The 25 Most Important Gestures in Brazilian Portuguese

The following is a video anthology of 25 of Brazilians’ most important gestures for communicating about relationships, failure, theft, scheming, sex acts, etc. And as a bonus, a little instruction on the unique Brazilian finger snap. This documenting of Brazilian supra-verbal communication took place over a few drinks during carnival in São Paulo.

The gestures, in order, are:

  1. Mentirona — big fat liar
  2. Rapidinho — faster
  3. Gostoso — that (person/thing) looks pretty damn tasty
  4. Gostoso (mais sutil) — pretty damn tasty (more subtle)
  5. Sujou — it didn’t work out
  6. Fudeu — fucking doesn’t work
  7. Sujou 2 — it didn’t work out
  8. Vamos alí — let’s sneak off together
  9. Afogar o ganso — to drown the goose (have sex)
  10. Faz tempo — it was long ago
  11. Nossa, muito trabalho — God, I’m tired, it’s so much work
  12. Escorrendo o veneno — Salivating venom (talking shit about someone)
  13. Boquete — blow job
  14. Bola gato — roll a cat (oral sex)
  15. Igual — the same
  16. Do mesmo jeito/tudo igual — on the same wavelength
  17. Planejando alguma maldade — scheming
  18. Na quebrada — in the hood
  19. Na faixa/meu brother — this person’s quality stuff
  20. Amigo do peito — we’re tight
  21. Vou furar o teu olho — I’m going to puncture your eyes, you dipshit
  22. Robou — stolen
  23. Parabens — congratulations
  24. Tô de mal — broken up with someone
  25. Tô de bem — we’re together

Bonus: How to do the Brazilian finger snap (o estalo brasileiro)

The standard caveats apply: I don’t pretend that this is a definitive anthology, and I certainly don’t expect that all Brazilians will agree on the meanings of every one of these gestures. You may want to supplement your studies with this more sober look at Brazilian gestures. And, as always, feel free to chime in below or contact me with your comments, questions and recriminations.

UPDATE — JULY 3, 2015

Gringos no Brasil has produced a dramatization to help you practice a few of these, starting at 1:51 below.