I put this meme on twitter earlier, inspired by a random thought from a previous post.
It’s always a bit tricky when a joke in Portuguese dies on its arse. Is it because my grammar is incomprehensible, or is it just not funny. Reposted on Instagram and it got a few likes. OK, I’ll take that.
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.
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.
In t-shirt news, I saw this t-shirt, referencing the current portuguese fuel crisis, on the Cão Azul website…
…and although I had no desire to own the thing, I did get a bit obsessed by what the joke was. I asked around and found someone who explained it was to do with the way the words are pronounced in regional accents/dialects in the north, where the sound of words is more influenced by Galician – so a V might become a B and the ão sound would be more like an “on” or “om” (so “televisão” becomes “telebisom”). She also mentioned an explanation of the gasoil/gasoleo thing that included the word “gozar” which unfortunately I misunderstood as her saying that gazoil would be pronounced “gozar”
So I started trying to put the mispronounced syllables into a sentence
Camion… Bidon… Gasoil… Jarrican
Cá meu m… something… gozar… já something
but I couldn’t make sense of it so I asked again and she explained that, no, it’s just about how the northerners talk funny. I find this a deeply disappointing piece of news and keep looking at it again trying to find a hidden meaning in there like it was some sort of crossword clue, and I don’t think I can rest easy until I find one.
If you’re reading this and you have a better answer for why this is funny (feel free to invent one – I’ll be as gullible as you like) then please, please, tell me.