30+ Popular Slangs in Portuguese

Since we are in the “Learn Portuguese” vibe here in this blog, let’s do another one. We started with beautiful words in Portuguese and popular quotes in Portuguese, now, let’s dive into the most popular slang in Portuguese!

On this list, I carefully picked the most common slang that you will hear in Brazil, from “descolado” which is by far my most spoken one, to “maneiro” old but gold, you will have a good repertoire to make yourself a cool person to your Brazilian friends. 

Now, of course, the Portuguese version of the Portuguese language (which is the original version by the way, I’m not here claiming credits) will have its own set of slang, but as a Brazilian, let me speak for myself and feather my own nest! 

So ladies and gentlemen, here it is, my list of popular slang in Portuguese. 

1.Poxa – it is an expression of disappointment or surprise, like “Oh no” or “Oh man”.

2. Valeu – it is a cool way to say “Thanks”

3. Tá ligado? – You know? or You get it?

4. Ficar de boa – To chill, relax. 

During Carnaval? I prefer to “ficar de boa” at home, for example. 

5. Dar mole – To give someone an opportunity, usually implying being too easy or lenient. 

We usually say that when a guy or a girl is looking too much at you, or being too nice, meaning that the person is probably flirting. 

6. Ficar na sua – To mind your own business.

7. Cara – Dude, guy.

Probably the most spoken slang in Brazil.

8. Mermão – Shortened form of “meu irmão” which means “my brother”, used to address a friend.

This slang and “accent” is more popular in Rio de Janeiro, but very few people speak “mermão” in the rest of Brazil. 

In other areas of Brazil though, some people use the slang “meu irmão”. 

9. Sacar – To understand, to get it. 

Like when someone tells you an inside joke, and you get it (você saca). In this case, you can reply “ah, saquei!”  

10. Dar um rolê – To go for a walk or a ride. 

Rolê is a very popular slang, the meaning nowadays can vary a bit but generally speaking it is “to hang out”. 

Another example using the slang “rolê” is when someone tells you about a bad situation that happened to them, you can reply “Pults, que rolê!”

Or when you hang out, let’s say go to a party, and turned out it is in a bad place, or people are doing some “wrong things” at this party, as say, you can say you went to a “rolê errado” (wrong rolê). Or a friend tells you about this day they went out to buy drinks and ended up being stopped by police, for example, you can reply “Viix que rolê errado”. 

11. Pults – Like “Poxa” it expresses disappointment. 

12. Viix – Can express disappointment, but most of the time it expresses surprise. 

13. Pega leve – Take it easy.

Let’s be honest, nobody says that anymore, we only hear this slang in poorly dubbed movies. 

14. De boa – It’s all good, no worries.

15. Vamo que vamo – Let’s go, let’s do it.

If you want to sound funny, you can also say “Let’s que let’s”. 

16. Sussa – A shortened form of “sossego” which means tranquility or calmness, used to say everything is okay or easy-going.

17. Zuar – To tease or joke around.

“The Zueira never ends” is one of the online slogans of Brazilians, and summarizes the people very well. 

18. Maluco – Dude, guy. 

It actually means crazy, but you can call people like this. You can call your friends or even people that you don’t know. When you are telling a story about this guy who did that thing, you can say: “Then the maluco did this”. 

19. Tô por fora – I’m out of the loop, I don’t know what’s going on.

Quebrar um galho – To do a favor, help out.

20. Bacana – Cool, nice.

21. Mandar ver – To go for it, to do something with determination.

22. Papo furado – Nonsense, empty talk.

You can also say “papinho”. About a person who talks nonsense all the time, you can say “cheio dos papinho”. 

23. É isso aí – That’s it, that’s right.

24. Tirar onda – To show off, boast.

Another Carioca slang. 

25. Perrengue – A difficult or uncomfortable situation.

26. Arregar – To back down, to chicken out.

27. Miar – same as Arregar. 

When you plan to go out with your friends, for example, and suddenly decide not to go, you can call them and say: miei, galera. 

28. Deu ruim – It went wrong, it didn’t work out.

29. Pé de chinelo – Someone who is low-class or lacks sophistication.

30. Rolar – To happen, occur.

31. Fazer um bico – To do a temporary or part-time job.

32. Firmeza – Solid, cool, okay.

33. Maneiro – Cool, awesome.

This is old slang, but still cool to say it. 

34. Quebrar o pau – To have a fight or argument.

Everybody has a neighbor who likes to quebrar o pau sometimes. 

35. Pagar mico – To embarrass oneself.

36. Descolado – Laid-back, easygoing, but can also be used to describe a stylish person/thing. 

37. Fazer hora – To kill time, waste time.

When you have a meeting, but arrive 30 minutes before it, you can walk around and fazer hora. 

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