Portuguese Language Blog

Putz Grila! Posted by on Dec 28, 2010 in Learning

One of the best ways to speak like a native is to pepper your speech with colloquial phrases and slang, which is why we’ve been focusing on these expressions lately.

Awhile back, we learned about some exclamations, including putz.  This word means oh no! or darn it! or uh oh! and is used as an expression of annoyance.

Likewise, the expression putz grila! has the same use. It can express surprise, annoyance, disappointment, impatience or shock.

I wasn’t able to figure out exactly where this phrase came from, but supposedly it emerged in the 1970s as a hippie expression.

Let’s look at some examples.

Putz grila! Esqueci minhas chaves. Oh no! I forgot my keys.

O voo foi cancelado? Putz grila! The flight was canceled? Darn it!

Mãe, você está vindo agora? Não estou pronto ainda. Putz grila! Mom, you’re coming over now? I’m not ready yet. Uh oh!

Putz grila…eles perderam o jogo. Darn it…they lost the game.

Can you think of any other examples?

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  1. AdrianLesher:

    Here’s an etymological explanation from the comments of a blog entry exploring whether “putz grila” is related to the Yiddish-American “putz.”

    “There is no connection between the North and South American uses of “putz”.


  2. Carlos Deegan:

    I’m from NY and a “putz” is a “shmuck” without attitude. Although a small leap to Portugues (Br) calão. Not Jewish but grew up in a reform neighborhood where Yiddish was spoken by the “alte kockers.” I think there is argument for the association. Check out: kopjik.wordpress.com (and
    my anthropology related site, machimon.wordpress.com)

  3. Creusa F. C.:

    I’m brazilian. We speak “Putz Grilo” or “Putz” only.