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ai, ui, ei!

(a gringo’s guide to brazilian interjections)

by cecĂ­lia reifschneider

f端r meine Schatz, so that he may better understand me. Language is the source of misunderstandings. Antoine de Saint-Exupery (1900 - 1944)


“ai! essa doeu.” interj. used to express sudden pain or displeasure approximate translation: ouch sounds like: letter “i” writer’s note: not to be mixed up with “aí”, meaning either “there” or “ and then”. for example: “aí eu gritei: ai, não tinha visto o espinho aí”. another interjection “ai” shouldn’t be confused with is “ai, ai” — unlike it’s singular couterpart “ai, ai” is used to express dissapointment (it’s approximate translation being: tsk tsk)


“afe, pára.”

interj. used to express insatisfaction, an exclamation of annoyance approximate translation: aff sounds like: ah + phe writer’s note: a common use of this interjection is in the idiom “afe maria”; the english equivalent of which would be a very bored person saying “oh God”.


“credo! como tá quente.” interj. used to express irritation or contempt with some surprise approximate translation: damn sounds like: cr + air without the “r” + dough writer’s note: simillar to “caramba”


“êba! chocolate!” interj. used to express contentment, happines approximate translation: yey sounds like: letter “a” + bah writer’s note: also known as the variant “oba”


“eca! que nojo!” interj. used to express dissgust about something gross approximate translation: ewww sounds like: air without the “r” + car without the “r” writer’s note: a variant of the interjection “eca” becomes the noun “nheca”. for example: “esse bolo ficou uma nheca”


“ei, você tá me ouvindo?” interj. used to attract attention or to express surprise, appreciation approximate translation: hey sounds like: letter “a” writer’s note: can be used with a pejorative enphasis like the one in “hey, watch where you are going” if it is said with a prolongued “e”


“eita, como ela está diferente!” interj. used to express amazement at the unexpected approximate translation: wow sounds like: letter “a” + tah writer’s note: depending on the region it can also be pronounced “êta”


“iiii, já ví que vai dar briga.” interj. used to signify the understanding of forthcoming displeasure approximate translation: oh man sounds like: extended letter “e” writer’s note: can be used to provoke/ make fun of someone who is not acting the way they should. for example: “iii, tá nervosinho é?”


“ixi! derrubei a água em você?” interj. an exclamation of surprise or of apology when someone has a slight accident or makes a mistake approximate translation: oops sounds like: letter “e” + she writer’s note: a lighter and censored version of what could be many curse words


“vixe quanta gente!” interj. used to express irritation and amazement approximate translation: oh my god sounds like: vea + she writer’s note: although vixe is often said by itslef it is also comonly used as a substitute for the word “virgem” in the expression “virgem maria”, the meaning remaining the same


“ôôô! cuidado aí, meu!” interj. used to call attention approximate translation: watch it sounds like: letter “o” writer’s note: although “meu” means mine it is also used meaning “dude” in some regions of brazil, for example: the city of são paulo


“ô, e como.” interj. expressing agreement approximate translation: yeah sounds like: letter “o” writer’s note: “ô” doen’t usually require a follow-up sentance. one can respond to a question simply by saying “ô”


“ó o auê aí, ó!” interj. used to approximate translation: look/ look here sounds like: oh writer’s note: the word “auê” used in the exemple sentance means mess or noise

“pô, se toca!”

interj. used to call attention in a negative way approximate translation: ey sounds like: pow writer’s note: “pô” is short for “poxa”, which in turn is the nice version of the curse word “porra”

“entendeu? - sóóó” interj. used to express understanding approximate translation: ok sounds like: sorrow without the “rrow” writer’s note: although “só” also means alone it is easy to diferentiate the two seeing as the interjection usualy lasts longer

toma “vai, toma!”

interj. used to ridicule approximate translation: serves you right sounds like: tohmah writer’s note: another approximate translation could be bart simpson’s “ha-ha”. litterally, “toma” means take it

“ué, você não ia pro cinema?” interj. used to express concern or missunderstanding approximate translation: huh? sounds like: “oooh” + air without the “r” writer’s note: although no one knows for sure how it came to be, it is common knowledge that ué is an abreviattion of the phrase “não é?” meaning “isn’t it?”


“ufa, cansei.”

interj. used to express insatisfaction approximate translation: uff sounds like: oof + ah writer’s note: mostly used by women


“ui, nêga!” interj. used to express sudden pain or displeasure approximate translation: ouch sounds like: oof wiithout the “f” + letter “e” writer’s note: used to express pain only by members of the gay comunity, when used by heterosexuals it is said in a mocking tone by which the person saying it makes fun of how delicate you are

a yet unprinted book. looking for publishers copyright Š 2009 cecilia reifschneider by tipovivo all rights reserved. manufactured in BRAZIL


a gringo's guide to brazilian interjections