16 idiomatic expressions in Portuguese

If you want to learn Portuguese, you have – first of all – decide which Portuguese you’d like to speak. There is on the one hand the European Portuguese and on the other hand the Brazilian Portuguese. Both of them are wonderful languages, but they have also some distinctions. But that doesn’t matter … You could always learn idiomatic expressions to take your language skills to the next level.

Idiomatic expressions in Portuguese

1) Engolir sapos

Translation: Swallow frogs
Meaning: to do something you don’t want to do

2) Ir com os porcos

Translation: to go with the pigs
Meaning: to pass away

3) Pulga atrás da orelha

Translation: flea behind the ear
Meaning: to look suspicious

4) Tirar o cavalinho da chuva

Translation: to take the horse from the rain
Meaning: Don’t count on it!

5) Queimar as pestanas

Translation: to burn the eyelashes
Meaning: to read a lot

6) À sombra da bananeira

Translation: under the shade of a Banana Tree
Meaning: no worries

7) Macaquinhos na cabeça

Translation: to have little monkeys in the head
Meaning: to have reason to be suspicious or distrust

8) Estás a meter água

Translation: You are letting water in
Meaning: to make a fool of yourself

9) Barata tonta

Translation: silly cockroach
Meaning: to be silly / scared

10) Estou-me nas tintas

Translation: I am in the inks
Meaning: I don’t give a damn

11) Partir a loiça toda

Translation: to break all the dishes
Meaning: to be amazing

12) Acordar com os pés de fora

Translation: to wake up with the feet outsie
Meaning: to wake up in a bad mood

13) Pão pão queijo queijo

Translation: bread bread, cheese cheese
Meaning: to call a spade a spade

14) Muitos anos a virar frangos

Translation: many years turning chickens
Meaning: someone who has a lot of experience

15) Estar com os azeites

Translation: to be with the olive oils
Meaning: to be angry / irritated

16) Água pela barba

Translation: water in the beard
Meaning: something that requires a lot of work

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