12 funny Portuguese expressions that (don’t) make sense
Since 2020, the pandemic has changed habits that compel people to reform their plans. At this moment and now that the holidays are at hand, Portugal is one of the few countries in Europe that is on the green list. In other words, at a pandemic level it is considered as safe. For this reason, many tourists are heading to this destination.
However, there are things that do not change and the linguistic challenges that arise when we visit a country whose language we do not speak, will always remain. If the most logical and common thing is to learn useful phrases and expressions in advance, remember that the best way to get acculturated is to learn about the popular sayings of that place.
Portuguese is the 6th most spoken language in the world and the 1st in the southern hemisphere. This language is full of figurative phrases that at first won’t make any sense and may even seem hilarious. Here, we will address some funny portuguese expressions, so that this way you will not only get to know a little more about the language, but also and above all, about the culture of these people.
- To speak by the elbows.
Translation: Falar pelos cotovelos.
Meaning: It is said of a very talkative person, who is never silent.
- Putting the paw in the puddle.
Translation: Meter a pata na poça.
Meaning: Doing or saying something that is wrong or inconvenient.
- God gives nuts to those who do not have teeth.
Translation: Deus dá nozes a quem não tem dentes.
Meaning: Means that there are often opportunities for certain people, but they do not know (or cannot) take advantage.
- In the shade of the banana tree.
Translation: À sombra da bananeira.
Meaning: A lazy person, waiting for the solution to fall from the sky.
- Having the flea behind the ear.
Translation: Estar com a pulga atrás da orelha.
Meaning: To look or feel a great suspicion, being suspicious of something or someone.
- Wake up with the feet outside.
Translation: Acordar com os pés de fora.
Meaning: Being in a bad mood early in the morning.
- Many years turning chickens.
Translation: Muitos anos a virar frangos.
Meaning: Have a lot of experience accumulated in a certain area or task.
- Silly cockroach.
Translation: Barata tonta.
Meaning: A distraught, disoriented, or disorganized person.
- Go comb monkeys.
Translation: Vai pentear macacos.
Meaning: To tell someone to get lost.
- Swallow frogs.
Translation: Engolir sapos.
Meaning: Withstand a setback without reacting or without showing displeasure.
- Take the horse from the rain.
Translation: Tirar o cavalinho da chuva.
Meaning: When you say to someone: Do not count on it!
- Crowing rooster.
Translation: Cantar de galo.
Meaning: To speak arrogantly. The opposite of the expression “Don’t sell the skin before you’ve caught the bear.”
These are just some funny expressions, which the Portuguese language has adopted to illustrate common situations. Depending on the culture, the perspective of the approach changes and the use of a certain type of metaphor is highly informative.
Popular expressions are almost always the target of deficient translations by the most popular automatic translators. The context and the correct interpretation of the terms is a factor of human intelligence. At Consenso Global, our translators are native speakers of the language they translate, thus guaranteeing a correct interpretation of the texts, but also a perfect adaptation of the local expressions, so enriching and contributing to effective communication.