Brazilian Slang Words in Portuguese 

Learn some slang words as a window to a culture—here’s a list of seven Brazilian slang words.

Brazil is the largest country in South America spanning four different time zones! And while most of the population in South America speaks Spanish, Portuguese is the primary language in Brazil. Given Brazil’s expansive territory, different areas use different slang words, but this is a list of some of the commonly used Brazilian slang words in São Paulo! 

Learning the way slang is used in a different language can be a valuable tool for people to engage in everyday conversations as a student, tourist, resident or local! Even if you don’t use it, just by listening to it, you can gain insights into the culture and have a way to connect with native speakers. You’ll most likely hear or see these Brazilian slang words in conversations, movies, television, music, and more! 

A view of buildings in the city of São Paulo from the Ibirapuera Park in Brazil

1. Mano 

Mano is used in Portuguese like “bro” or “man” in English. It’s a term that emerged from the suburbs known as periferia”, especially in the rap scene. There’s a specific female term for women, mina, but mano nowadays is used independently of gender. Brazilians also use this word to express surprise, like “wow!” 

Mano, você não sabe o que aconteceu! 

Bro, you won’t guess what happened! 


2. Rolê 

The Portuguese word, rolê, is commonly used as a noun for the act of going out with friends. Brazilians use this word when they arrange to meet with friends, especially at night to go to bars, clubs, and parties. 

A gente marcou um rolê na sexta para irmos naquela festa no centro da cidade! 

We arranged to go out on Friday to go to that party at downtown! 


3. Fechou 

In Portugese, fechou is the past tense for “close,” but in this case is used as “yes” or “sure” when you arrange something with someone.  

Você pode ir no shopping comigo? 

Can you go to the mall with me?

Fechou

Sure!


4. Bora 

Vamô Embora! Brazilians use the Portuguese word, bora, to say “let’s go.” Bora is an abbreviated form, using just the end of the second word: Vamô Embora.  

Bora, pessoal! 

Let’ s go, guys!


5. Coringar 

The Brazilian slang expression coringar works like a verb. It means that someone is going crazy. Brazilians will use coringar to refer to the Joker from the Batman comics series. The expression became popular after the movie Coringa with Joaquim Phoenix, where his process to become the Joker happens gradually.

Eu acho que ele está coringando com tantas coisas para fazer antes da formatura.   

I think he’s going crazy with so many things to do before graduation. 


6. Véi 

Véi in Portuguese means “dude,” but it’s used independent of the gender someone presents themselves.  

Tá de brincadeira, véi

Are you kidding me, dude? 


7. Meter o louco  

You can use this when one uses ignorance in a situation where they don’t want to assume responsibility for their acts or try to get smart by manipulating people and situations. A literal translation would be something like “to force the act as a crazy!” 

Ela meteu o louco falsificando o boletim escolar, mas os pais já tinham conversado com o diretor e sabiam sobre as notas verdadeiras. 

She tried to get smart by forging her report card, but the parents had already spoken to the principal and knew her real grades. 

As crianças estão metendo o louco dizendo que não sabem quem quebrou o vidro da Janela, mas a vizinha os viu jogando bola hoje de manhã. 
 
The kids feigned ignorance by saying they didn’t know who broke the window, but the neighbor saw them playing with the ball that morning. 


Interested in learning about studying abroad in Brazil? Spend a semester living in São Paulo—one of the world’s biggest and most multicultural cities. CET Brazil study abroad students get to choose one of three academic tracks according to their interests and academic needs. Learn more about CET Brazil.

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