Fica a dica & Vira e mexe – 2 for 1

Here’s two random, but useful phrases for you.

Fica a dica – The closest I can think of would be like “remember this tip”, as “dica” means tip.

Ex. No sabado, tem entrada franca. Fica a dica.
Ex. On Saturday, there’s no cover. Remember that.

Vira e mexe – Although technically it means “twist and turn”, this phrase is understood as “often” or “frequently”.

Ex. Vira e mexe eu esqueço as chaves da minha casa na mesa.
Ex. I often forget my house keys on the table.

Só Hoje – Jota Quest

Just Today – Jota Quest
Today I need to find you somehow
Even if its just to take you home
After an ordinary day
To look into your eyes of easy promises
And to kiss your mouth in a way that makes you laugh

Today I need to hug you
To smell the scent of your clean clothes
So that I can forget my anxieties and sleep in peace
Today I need to hear any word from you
Any exagerated phrase that’ll make me happy
To be alive

Today I need to drink some coffee, to hear you breathing
Telling me I’m the cause of your insomnia
That I always do everything wrong

Today I’m in need of you
In whatever kind of mood, with any kind of smile
Today your presence
Is going to make me happy
Just today 

This is a great song because I’m sure we’ve all felt that right
or wrong, sometimes the presence of someone can make a difference.

Guimarães Rosa – Grande Sertão: Veredas

Guimarães Rosa (27th June 1908 – 19th November 1967) is regarded as one of the greatest Brazilian writers. The eldest of six children, he was born in the small, remote town of Cordisburgo in Minas Gerais, but later moved to Belo Horizonte, the state capital, where he studied medicine at university and then worked as a doctor before changing careers to become a diplomat.


He had demonstrated a precocious talent for foreign languages by teaching himself French at the age of seven using only a grammar book and a dictionary. He later learned to speak German, English, Spanish, Italian, Esperanto and a little Russian, and became a proficient reader in many other languages. His keen interest in the structure of language (particularly the Brazilian indigenous language Tupi), combined with his sharp observations of local linguistic variations, enabled him to experiment with Portuguese in a unique way. His novel Grande Sertão: Veredas and his many short stories are imbued with the voices and colours of the semi-arid scrubland and wilderness of inland Brazil, with its cattle-raising communities and multitude of local characters. Guimarães Rosa was unanimously elected to the Brazilian Academy of Letters in 1963.

In English, Grande Sertão was translated as The Devil To Pay in the Backlands (the translation will cost you around $100, as its only available in hardcover). Click on the image to enlarge it.


Portuguese Words That Entered Into English

As many of you know, English has a long history of borrowing words from other places and times. Here is a list of English words borrowed from Portuguese, whether or not they originate from Portuguese itself.

from albacor from Arabic al-bukr (=”the young camels”)
from albino, with the same meaning, from Latin albus
an alteration of alcatraz, under influence of the Latin word albus (“white”);
(=”gannet”) from Arabic al-ġaţţās (“the diver”)
from Spanish or Portuguese (more probably from Portuguese, as the most widespread Spanish word is plátano); Spanish, from Portuguese, of African origin; akin to Wolof banäna banana
from barroco (adj. = “unshapely”)
(= “from Portuguese word brisa”)
from Tupi mukém
from caramelo, caramel, from Late Latin calamellus
from caju (a tropical fruit)
from cobra (snake)
from côco (boogeyman head, grinning skull, goblin, coconut)
from comando
from embaraçar
from ema (=”rhea”)
from French fétiche, from Portuguese feitiço (“charm”, “sorcery”, “spell”), from Latin factitius or feticius
from Portuguese flamingo, from Spanish flamenco
from macau
from mandarim, from the Portuguese verb mandar and the Malay mantri, from Hindi matri, from Sanskrit
mantrin (=”counsellor”)
from manga from Tamil manggai
probably from Portuguese mangue mangrove (from Spanish mangle, probably from Taino) + English grove
from mandioca from Tupi
from marmelada, a preserve made from marmelo (=”quince”)
from melaço
from monção
Negro means “black” in Spanish and Portuguese, being from the Latin word niger of the same meaning. It came to English through the Portuguese and Spanish slave trade. Prior to the 1970s, it was the dominant term for Black people of African origin; in most English language contexts (except its inclusion in the names of some organizations founded when the term had currency, e.g. the United Negro College Fund), it is now considered either archaic or a slur in most contexts.
from pequenina or pequeninha
from piranha, from Tupi pirá (“fish”) + ánha (“cut”)
from sabe he knows, from saber to know
from tanque
from tapioca
from inhame from West African nyama (=”eat”)
from zebra, given after a kind of extinct horse living between Portugal and Galicia when these languages were the same