We, Brazilian youngsters, and our new words

Tell me, dear Portuguese learner, are you feeling old? Do you find yourself constantly going back, perhaps ten or fifteen years ago, remembering 'The Old Times'? Are you already nostalgic on the age you had lived in your hometown, far away from these Tupiniquim lands? Tell me, are you going through that part of life in which the moment you face your new wrinkles in the mirror becomes the worst fraction of your routine? The very part in which the young Brazilian lads and ladies use words you can no longer comprehend and you feel you've lost the command over and by the language? Dear Portuguese learner, are you feeling bad for being old in Brazil already?




Well, if that's the case, I am here to help you. For I am a 18-year-old linguist, I can bring you back to the social prestige among the new generationers with a slammin' and also radical list of vocables that are widely employed nowadays by my equals. Shall we start?

I've made a post discussing the usage of Brazilian Portuguese in social media, you can view it here. This post, however, works for everyone, not just the young folks. 

Bora ['bɔ.ɾə]

This stands for "Let's go" or, when asked, "Shall we...?". It has a wide range of usage: from when you want to rush someone into getting out of the bathroom that you're urging to use, to when you want to invite someone on a date.

It probably comes from a contraction of Vamos embora ("Let's go away"). This clarifies the sense of invitation that this expression still carries. 
It's also possible to use it before a verb, as in:

A: Bora sair daqui.
A: Let's get away from here. 

Mina, mano, cara, pinta ['mi.nə, 'mə̃.nʊ, 'ka.ɾə, 'pĩⁿ.tə]

A young-ish word for "girl", similar to "chick". Some people use mino with the meaning of "boy", but that's not very common. What is actually used to describe a "guy" is cara and mano - both are interchangeable.
Pinta is a synonym for "person" or "people" that works for any gender. What defines the gender and number of this word is the pronoun you use before it.

Eaí/eaê [ja.'i]/[ja.'e]

I would definitely translate this as "What's up?". It's a very, very common way to say hello and simultaneously ask if there's something going on. Its most common variation is Daí/Daê. It appears also, especially in social media, without accent marks: eai, eae, dai, dae and, sometimes, with a w at the end, like eaew and daew.
It has its roots in the expression "E aí?" (which literally means "And there?" but stands for "What about you?"), a common question asked after responding to the old and good "Tudo bom?" to show some interest on the person who asked it. The reason why I write it without spaces is that nobody really uses it as if it were "and + there" anymore - it's crystallized into one expression with a single meaning.  

Rolê [ho'le]

It has basically two meanings:
  1. A group of friends that constantly or frequently go out together to eat, dance, drink and perhaps smoke marijuana. They probably have a whatsapp group in which they plan these events, which leads us to the next meaning:
  2. The act of going out to eat, dance, drink and perhaps smoke marijuana - not necessarily with your usual group of friends, though. This usually goes with the verb "dar" and "ter". As in: Dar um rolê = "to go out" and tem rolê/ vai ter rolê = "we're going out". 
It's important to use this word only in contexts where marijuana is tolerated, as it's not used by the uncool kids, if you know what I mean. You would probably be not well accepted if you used this among university professors or those conservatives who believe that marijuana is something immoral, indecent and blah-blah-blah.
Check some examples:

A1: Tem mina nesse rolê?

A2: Eaí, vai ter rolê hoje? 
A1: Is there any girl in this group of friends?
A2: Hey, are we going out today? 


Eita, Vish ['ej.tə, 'viʃ(ɪ)]

Usually expletives or empathetic marks of assurance. If something bad or surprising happen, people tend to automatically say these words. 
These are more accepted among any rolê. My French teacher, for instance, once said "Eita!" when she accidentally dropped everything that was in her desk in the middle of a class. 
You can also use these when you have nothing to add to the conversation and you feel empathetic towards the story  being told.  

A: E daí ele morreu.
B: Eita, que horror.
A: And then he died.
B: Eita, that's terrible.

Pira, Teto ['pi.ɾə, 'tɛ.tʊ]

We, youngsters, often gather to share our ideas. We usually talk about our feelings, art, movies, music and literature. And when we spread our thoughts in our rolês, we will certainly use teto or pira.  
These words stand for "idea", "conclusion" or even "epiphany" - but only when related to inner thoughts of someone or someone's work. They are very common in those contexts when people are under the influence of alcohol or marijuana.

Some examples may clarify:

"Cheguei numa pira ontem, preciso te contar!"
Lit.: I've came to a pira yesterday, I've got to tell you!
Fig.: I've had an insight yesterday, I've got to tell you!

"Que teto!"
Lit.: Such ceiling!
Fig.: Such idea! / What an idea! 

"O teto desse filme é que todas as pessoas morrem sozinhas."
Lit.: The ceiling of this movie is that every person dies alone.
Fig.: The main idea behind this movie is that every person dies alone.


Pode crer ['pɔ.d͡ʒɪ.'kɾe]

Literally "(You) can believe it.", but usually employed as a mark of agreement in the middle of a conversation. Like:

A: Já ouviu a nova música da Grimes?
B: Não, como é?
A: Tem um teto muito louco.
B: Pode crer, depois ouço.
A: Have you already listened to the new Grimes' song?
B: No, how's it?
A: It has a crazy idea in it.
B: I see, I'll listen to it later.


De boas [d͡ʒɪ'bo.ə]

A synonym for "fine" or "cool". It can be used to express wellness or agreement in every situation you would use bem or tudo bem

A: Eaí, de boas?
B: De boas, e aí?
A: Hey, how's it going?
B: Fine. What about you?
A: Vou pegar esse dinheiro aqui e comprar pão, OK?
B: De boas.
A: I'm going to take this money and buy some bread, OK?
B: Fine.

Well, that's it for today!

If you use the following text as a reference to your next conversations with native Brazilian speakers, I assure you they will have a different image of your language skills. And, please, don't thank me now, dear learner, await until the time you gain mastery over the practice of communicating with us - the youngsters. 

Tchau~

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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).