A brief list of useful internet abbreviations and expressions from Portuguese

When we're texting someone and we need to establish communication quickly, it's very likely that we'll use internet terms to compose our message, right? Well, that happens in every language, and here are some pro tips for using this kind of "digital" vocabulary in Portuguese!

td, mt, q

Tudo, muito and que. If you are familiar with Portuguese, these are very common words in your vocabulary. However, if you're not, here are I go with a quick explanation on them:

  • td: Could be either tudo (an adverb that means all) or some inflection of the adjective todo/toda/todos/todas (which means ever or every).
  • mt: Same thing. Either the adverb for much or very, or a inflection of the adjective muito/muita/muitos/muitas (which means many).
  • q: Shortened version of que

vc, c, ce, cê and possibly more

All of these mean the same thing: você. That's also common in English,  isn't it? The difference is that in English there's an uniform way to shorten the word, which is simply u. The third-person singular pronoun is a term that you'll see constantly being abbreviated in many, many ways in Portuguese, although vc is its most common form. You could ask me: "And how do I use its plural counterpart?". Well, that's easy. Just add an 's' right at the end of your form of choice and voilà!, it's plural.  

slá or sl

That's the shortened form of Sei lá (literally I know there), and I know, this doesn't make sense at all. The roots of this idiomatic expression still remains unknown for modern linguists. All we know is that its meaning refers to the unknowingness of the speaker about the topic in focus. You can use this as an answer in informal contexts to show you know nothing about a subject. 
A: Cadê a Lúcia?
B: Sei lá, pensei que ela estivesse em casa.
(A: Where's Lucy? / B: I don't know, I thought she was at home)


There are four porquês in Portuguese. They are:

  • por que: This one stands for Why or For which reasons or purposes?. It should only be used in the middle or in the beginning of a sentence. E.g: Por que Lúcia não está aqui? (Why isn't Lucy here?)
  • por quê: This one is basically the same as the previous, but it can only be used in the end of a sentence, when it meets a punctuation mark. E.g.: Lúcia não está aqui por quê? (Lucy isn't here for what reasons?)
  • porque: This is used for explanations in subordinate clauses. Its equivalent in english is because. E.g.: Lúcia não está aqui porque morreu. (Lucy isn't here because she died.)
  • porquê: this is the "noun'd" version of all the previous ones. It could be translated as reason or motive. In English, you would transform the adverb "why" into a noun (like in the sentence "The whys and wherefores...") just by adding an 's' in the end of the terms. In Portguese, however, it's necessary to write it this way. We call this porquê the junto e com acento (joined and with an accent mark). E.g.: O porquê de Lúcia não estar aqui é a sua morte. (The reason why Lucy isn't here is her death.)

The reason why I explain this is because all of them can be replaced with two letters: pq. That's it~ 

I'm very sad because tomorrow is already monday.

vtnc, vsf, pqp and fdp

These are offensive ones. You might wanna use this in a violent argument... or in common chats with your friends.

  • vtnc: Vai tomar no cu. Go take it up in the ass. It also may appear only as tnc, since the offensive part still remains there and your intentions in saying this are still quite obvious.
  • vsf: Vai se foder. Very, very similar to fuck you.
  • pqp: Puta que (o) pariu. The whore who gave born to you/it. This is generally used as an expletive. E.g.: Puta que pariu, cadê você? (Fuck, where are you?)
  • fdp: Filho da puta. The old, sexist and dirty Son of a bitch. 

Pro tip: You can make a whole sentence with only terms like these. Check those twitter examples out:

Have fun! :D

mds and plmdds

Meu Deus and Pelo Amor de Deus respectively mean My god and For the sake of God. These expressions came a long way in Portuguese and seem to exist in basically every western language. Thanks, Catholic Church and Christian Faith, you guys have tought us through these expressions that language reflects the reality of the speakers.

tbm or tb

Também, basically also and too. It's possible to use também at the end or at the beginning of a sentence.

n, ñ, naum and possibly more 


So many ways to say the same thing, huh? Yeah, and it also could be with its opposite in meaning: sim, or simply 's'.

Trust me, people DO use only one character for yes and no. That's the magic of saving space in languages!

s and c

OK, I might said that s standed for sim, but it also could carry another meaning: sem, or without. And its counterpart com, with is shortened to c.  This is the kind of thing you'll only get by its context. It isn't tricky, trust me. E.g.: C ou s leite? (With or without milk?) 

qqr, qnd and qnt

Qualquer, quando and quanto.

Qualquer stands for any, this its singular form. If you'd like to say Any + a plural noun , the most adequate expression would be Quaisquer instead of qualquer. Both, however, are shortened to qqr. E.g.: Qualquer coisa [que acontecer] me avisa. (If anything happens, let me know.)

Quando and quanto are interrogative or relative pronouns for, respectively, When and How much/How long

It's important to remember that quanto can be used for asking about quantities in general, like prices, time and any sort of item. It also has inflections when not shortened: quantos dias, quantas noites, quanta alegria, quanto medo. E.g: Quanto tempo faz desde que você voltou? (It's been how long since you've came back?) / Quanto isso custa? (How much for this?) 

Quando, however, will never change. E.g: Quando você vem? (When are you coming?)

bonus: idiomatic exclamation - af

Although in English this could mean as fuck, in Portuguese is just an expletive. The two letters are used for complaining about basically everything. Moreover, you can also express your extreme discontentment putting more f's at the end of it: afffffffffff. Go on, now you can complain in Portuguese! 

Af is also used in speech and could be also written as afe or affe

And that's it!

I hope you found this useful. I'm pretty sure you'll be able to communicate more 'fluently'  in social media from now on. Good luck and tchau tchau! ~ 


Sobre o Autor

Gosta de línguas, reflexões introspectivas, UTAU/Vocaloid, discussões sobre gênero e sexualidade, do céu e de fazer da vida alheia um bordado de renda (de chita filó).