Portugueses sayings that you will love

Check this Portuguese sayings…

Portuguese, just like any other idiom, has its own traditional sayings. But if you ever visit Portuguese and start to speak our idiom, you will love our sayings…

  • Desenmerda-te. (Unshit yourself)

If someone says this to you, they are simply telling you to be unleashed and to un-do your own mess. It is a funny and somehow respectful phrase. We are a very pragmatic people, we simplify everything! (and sometimes this is a quality)

  • Ir com os porcos. (Go with the pigs)

You were told this?  That means that your were asked to go away. But don’t worry!  We say this all the time to friends and family. When we use it in the past tense, it means someone got themselves in a big problema.

  • Ter a pulga atrás da orelha (Having a flea behind the ear)

If you have a flea behind the ear you are a suspicious person. It’s an informal way to say that the story doesn’t seem to match up to the reality. We don’t really believe in what has been said.

  • Barata Tonta (Dizzy cockroach)

If someone calls you a ‘dizzy cockroach’ they are saying that you not a focused person. Or maybe you’re acting strange. Portuguese people often seem to be dizzy cockroaches, it’s part of our culture.

  • Acordar com os pés de fora (Wake up with the feet outside )

Is generally used when a person wakes up in a bad mood or is being snappy.

  • Muitos anos a virar frangos (Many years turning chickens)

We use this expression to say that we have a lot of experience and knowledge. It is a humorous expression. However, the sentence  would be more realistic with fish as we have a long history with the sea.

  1. Macaquinhos na cabeça (Little monkeys in the head)

If someone tells you that you have little monkeys in your head, that person is saying that you have been acting strange and suspicious. Or maybe you have been insecure and anxious about something.

  1. Pentear macacos OR Vai chatear Camões (Comb monkeys OR go bother Camões)

If someone says to you to go comb monkeys or to go bother Camões, you are being asked to disappear.  Camões was a very famous portuguese poet who pasted away 500 years ago.

  1. Engolir sapos (swallow frogs)

We truly believe that it might be unpleasant to swallow a frog. We use this saying when we have to shut up and accept unpleasant things because, on that particlar situation, we don’t have any other option.


Did you find these Portuguese sayings interesting? Next time you’re in Lisboa, do not forget to take some time to learn a little bit more of portuguese in GATEWAY to PORTUGUESE!

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