36 FUNNY PORTUGUESE PHRASES

Well, it’s time to  “QUEIMAR AS PESTANAS” (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.

expressão portuguesa

THE FIRST 10 FUNNY PORTUGUESE PHRASES

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”)

PORTUGUESE SAYING

TEN MORE FUNNY PORTUGUESE PHRASES

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.

TEN MORE FUNNY PORTUGUESE PHRASES

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”)

SIX MORE PORTUGUESE FUNNY PHRASES

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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Based on 129 reviews
Vicki Searcy
Vicki Searcy
2024-07-08
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Frederico is one of the best teachers that I have encountered during my adult life. He explained the Portuguese language in a way that helped me to understand the language better and once you have an understanding it is much easier to learn. I also enjoyed the class interaction. I did an online course and that just didn't work as well for me. I needed the in-person teaching and the opportunity to actually speak in a safe environment. I highly recommend Frederico's classes.
M Davis
M Davis
2024-07-08
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I took the A1 course here and really enjoyed Frederico's teaching style and method. The course materials were very organized and there was a good mix of grammer and exercises to keep the course interesting. The learning tools on the web site are really helpful. I highly recommend Lisbon Language Cafe'.
Susan Wattik (Suki)
Susan Wattik (Suki)
2024-07-07
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I highly recommend taking your portuguese language class(es) at The Lisbon Language Cafe. Our teacher, Frederico is extremely knowledgable of the language, he explains the particulars with clarity and examples, and I have to add, with much enjoyment and patience. My wife and I signed up for the A1 course and it was work we loved doing, both in class and at home (homework is essential) This three week session gave us so much information and understanding of the tools to be able to correctly pronounce, compose (simple) sentences, along with reading and listening skills tailored to our A1 level. The classes are small and students participate in the activities, it is very proactive, fun and the perfect start on our journey to truly learn the language and the confidence to one day hold a conversation with our fellow portuguese. Thank you so much Frederico.
Avital Barak
Avital Barak
2024-07-06
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I took the A1 intensive course at Lisbon Language Cafe, and it was an excellent experience. With only seven students in class, each of us got full attention from the wonderful teacher, Frederico. I have learned other languages in the past, and I can say that this course is the exact thing you need to open up to the Portuguese language. It gives you the tools to take the first step not only in speaking the language but also in understanding the culture and life in Portugal. I highly recommend it!
Sarah Page
Sarah Page
2024-06-19
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I took the 3 week A1 course with Frederico at Lisbon Language Cafe and I really loved it. I learnt so much and he explained things so well and so clearly. With only 6 students per class we all got plenty of opportunity to practice speaking. Best of all, the classes were fun! Highly recommended.
Susanna Baier
Susanna Baier
2024-06-17
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This was a great A1 course! Thanks to this course, my reluctance to start speaking has greatly improved. I learned the basics and structure of the language, which provided an important foundation to build on, and I was able to have small, simple conversations as the course progressed. Frederico made learning fun and effective.
Amandine Martinez
Amandine Martinez
2024-05-21
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Frederico classes are very good and interesting ! I've followed the A1 level and currently and currently in A2. The mood in the class is very good too :)
Cally
Cally
2024-05-05
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O curso A1 é ótimo! Frederico é um professor excelente e muito simpatico. Vou aprendar A2 na escola em Julho. Eu recomendo.
Joey Carmello
Joey Carmello
2024-05-04
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My wife and I took the 3 week A1 Portuguese lessons with Lisbon Language cafe. We loved it! It was important for us to find a small class size so we’d be able to participate and receive frequent feedback. And only 3 weeks later we already find ourselves confident in using the language in public. We plan on signing up for the next A2 course ASAP. Obrigado!

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