Learning Portuguese is a process of acquiring new vocabulary and developing an understanding of the Portuguese and Brazilian cultures.
Getting to know the bad words and phrases in a foreign language is part of this learning experience. So, we will explore some common Portuguese swear words today.
But first, we'll explain why you should learn these Portuguese swear words and where to discover them. Lingopie is a great language-learning tool for European and Brazilian Portuguese.
Then, we'll provide a run-down of 16 great swear words and crude phrases to get you started. Let's jump into this quick guide to curse words in Portuguese!
Why You Should Learn Portuguese Swear Words
You might not think of learning Portuguese bad words as part of your learning journey. But they are actually a valuable addition to your vocabulary.
Vulgar, crude, and dirty words crop up in a number of social situations and sources of entertainment. You do not need to use them, but you do need to understand them at least.
If you want to get the most out of Portuguese TV shows, movies, and music and join in with your Portuguese-speaking friends, you will need to know the basic swears and what they mean in context.
Of course, using profanities in an appropriate situation in Portugal or Brazil will also help you to fit in and sound like a local. Just remember to use these words with your friends in casual situations and not at dinner with your partner's mother!
How to Discover Portuguese Swear Words
So, now that you know why you should learn some basic profanities in Portuguese, let's talk about where to discover them. Music, TV shows, and movies are great starting points.
You will find a lot of great Portuguese content on Netflix and other big streaming services. Or, you can visit Lingopie, the streaming platform specifically designed for learning languages.
On Lingopie, you will find Brazilian and European Portuguese content, so you can choose based on which version of the language you would like to learn.
Lingopie also employs dual subtitles, as well as an interactive transcript and quiz features to keep you focused on your learning as you enjoy the content.
Whenever you hear a new insult or bad word that you want to remember, you can save it and turn it into a digital flashcard.
16 Portuguese Bad Words and Phrases
This classic Portuguese swear word means "fuck", "shit", or "damn". It is generally used when you are angry, though it can also be an expression of shock or even excitement. This is where the tone of voice comes in handy.
For example, you might say out of frustration essa porra não funciona! ("this shit doesn't work!"), or yell in delight gol! porra! ("goal! shit!") when your team scores a great goal.
2. Que porra é essa?!
As you can tell, porra is a very useful and flexible swear word. A common expression of surprise using this word is que porra é essa?!, meaning "what the fuck is that?!"
This is a stronger way of saying "what the hell?" and it can be quite offensive, so be careful with using it in polite company.
This is another useful Portuguese word meaning "fuck". There is no one f-word like there is in English. Instead, there are different words that all translate roughly as "fuck".
A great example of foder as fuck is foda se, which means "fuck it" or "fuck off". You might also want to dismiss an idea or person by saying que se foda a..., meaning "fuck the..."
4. Nem fodendo
As you have probably guessed, this sweary expression comes from the verb foder, as seen above. This useful Brazilian phrase, meaning "no fucking way", is used to express displeasure or dismay. It is a stronger way of saying "no chance".
Very literally, it means "not even fucking" and when someone in Brazil says nem fodendo dou a mínima, they are saying “I don’t even give a crap”.
Depending on the sentence, cacete can mean “fuck”, “fucking”, “asshole” or other similar profanities. For example, if you are in a lot of pain, you might say machuca pra cacete, which means “it hurts like hell” or “it fucking hurts”.
If someone has done you wrong, you may say te dou um cacete, which translates roughly as “I’ll kick your ass”.
Literally, caralho translates to English as "dick". However, this word is used as an interjection when someone is angry or shocked more like the English "fuck", "damn it" or "holy shit". Vai para o caralho is the same as vai te foder/ vai se foder, "go fuck yourself".
You can also use para caralho or do caralho after adjectives to emphasize your point. So, bom pra caralho means "really fucking good" and foi uma grande experiência do caralho means "it was a fucking great experience."
7. Filho da puta
“Son of a bitch” is a well-loved insult across many popular languages, and Portuguese is no exception. Filho da puta is a very useful swear to know as it will come up in TV shows, movies, and in social situations. Puta also means "whore".
Remember, any insult that brings someone's family members into the argument can be explosive, so save "son of a bitch" for very light-hearted jokes among friends, or heated arguments.
8. Puta que pariu
Sticking with the theme of puta-based insults, we have this charming phrase that literally means "the whore that gave birth". However, the figurative meaning of puta que pariu is "for fuck's sake!" It is a harsh and vulgar interjection.
9. Vai p'à puta que te pariu
You may also come across this phrase written like vai pra puta que pariu, or, more fully written, it looks like vai para a puta que te pairu, "go to the whore who birthed you". This is essentially a colorful way of telling someone to f-off!
When you are angry or frustrated, you can shout merda!, "shit!" or "crap!" in English. This is a cognate with the Italian merda, the French merde, and the Spanish mierda. So, it's pretty easy to remember.
If you hear someone saying puta merda, you can assume they're extra mad, as this is a bit like saying “fucking shit”.
11. Monte de merda
This expressive phrase, meaning “piece of shit” or "pile of shit" is used to express anger toward another person or an object. If your car is breaking down, you might say esta carro é um monte de merda!, "this car is a piece of shit!"
12. Vai tomar no cu
Sometimes written as cú, this short unassuming word means "anus". So, vai tomar no cu literally means "go take it up the ass!" This is a common way of telling someone to "get lost" or "fuck off".
13. Vai apanhar no cú
Just as above, this phrase means "take it up the ass". It's a running theme!
In terms of bad language, droga is quite mild. This is a bit like saying "crap!" or "darn!" when something displeases you. If you have done something wrong or forgotten something, for instance, you might say droga!
Corno literally means "horn", which in itself does not sound so bad. But this word can be used to humiliate men who have cheated on their partners. If you are arguing with an adulterer, this one will come in handy!
Last but not least, we have vaca, meaning "cow". Like in English, this word is used as a derogatory term for women. It is not the most offensive term on the list, but it isn't nice either, so proceed with caution.
FAQs Relating to Portuguese Curse Words
Let's look at some frequently asked questions relating to Portuguese curse words.
What are some Portuguese slang words?
Some common Portuguese slang words include pá, which means "dude", fixe, meaning "cool", and e aí?, which is a very informal Brazilian greeting similar to "what's up?"
Just as curse words are useful for sounding more authentic, knowing and using slang words will help you to fit in with your Portuguese friends.
What are the best Portuguese swear words?
Some of the most commonly used and popular European and Brazilian Portuguese curses are filho du puta ("son of a bitch"), foda se ("fuck it") and the similar expression caralho ("damn it"), of which the latter two can be used interchangeably.
How can I get swearing practice in Portuguese?
To practice using rude expressions in Portuguese, you can find a language exchange partner or chat with any friends or family members who speak Portuguese. Just make sure to reserve the swearing for appropriate situations and warn your exchange partner that you want to use the expressions. This is the best way to avoid a surprise or accidental offense.
Is Portuguese easy to learn if you speak Spanish?
Yes, if you speak Spanish you should find it easier to learn Portuguese. This is because Spanish and Portuguese both have Latin roots and a lot of similar words. Portuguese is a great second language to choose if you speak Spanish or any other Romance language.
Summing Up: Learn Portuguese Curse words
This quick look at Portuguese swear words has hopefully inspired you to get onto Lingopie and continue your language-learning journey!
As you can see, getting to know the swear words in another language provides a deeper insight into the vernacular and culture. Moreover, it is a lot of fun!
All these words we have seen are in common use and well worth knowing. You will understand social situations and Portuguese entertainment much better with this vocabulary.
Remember, it is not essential to use curse words in Portuguese, but it is very helpful to understand them at least. So, head over to a trusted streaming platform and start learning today.