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Updated by Charlotte Markham on May 04, 2018
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AMAZING Portuguese Phrases You Need in Your Life NOW

Sometimes you may find you just cannot find the words to express to the numpty opposite you how your feeling. I dare you to grasp outside the box and delve out this cracking Portuguese idioms. I literally use them ALL THE TIME.


Phrase: Engolir Sapos Literal Translation: Swallow Toads

Meaning: Putting up with a lot of unpleasantries silently

i.e: Not complaining even in a disagreeable situation

Simply put: Being a bit of a wet lettuce OR an optimistic perseverer

Perfectly adequate moments to use it:
– when someone brings you the wrong order and you eat it in silent dismay

– keeping a smiley face in a never-ending team building meeting

– staring as your luscious locks go tumbling to the ground at the hands of a scissor-happy hairdresser

Phrase: Ir pentear macacos Literal Translation: Go comb monkeys

Meaning: Telling someone to get lost

i.e: Telling someone to leave you alone

Simply put: buzz off
Perfectly adequate moments to use it:
– the guy on the beach trying to sell you sunglasses when you already have a pair on your face

– directed towards all mosquitos in the world

– the cat that keeps whipping my face with it’s tail (I’m allergic to cats)

Phrase: Soltar a franga . Literal Translation: To release the henPerfectly adequate moments to use it:

Meaning: Flap your arms around maniacally
i.e: To let one’s hair down
Simply put: relax a little

Perfectly adequate moments to use it:
The moment a wasp lands on your picnic
Running out of water when seaweed touches your toe
Drinking too much at the work’s Christmas party

Phrase: Viajar na maionese Literal Translation: Travel in the mayonnaise

Meaning: To be daydreaming

i.e: Not paying attention or have crazy unrealistic ideas

Simply put: have the attention span of a fruit fly or the expectations of a Disney princess

Perfectly adequate moments to use it:
– Any of the 10,000 times you think about life in the Maldives during the workday

– Your partner says you will never buy a dog (I most certainly will)

– You think one day you might pay off your student loan

Phrase: Pagar o Pato Literal Translation: Pay the duck

Meaning: Pay for someone else’s mistake
i.e: You take the blame for something you didn’t do
Simply put: Not stand up for yourself

Perfectly adequate moments to use it:
– someone breaks the photocopier, but you are the one seen (attempting) to use it last

– grabbing the petrol pump already covered in oil which goes all over your shiny work attire

– being the last to pay your part of the joint bill and paying much higher than you ever could have possibly consumed.

Fazer uma tempestade em copo d’água. Literal Translation: To Make a Hurricane in a Cup of Water

Exactly when a person creates an entire drama show out of a situation that is really as insignificant as a cup of water. In Portuguese, “fazer uma tempestade em copo d’água.”