dave Z.:

    These are my favorite type of posts and I love the examples. Thank you

    • carol:

      @Dave Z. I’m so happy to hear that, Dave! I’ll make sure to keep it up.
      Thanks for reading our blog 🙂