The Seven-Headed Monster – Phrases

Bicho de Sete Cabeças is a phrase in Brazilian Portuguese that means “seven-headed monster”, which can be employed in English, although it isn’t the most common way to express such an idea. In Brazil, though, this is a common expression used to describe a very difficult thing. A student, for example, could say that math is a “seven-headed monster”, meaning that it is a hard thing to go to battle against (as the mythological animal was).

The expression is often used to describe an overreaction. When saying that someone “made a seven-headed monster”, the person is in fact saying that this “someone” is seeing big difficulties or problems when they are small or even do not exist. In the Brazilian movie of the same name, the main character’s father overreacts when sees his son with a marijuana cigarette. Instead of trying to solve a small familiar problem, he thought that it was a huge problem that should only be solved with psychiatric intervention. So, it can be said that he made a seven-headed monster.

Ex. Calma! O português não é um bicho de sete cabeças!
Ex. Chill! The Portuguese language isn’t that complicated!