Posted in English


I’m enjoying working through the C1 exercise book. It’s really hard! Here are a few idiomatic expressions I hadn’t come across before.

Atirar o barro à parede (“throw the clay at the wall”) = Try something new to see what reaction it gets

Dar um tiro no pé =Shoot yourself in the foot

Ir num pé e vir/voltar no outro =go and come back straight away

Andar aos caídos (“go to the fallen ones”) = live at someone else’s expense

Andar sem eira nem beira (“go without a place for drying grains(!) or a fringe”) =be very poor

Ir para a maneta (“go to the devil”) =be destroyed, die. (Devil is only a secondary translation of maneta. The main definition in Priberam is a person who has lost a hand or an arm, but I think “go to the devil” makes more sense than “go to the amputee” as a translation for an expression meaning die)

Gato escaldado se água fria tem medo (a scalded cat is afraid of cold water) =once bitten, twice shy

De noite todos os gatos são pardos (All cats are blackish in the dark) =it’s hard to tell things apart in the dark. (pardo doesn’t really have a clear definition – when applied to cats it just means they have some ill-defined colour, usually dark, maybe grey, brown or black)

Quem não tem cão caça com gato (“Who doesn’t have a dog hunts with a cat”) =people improvise when they can’t do things the way they would prefer

Comprar gato por lebre (“Buy cat instead of hate”) =get deceived

Gato escondido com rabo de fora (“hidden cat with its tail showing”) =said when someone is trying to hide but failing

The gato comeu-te a língua =the cat got your tongue

Engolir sapos (“swallow frogs”) =be forced to accept something that goes against your principles


Just a data nerd

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