Romance in Brazil


A loving bunch

In general, Brazilians are a very affectionate and loving group of people. Personally, I love how Brazilians will always end a text or phone call by saying “beijo” (“kiss”). Even if I have only met somebody once, they will often end the conversation with “beijo.” Between men, and to remain more distant, an alternative “abraço” (“hug”) is used. On the other hand, anglophones tend to use “xxoo” in e-mails and text messages to express their affection – the only people who have told me “kiss” is foreigners (and for the record, I find it absolutely adorable and so refreshing)!

Brazilian men also tend to be very forward when it comes to approaching women; I asked one carioca guy how long he generally waits to kiss a girl after meeting her and he said “10 minutes is too long.” I have heard this before; one Brazilian girl in Paris was complaining that French guys were not forward enough for her; she had gone out with a French guy and he didn’t even try to kiss her at the end of a date.  A Brazilian friend told me that Brazilians always kiss on the first date because if a girl goes out with a guy, that means that she likes him, so the guy will definitely try to kiss her.  And likely very soon into the date, as well! Also, Brazilian women tend to act disinterested in a guy even when she likes him, so the guy will continue to pursue her until she is downright rude; so if you are a female heading to Brazil, be prepared for some aggressive men!

Another example of Brazilians affectionate ways: Brazilians will often add “inho/inha” to the end of words to attach greater attachment or affection to that word. For instance, one could say “Esse é meu livro” (this is my book) or “Esse é meu livrinho,” (this is a book that I love more than anything). Read more about it here.

Affection is simply ingrained in Brazilians.

Dia dos Namorados

Dia dos Namorados (day of lovers), celebrated on June 12th each year, is the Brazilian Valentine’s Day. While in the US, Valentine’s Day is celebrated among friends, family and lovers alike, in Brazil, this holiday, like the name of the day suggests, is reserved exclusively for couples. When I wished my Brazilian friend a happy Dia dos Namorados, he told me it was a bit bizarre to say that since we were not dating!

Even though Dia dos Namorados was nine days ago, it’s never too late to celebrate! So let’s review some dating vocabulary and palavras de carinho (terms of endearment) to use with your special someone. As you will see, Portuguese is a romance language for a reason…

Levels of love

ficar – to hook up with

  • O Tiago ficou com um russa ontém a noite (Tiago hooked up with a Russian girl last night).

ficante –  a casual hookup

  • Não é serio, ele é só meu ficante (it’s not serious, he’s only my hookup).

paquerar – to flirt

  • O Rodrigo está gostoso hoje à noite, eu vou paquerar com ele (Rodrigo is looking hot tonight, I’m going to flirt with him).

paquera – someone that one is flirting with (there is really no English translation for this word…it is someone that one is maybe going out with but not with any serious intention)

  • A Maria é a minha paquera (Maria is someone that I’m flirting with).

sair – to go out with someone

  • Estou saindo com um cara gostoso (I’m going out with a hot guy)

namorar – to date (to be exclusive)

  • A Alessandra e o Fabio estão namorando faz 1 ano (Alessandra and Fabio have been dating for a year).

namorar firme – to date seriously

  • Eles se gostam muito, acho que vão namorar firme! (They like each other a lot, I think that they are going to start dating seriously!)

namorado – boyfriend/namorada – girlfriend

  • Gabriela é minha namorada agora (Gabriela is my girlfriend now).

namoro – relationship period

  • O namoro deles durou 4 anos (Their relationship lasted 4 years).

And of course, if you want to sweet talk someone, you can use…

Apelidos Carinhosos (pet names):

meu bem – pumpkin

coração – sweetheart (literal translation: heart)

fofo – cutie (Brazilians will also often say “fofinho”)

docinho (carioca) – honey

meu filho/filha – sweetie (Here, the literal translation is “my son/daughter,” but interestingly enough, it is often used between close friends and lovers, as well)

Other romantic vocabulary

se dar/se entender bem  – to get along well

  • O namoro deles parece ser muito bom…se dão/ se entendem muito bem mesmo! (Their relationship seems to be going well…they get along very well!)

dar carinho – to show affection

  • Ele prometeu que sempre ia dar carinho a ela (He promised that he would always show affection to her).

casal – couple (can also mean “pair”)

  • Tem dois casais legais na festa (There are two cool couples at the party)

se apaixonar – to fall in love

amor à primeira vista – love at first sight

  • Eles se apaixonaram no primeiro encontro. Foi amor à primeira vista (They fell in love on their first date. It was love at first sight).

alma gêmeasoulmate

  • Acho que eu não posso viver sem ele. Ele é a minha alma gêmea (I don’t think that I can live without him. He’s my soulmate).

But of course, things don’t always run so smoothly in relationships…

Break-up vocabulary

dar um tempo – take a break

  • Acharam melhor dar um tempo, porque não sabem se querem continuar namorando (They think it’s better to take a break, because they don’t know if they want to keep dating).

terminar – to break up

  • Estão brigando muito ultimamente… acho que vão terminar (They have been fighting recently…I think that they are going to break up).

fazer as pazes e voltar – to make up

  • Eles terminaram, mas vão fazer as pazes e voltar no futuro (They broke up but they are going to make up sometime soon).

superaram o fim do relacionamento/esquecer: to get over someone/a relationship

  • Já faz muito tempo que eles terminaram. Com certeza já superaram o fim do relacionamento (It’s already been so long since they broke up. Of course they are already over each other).

For more words and phrases on this topic, click here.

And of course…Feliz Dia dos Namorados (Happy Valentine’s Day) to everyone!



One thought on “Romance in Brazil

  1. Lucas Natan says:

    Quando se trata de apelidos, podem existir milhares de variações, vc listou bem, mas tem algumas que seria legal acrescentar.
    1º passo, chamar de meu/minha.
    2º qualquer nome que possa lembrar algo bonitinho.
    Por exemplo:

    Minha querida, minha linda, minha princesa.
    Meu querido, meu lindo, meu príncipe…

    Usando a cor da pele da pessoa também vale:

    Minha nega/meu nego (jeito carinhoso num geral, a pessoa nem sempre é negra ou seu namorado (a), é alguém que vc tem tem grande carinho por ela); No diminutivo também encontramos gente que usa:
    minha neguinha/meu neguim…

    O mesmo pras outras cores de pele:
    Minha moreninha, minha branquinha e por aí vai.

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