10 Brazilian Portuguese Expressions (#08)

Learn to connect with Brazilian Locals!

1- Na mosca

How to use this expression:

The literal translation would be “On the fly”. Brazilians use this expression to say that they did or said something 100% correctly.

Possible translations:

On the money, Right on the bull’s eye

Examples:

Damn! That’s exactly the answer. You hit the bull’s-eye.
Caramba! É exatamente essa a resposta. Você acertou na mosca.

2- Mão de vaca

How to use this expression:

“Cow’s hand”. Brazilians use this expression to say that someone doesn’t like to spend money.

Possible translation:

Penny pincher, cheapskate

Examples:

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Stop being a penny pincher and buy a new shirt!
Para de ser mão de vaca e compra uma camisa nova!

3 – Lágrima de crocodilo

How to use this expression:

“Alligators Tears”. Brazilians use this expression when someone is being fake and crying just to deceive the other person.

Possible translation

Fake tears

Examples:

Stop crying. These are fake tears.
Para de chorar. Você está sendo falso. Essas são lágrimas de Crocodilo.

4- Pagar Mico

How to use this expression:

“To pay a little monkey”. This expression is used when someone is going through some embarrassing situation, experiencing some shame.

Possible translations:

To embarrass oneself

Examples:

You drank too much and you are falling all the time. You’re embarrassing yourself!
Você bebeu muito e está caindo toda hora. Tá pagando mico!

5- Ovelha Negra

How to use this expression:

Black Ship. When someone is outside the standards imposed by society, Brazilians use this expression.

Possible translation

black sheep / outcast / trouble maker

Examples:

I have two daughters. One wants to be a doctor and the other wants to be a circus artist. It’s the black sheep of the family.
Eu tenho duas filhas. Uma quer ser médica e a outra quer ser artista de circo. É a ovelha negra da família.

6- Falar feito papagaio

How to use this expression:

Talk like a parrot. When someone is talking too much, we use this expression.

Possible translation:

Chatterbox

Examples:

My god… You’ve been talking since we arrived. You’re being a chatterbox
Meu deus.. Você está falando desde que chegamos. Está falando feito um papagaio.

7- Matar dois coelhos com uma cajadada só

How to use this expression:

Kill two rabbits with one single staff? This expression is used when someone can accomplish two missions with just one action.

Possible translation

kill 2 birds with one stone

Examples:

I’m going to study Portuguese listening to music. So I learn and still have fun. I’m going to kill two birds with one stone.
Eu vou estudar Português ouvindo música. Assim eu aprendo e ainda me divirto. Vou matar dois coelhos com uma cajadada só.

8- Uma andorinha só não faz verão

How to use this expression:

One single swallow doesn’t make any summer. Brazilians use this expression when they want to say that it takes more than one person to really make a difference or fulfill a more complicated mission.

Possible translation:

it requires more than one person to make a real difference, you can’t do i all alone

Examples:

Messi was never champion with Argentina because he is the only star on the team. it requires more than one person to make a real difference.
O Messi nunca foi campeão com a argentina porque ele é a única estrela do time. Uma andorinha só não faz verão.

9- Peixe fora d’água

How to use this expression:

Fish outta water! We use this expression when someone is uncomfortable in a situation/place.

Possible translation:

Fish outta water

Examples:

I didn’t like this place. It has nothing to do with me. I feel like a fish outta water.

Eu não gostei desse lugar. Não tem nada a ver comigo. Tô me sentindo um peixe fora d’água.

10 – De grão em grão, a galinha enche o papo

How to use this expression:

From grain to grain, the chicken fills the crop . This expression is used when we mean that we can achieve great things by constantly doing small actions.

Possible translation

one step at the time

Every day I study at least 30 minutes of Portuguese. I’m sure 1 year from now I’ll be at a very good level. One step at the time.
Todo dia eu estudo pelo menos 30 minutos de português. Tenho certeza que daqui a 1 ano eu vou estar em um nível muito bom. De grão em grão, a galinha enche o papo.

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