Posted in English


A portuguese teacher I know has started a new informal lesson package where she lets the student choose a TV show, film, book, album, or whatever and you watch/ listen/ read/ whatever together, screen-sharing over skype and she explains the cultural references and obscure phrases and so on. I thought I’d give it a whirl so I chose Salvador Martinha’s Netflix Special “Na Ponta Da Língua”, which I’ve listened to before but ages ago and at the time “não entendi patavina” as they say.

TBH, I’m still struggling because like most stand-up comedians, he talks quickly, uses a lot of slang and so on. I got a pretty good chunk of it though – maybe 70%. I already knew a lot of the cultural references: Casper the Friendly Ghost, The Gypsy Kings, knocking on the cieling with a broom and pillow-fights are all universal experiences, and I’d come across DAMA (An unbearably bland Portuguese boy band), in my search for decent portuguese music, but they weren’t it.

It was a bit embarrassing at times though because I’d underestimated the awkward factor of having so much rudity in the dialogue. She explained “orgia” (an orgy, obviously) and Picha (“dick”: like english, there are more words for this than there are for snow in Innuit) but discreetly passed over other bits like “começaram sacar um broche”. I got from the context that this was probably a bit off colour. Sure enough “um broche”, which just means “a brooch” has a calão meaning too – common enough to be in my paper dictionary: “blowjob”. So, I’m glad I left it, really.


Saving other tips & vocabulary for later references:

Dakar – just the race. It’s a marathon, I think…?

The Aparição de Fátima… ask your priest

Bollycao – dodgy looking prepackaged cakes – they look like some sort of mutant hybrid between a twinkie and a swiss roll. They used to come with a free sticker (“cromo” – also mentioned) but not these days.

Elvas is a place in Portugal and so is Covilhã.

MEO is a cheap cable/phone package that has a few seconds delay on it – hence the joke about someone clapping at the wrong time

Picha = Dick. Like in english, there are more words for this than for snow in innuit.

Macacos – can mean bogeys as well as monkeys

Lixívia – some sort of bleach or disinfectant brand

Top = very cool

50 = average price of… Cocaine, I think, although to be honest, I’m not sure if it’s that or Coca Cola. I probably need to go back and watch that bit again

Pitas = teenagers

Caipirinha = a kind of cocktail from Brazil. You probably knew that already but I don’t get out much.

Rebenta a bolha – literally means ‘burst the bubble’ but it’s something kids say when they’re playing out and they have to suspend the game – say while one of them has dinner.

O jogo ao sério – a game where you have to stare each other out and make faces and the first one to laugh or show teeth loses.


Just a data nerd

2 thoughts on “Awks!

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