Posted in English

Children of the Corno

I see the word corno a lot on social media in different contexts so I thought I’d dig into it a bit.

Me so corny

Ordinary, standard meanings are pretty straightforward:

  • A horn – ie, what a cow has on its head (you’ll also see “chifre” and “galho” especially in relation to a deer’s antlers, but the distinction between horns and antlers seems a little permeable…?)
  • By extension, various other things that are a bit like horns (antennae, tentacles, bone spurs and so on) will sometimes be referred to as cornos. You’ll also see “corno de abundância” or “corno de Amalteia” for cornucopia, or corno de sapato for shoehorn, for example.
  • A horn on a car (I’ve never seen this in the wild – buzina is the more usual word – but this definition exists in priberam).
  • One of the points at either end of a crescent moon.
  • A kind of plant – careful though, its not what we call corn (that’s milho), but a family of shrubs in the cornacea family.

But when I see it on social media, it usually means one of two things, depending on whether its singular or plural.

When it’s in the singular, it usually means cuckold, either in the original sense of a man whose wife is unfaithful, or the more modern one of someone who enjoys watching his wife be unfaithful. So when you see it online it’s often by the sort of person who would use the word “cuck” as an insult in English. They tend not to be the loveliest people, I’m afraid.

And in the plural, it usually means the face or head – so “um tiro nos cornos” =a bullet in the head, “levou uma pá nos cornos” = he got hit in the face with a shovel, and you’ll see various combinations of levar/ apanhar/ dar + nos cornos meaning various types of damage being inflicted above the neckline. In some cases it’s figurative – if someone loses a war or an argument or a football match, say.

There’s also “passado dos cornos”, gone in the head, meaning maluco or doido.

Calm down, lad!

So there you go. I hope you have enjoyed this dose of hardcore cornography. I feel like I should set homework for you. Try going in twitter now and searching for the expression “nos cornos”. Browse through a few examples and see if you can work out what the tweeter is trying to imply – whether they’re describing an actual physical injury or just some sort of defeat. Tell me your favourite example in the comments.

Posted in Portuguese

From Sei to Shining Çei

Here’s an interesting snippet: in “Reaccionario Com Dois Cês“, Ricardo Araújo Pererira has someone mocking a football player online after he is the victim of a mugging:  “xupa, é bem feita por çeres um ignorante que ço çabe dar pontapés na bola”

I wondered what all the mistakes were all about – was it imitating a regional accent or something? Was the person writing just not very clever? Because the stray Çs didn’t seem like the kinds of typos one would make normally.

Apparently it’s a way of mocking someone’s lack of intelligence. If someone answers a question but you think their point is nonsense, instead of saying “sei” (I know) you reply “çei” , implying that’s the sort of thing only an idiot who can’t even spell “sei” would believe. Or if they write a tweet with lots of errors in it you can say “você çabe falar muito bem português” just as in english you might say “You’re grammer is exelent” or something.

Thanks Renato for helping answer this conundrum.

Posted in English

Chuckles Call to Chuckles Everywhere

I’ve found myself getting a bit more feminist lately. I have tended to be a bit dismissive of some claims of 21st-century feminism, to the point of wondering whether the word had outlived its usefulness, but have been energised lately by… well, it’s a long story. Suffice to say that having a daughter makes you want to punch more misogynists in the balls. I am all about the punching. I’m a regular Jean-Claude Van Dad.

Anyway, representation in comedy is not one of my main avenues of interest, but I was struck by this tweet earlier today, by Safaa Dib, who I know nothing about but seems to be a publisher and a candidate in a sort of left-green party called Partido Livre. She posted about the Festival de Humor, FamousFest 18. You can see why she was annoyed from the picture below. Literally not one single woman in the line-up. I know 6 of the names and 2 of those are not even comedians. Miquel Esteves Cardoso is a columnist and writer, and Filipe Melo is a producer and a graphic novelist. She doesn’t seem wildly impressed with some of the others either, judging by the comments.

If you click through to the thread, Guilherme Duarte, a comedian who uses the name Por Falar Noutra Coisa chips in and says a couple of women were invited but declined. Hm… well, fair enough up to a point… but then goes on to say (and this is less fair enough) that he didn’t want to have a quota system at the expense of quality (gasp… but wait, it gets worse…) that work was needed in the background to encourage women to try and be funny instead of making makeup tutorials. He salvages this mess of a tweet to some extent but not much. I was left with the impression that the scene is even more of a boy’s club than here.

Update 25/9/18

Posted in Portuguese

As Redes Sociais e a Democracia

As notícias da semana passada demonstraram, para quem ainda não soubesse, que há um problema muito grave que está a afligir os nossos sistemas democráticos. É um problema unicamente moderno, que surgiu nos primórdios da época das redes sociais e estava a crescer, ano após ano, enquanto todo a gente se tornava todos os anos viciado nestes sites.


O modelo negocial duma rede social consiste em vender os dados pessoais dos utilizadores. De forma geral, assumimos que os clientes são agências publicitárias, e aceitamos que vermos anúncios em cada página é justo em troca de um serviço útil e gratuito. Mas agora fica claro que existem empresas que aproveitam este oceano de dados para influenciar a sociedade através do método de mostrar anúncios e notícias falsas, direccionadas a cada um dos eleitores. Isso ultrapassa o efeito das publicidades tradicionais porque pode manipular não só os medos e as esperanças específicas das pessoas mas também a percepção da realidade. O resultado: ainda menos diálogo, ainda mais polarização entre a direita e a esquerda, e uma diminuição da confiança na democracia. É muito, mas mesmo muito importante restabelecermos um diálogo entre iguais, sem influência das empresas, ou das forças desconhecidas que os usam.