You have been learning to speak and write proper Portuguese, but not every Portuguese person speaks perfectly 100% of the time. Depending on the context, we might prefer using simpler terms to save time, explain something in a different way, joke around, or even fit in with a group. That’s where gíria popular – or just gíria – comes in. Gíria Slang is the Portuguese term for “slang”. Let’s take a look at some of the most common words.
Ya, eu vou ter convosco Yeah, I'll meet you guys
Ya – also found written as iá – is often, but not exclusively, used by young people. It simply means Sim Yes, but can also replace, or be replaced by, Claro Of course, Certo Right, or even “Uh-huh”.
Eu não sei, pá! I don't know, man!
Pá is one of the trademarks of the European Portuguese dialect. It can be used at the end of sentences to emphasize what’s being said, as in the example above. It can also be used in place of “uhh” – the sound you make when you’re thinking.
Pá... não sei o que te diga Well... I don't know what to tell you
It’s so common, though, that some people end every sentence with it, even when speaking normally, which makes it sort of like a spoken comma. Epá and Opá are alternate versions, usually appearing in the beginning of a sentence or as interjections. Pá also means “shovel”, but they rarely appear together, so there won’t be any confusion.
Não sei, meu I don't know, man
The pronoun meu , which means “mine”, can also be used to say “man” or “dude” and appears in most of the same contexts as pá. Since it’s masculine, it’s used when speaking to a male.
Sabes, tipo, quando fomos ao cinema na segunda? Do you know, like, when we went to the movies on Monday?
When speaking informally, we often make use of filler words. In English there’s “like”; in Portuguese there’s tipo. As is the case with its English equivalent, this one is also extensively, but not exclusively, used by teenagers. Tipo can also be used to say “that guy”, with the female form, tipa, meaning “that gal”. Tipo is also the word for “type”.
Mixing it up with other slang:
Tipo ya... foi isso que eu lhe disse Like yeah... that's what I told him
Another popular term is fixe which means “cool”, but also “nice” and “good”. It can be used in a variety of ways and contexts, such as:
Ele é um tipo fixe He's a cool guy
A viagem foi muito fixe, adorei The trip was really nice, I loved it
Tens uma casa muito fixe!