Are you learning Portuguese?

Well, it’s time to “burn some more eyelashes” with the funniest phrases in the Portuguese language!
The phrases below belong to European Portuguese. Brazilian Portuguese is, as you know, quite different from European Portuguese.

Not yet learning Portuguese but you do speak Spanish?

If this is the case then do not think, by any means, that these two languages are the same and that you do not need to learn Portuguese to understand the funniest phrases of the Portuguese language. Spanish speakers can quickly understand grammatical differences between languages. However, without Portuguese classes, the ability to communicate in Portuguese is quite limited and fairly rare for Spanish speakers. Now let’s take a look at the funniest everyday phrases in the Portuguese language!


Burn the eyelashes (“queimar as pestanas”). Meaning: To study a lot or to read!

A Portuguese person does not “give up,” they “take their little horse away from the rain.” (“Tirar o cavalinho da chuva”)

A Portuguese person does not “have a problem,” they “ are done to the beef.” (“Estou feito ao bife!”)

Portuguese people don’t want you “to leave them alone,” they want you to “bother Camões.” (“Vai chatear o Camões” – a very famous portuguese poet.)

In Portugal we don’t  “cause problems,” we “breaks all the dishes.” (“Partir a loiça toda”)

In Portuguese, you are not “sexy,” you are “as good as corn.” (“Boa como o milho”)

In Portugal we don’t work a lot,” we “get water up our beard.” (“Água pela barba”)

A Portuguese does not “talk about the same thing over and over again,” they “turn the record and play the same song”. (“Gira o disco e toca o mesmo”)

We don’t do stuff “to show off,” we do it “so the English can see
it.” (“Para inglês ver”)

Portuguese people are not “shameless,” they have “a rotten face.” (“Cara podre”) OR they “have a lot of cans”. (“Ter muita lata”)

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We don’t “shut up and listen to things we do not like,” we “swallow frogs.” (“Engolir sapos”)

Go comb monkeys! (“Ir pentear macacos”). Meaning: to tell someone to get lost!

Bread bread, cheese cheese (“pão pão, queijo queijo”). Meaning: Things are what they are. To call a spade a spade.

Head of dry garlic. (“cabeça de alho chocho”). Meaning: We say this to someone who is distracted.

I’m in the paints (“estou-me nas tintas”). Meaning: I don’t give a damn about that.

You’re here, you’re over there. (“estás aqui estás ali”). Meaning: if you don’t behave, I’ll slap you.

You’re letting water in (está a meter água). Meaning: you’re doing something wrong / you’re doing not well at all!

Monkeys are biting me (“macacos me mordam”). Meaning: when you get very intrigued or surprised with something.

God gives nuts to those who don’t have teeth (“dá Deus nozes a quem não tem dentes”). Meaning: We use this expression when someone is wasting an opportunity. When an opportunity is not seized.

To speak with elbows (“falar pelos cotovelos”). Meaning: It means someone speaks a lot / too much.

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You’re putting the paw in the puddle (“estás a meter a pata na poça”). Meaning: You’re screwing up.

Deaf as a door (“surdo como uma porta”). Meaning: someone who doesn’t hear well.

Smart as garlic (“esperto como um alho”). Meaning: we use it to mention that someone is clever or intelligent

To sleep like a rock (“dormir como uma pedra”). Meaning: when you sleep very deeply

Burro como um calhau (“dum as a rock”). Meaning: we use it to mention that someone is stupid.

To be fresh as a lettuce (“estar fresco como uma alface”). Meaning: when someone has rested a lot and very well.

We would never tell you to “piss off,” but we can say to you “to go to the place where Judas lost his boots.” (“Onde Judas perdeu as botas”)

A Portuguese person does not “wake up angry,” they “wake up with their feet outside.” (“Com os pés de fora”)

We are never “upset,” we “are with olive oil”. (“Estar com os azeites”)

A Portuguese is not “an experienced person,” he has “spent many
years turning chickens.” (“São muitos anos a virar frangos”)


People from Portugal do not believe you have strange ideas,” we “think you have little monkeys inside your head.” (“Ter macaquinhos na cabeça”)

For a Portuguese guy, something is not “really simple,” it is “bread to bread and cheese to cheese.” (“Pão, pão, queijo, queijo”).

We do not die, ” we “go from this one to a better one.” (Ir desta para melhor.) OR, we “go off with the pigs.” (“Ir com os porcos”)

We never “feel suspicious,” we “have a flea behind our ear.” (“Estar com a pulga atrás da orelha”)

A Portuguese is not “worry free” they “ are sitting under a banana tree.” (“Estar à sombra da bananeira”)

We are not “clumsy,” we just “look like a silly cockroach.” (“Barata tonta”).

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