Portuguese is such a beautiful language to learn! And if you clicked on this blog, we’re sure you agree with us. But we have to be honest, when you’re learning it many schools won’t teach you everyday common expressions. And they’re super necessary.

Portuguese native speakers not only speak formally; they, like in any other language, use slang, idioms and even swear words. It’s common; it’s normal, and it’s fine. You can learn a lot from a person by the way they express themselves daily.

If you agree, then take a look at our Portuguese slang guide. It’ll be helpful if you’re traveling to a Portuguese speaking country or even if you’re moving there for any reason. Because no matter why you’re going, you’ll have to interact with locals. And knowing these slang words will save you in different situations.

10 Portuguese Slang Words

1. Pra caramba

This is slang for “very much” or “a lot”.

For example: “I hate this food pra caramba”.

2. Loura

In Portuguese, “beer” is formally known as “cerveja”.”Loura” is actually “blonde” in Portuguese. But wait! “Loura” it’s also used as a slang word for “beer”.

Don’t worry, we’re sure you can understand if people are referring to a beer or a blonde woman based on the context.

For example: “That loura is drinking a loura”.

3. Burro

This means “donkey”; yes, the animal. But it’s also used to refer to a person that’s a dumb or a fool.

4. Porco

To keep with the animal slang words theme, we have the word “porco”, which means “pig”. But it can also be used to refer to someone that’s vulgar or dirty.

5. O bicho vai pegar

Literally, it says “the animal will catch”. But in reality, it’s actually a phrase used to say something bad is going to happen or get worse. It’s like saying something is going to get ugly.

For example: Let’s say you do something wrong at your job. Then, your coworker might tell you: “If you don’t fix it, o bicho vai pegar”. Which could mean something bad will happen, like your boss will scold you or even get you fired.

6. Larica

This is a slang word to refer to hunger. If you’re hungry in a formal situation, you would say “estou com fome”. But in an informal setting, you can say “estou com larica”.

Beware! Because it’s also – and very commonly – used when you’re hungry for having smoked weed.

7. Legal

Just like in English, “legal” is “legal”, as in reference to the law. But it’s also slang for “cool” or “great”.

If you want to add extra emotion, you can add a “tri” before the word: “tri legal”. “Tri” is three, so it’s like adding three layers of awesomeness to that “legal”. Basically, it’s like saying “very”.

For example: “Bro, your new car is legal!”

8. Tipo

Literally, it means “type”. But this is also a classic slang word that’s used as “like” or “kind of”.

For example: He’s incredibly tall, tipo a giant” (He’s incredibly tall, like a giant).

But wait, there’s more! In Portugal, “tipo” can also be used as “guy”, and there’s a form for girls: “tipa”.

9. Massa

In Portuguese, “massa” means “dough” or “mass”. But, as a slang word in Portugal it’s used to refer to money. And as a slang word in Brazil, it’s used to say someone or something is cool or awesome.

Here’s an example using both slang word meanings: “He thinks he’s so massa, because he has a lot of massa”.

10. Fixe

But then, what is a slang word in Portugal to refer to someone or something that is cool? Well, that would be “fixe”. It means cool or nice. It’s mainly said by young people, but anybody can say it as well.

How to Practice Your Portuguese Slang

Write sentences
If you don’t feel ready to speak yet, start by writing sentences using these slang words. Then, little by little, start writing longer things. Maybe a paragraph, then a letter to someone you love, then a tale. It’ll help you feel more comfortable using Portuguese slang in the right situations.

Speak with your people
Sometimes, when we want to learn a new language it’s because we know people that speak that language. Either because they’re native speakers or because it is their second language.

So, if you know someone that speaks Portuguese: a neighbor, your partner, your parents in law, a friend… Ask them to please speak Portuguese with you. It’s the perfect opportunity to improve your conversation skills and impress them with some casual slang. Most probably, they won’t judge you and will be happy to help.

Visit a Portuguese speaking country
Maybe you’ve been dreaming of going to Brazil or Portugal, do it. Oftentimes we let the fear of not being fully fluent stop us. Though it’s always better to know the language, you don’t have to be an expert yet.

In fact, if you go and are willing to speak with the natives, your skills will improve a lot. Plus, they’ll probably be happy to hear you try to speak their language. So, travel and use as many tools as you have, including your newly learned Portuguese slang.

Language exchange apps
If you don’t have anyone to speak with, use language exchange apps or websites. These are sites where you can look for a native speaker of your target language, who, at the same time, is learning your mother tongue. So, you speak a portion of the time in your target language (their native language).

Then, the roles are exchanged and it’s their turn to speak in their target language. This way, you help each other learn and improve.

Enroll in TruFluency Classes

Do you want one last tip to practice your new slang? Great. Here it is: Sign up for our TruFluency Portuguese classes! Don’t miss the chance of learning with amazing native teachers that will customize the lesson to your language needs. So, if what you want is to learn even more slang in Portuguese, we can help you with that!

The best of our classes is that we based each lesson in our Bellieu Method, created by our founder, Micah Bellieu. This method consists of speaking using what you’ve learned. This way you can practice your conversation skills and achieve language fluency.

So, if what you’re learning in class are colloquial words and expressions, you’ll have to practice by using them when speaking. Honestly, even if you’re learning a completely different Portuguese topic, during speaking time you’ll be able to use some slang.

But hey, we totally get if you need proof of how we work. Check our testimonials. Oh, and don’t forget to take a two-hour trial class for only $49. It’s online, you can choose between our flexible schedules, and we have a 24-hour cancellation window if anything comes up.