Posted in English

Synonymous Bosch

Found our today that the word nora has two meanings. One is Daughter-in-law (I already knew this one) and the other is Waterwheel. Why those two things? I dunno.

Anyway, i was straight in there with a pun. I asked my wife to proof-read it for me to make sure I hadn’t ballsed up the grammar too badly. She’s very patient.

Posted in English

Pret a Mossar

I came across this picture on the tweeters and was trying to de cypher it. Mossar is a real word but it’s meaning is pretty obscure. If I’m reading Priberam right, it means to clean the spikes of a mace with a cloth.

Um… OK…

After staring at it for a while I realised the message is supposed to say “Fui Almoçar” (I’ve gone to have lunch). I asked online whether there was more to it than that does mossar have some double meaning perhaps? No, it’s just laughing at an “analfabeto” (illiterate person). It’s a really crusty old meme, apparently so they were quite amused that I’d dredged it up.

Posted in English

Attempts at Twitter Jokes

It’s really, really hard to make jokes in another language. Here’s an attempt that I think would have been OK in English but I tweeted it out in Portuguese, knowing I was on thin ice.

Every year it’s the same thing: as soon as the 21st of September is over the shops fill up with Day-to-Wake-that-guy-from-Green-Day cards.

Allow me to overexplain.

Green Earth, Green Wind and Green Fire

Obviously to understand it, you need to understand the cultural reference points: firstly that shops always start advertising Christmas merch as soon as Halloween is over (a pretty common trope in the UK) and secondly that there are running gags on twitter based around dates mentioned in songs: the twenty first night of September (because of Earth Wind and Fire’s song “September”) and the end of September (because of Green Day’s song “Wake Me Up When September Ends”). But I think even someone who knows all those things will find the magic broken if the grammar is off or the word order less than perfect. “Todos os anos a mesma coisa acontece” seems like a wordy, clunky way of saying “Every year it’s the same thing” and I’m sure it’ll come across as a bit off. And “ficam cheia de…” Does that sound like something a real Portuguese person would say? “as (prateleiras das) lojas enchem-se”? I dunno.

Well, I put it in the WritestreakPT forum and got a verdict from dani_morgenstern

Firstly, no the word structure is off. A better rendering would be

Todos os anos é a mesma coisa: assim que acaba o Dia 21 De Setembro às lojas ficam cheias de cartões do dia de Acordar Aquele Gajo dos Green Day

I chose to capitalise the whole of “Dia 21 De Setembro” as if it were a special day but setembro, like all months, is supposed to be in lower case.

As for cards, no, cards aren’t really a thing. I should have known that. I was so fixated on the timing that I didn’t stop to think about the more fundamental problem. D’oh!

The rest…. Well, you either know the songs or you don’t but I suspect a lot of people were pretty non-plussed. I was reminded that we should just let Billy Joe Armstrong rest because that Green Day song is about the death of his father but I never let respect for the dead stand in the way of a joke even if that joke is a grammatical and cultural train wreck.

Anyway, all in all, not a successful joke but a good learning experience, and that’s the whole idea, after all!

By the way, the tweet it’s quoting is in Brazilian Portuguese. “O carinha” looks weird but they use “cara” (“face”) to mean “guy” so carinha is just “the little guy”

Posted in English

Low Quality Memes For Your Consideration

I made these yesterday and tried translating them into Portuguese… Seems straightforward enough but humour is a bit tricky to get right.

… Obviously I realise the first one seems a bit douchey out of context, but the idea is to contrast vaccinated people with conspiracists, not to pretend Covid is no longer a problem. There are plenty of ways you can overthink it, but in the original context I think they made sense, so just try and relax and bask in the memishness.

Words for pandemic deniers can include negadores (“deniers”) negacionistas (“denialists” i guess) and I believe a conspiracy theorist is “o teórico da conspiração”

Ive used “disparates” for “nonsense”. I think “tretas” might have worked too. I feel that’s more like a deliberate, strategic falsehood rather than just straightforward nonsense. There are probably other options: maybe “bitates” (which I think is like waffle) or “palpites” (guesswork), or just the all-out rudity like merda. I’m sure there are dozens more. There certainly are in English!

Have I mentioned we had an outbreak of covid in the house? I don’t think I have on this blog. It’s all a bit mysterious really. I’ve written a text about it in Portuguese though so that will be popping up later today.

Posted in English, Portuguese

Piadas de Tiozão

Apparently piadas de tiozão (“big uncle jokes) are what Brazilians call dad jokes. Older subscribers who have endured three or more years of this blog (I raise a glass of Licor de Beirão in your honour) may remember that the European equivalent is “Piada Seca

I inflicted two in the world today.

Como se chama um cantor que tem muita sede?

Justin Beber

Como se chama um cantor que tem um leque e um tambor?

Justin Tamborleque

Posted in English

Aqui Vou Eu Novamente

This is a bit of a silly one. Notes down at the bottom. Thanks again ThisCatIsConfused for correcting it (and having the patience to read my silly word games!)

Abbabo de ver um filme baseado nas músicas de aca. Hum… Quero dizer “Acabo de ver um filme baseado nas músicas de ABBA”. O seu título é Mamma Mia. A minha filha e a sua amiga fizeram uma festa ontem à noite. Abbastecemo-las… Hum… Ou seja Abastecemo-las com petiscos e abbandonámo-las… Abandonámo-las na sala de estar. Hoje de manhã estão com sono e estão só capazes de comer panquecas com xarope e ver filmes.

Abbasar de ser…. Hum… Apesar de ser de sexo masculino*, gosto do filme. Há muitas estrelas no elenco. Acima de todos, gosto de Christine Baranski que é abbasolutamente… Hum… absolutamente fantastica. O enredo é engraçado, e as canções… Tipo… Quem não abbora ada… Ou seja quem. Não adora ABBA?

*=i just wrote “apesar de ser masculino but you have to say” de sexo masculino”. Probably would have been easier to say “apesar de ser homem” really, eh?

So what’s the joke?

I’d better explain for the benefit of anyone who is confused by the unfamiliar vocabulary that this is a sort of long-running pun: I’ve swapped the word “abba” onto other similar words like “apesar”, “acabo” and “abandonámos” and occasionally swapped letters in the other direction too. In each case, I correct myself immediately after but if you’re still at an early stage of your journey it probably looks a bit confusing so I’m sorry about that!

Posted in English

Church of the What Now?

Listening to A Morte do Papa earlier today I had a bit of a double take thinking they were talking about the Church of “A Mãe do Rebentor”. Rebentar means “burst” or “explode” so rebentor would be an exploder, I suppose. It was a weird image until a couple of minutes later my braincells kicked in and I realised it must be “redentor” (redeemer)

Posted in English


I’m sure you’ve been enjoying the recent news out of the USA. Me too. And I also really enjoyed the fact that I was actually able to understand a portuguese pun

Hey Trump, when you leave the white house, ask Melania to help “Kamala”.

The joke is that Kamala sounds like “Com a mala” (“with your suitcase”) although when I showed m’wife she pointed out it could equally well be “queimá-la” (“burn it”) but I guess that’s not what the author was going for