Flirting in Portuguese the Right Ways so You Don’t Sound like a Jerk
Is that what you really want to know? Flirting in Portuguese?
Kudos to you. Making a pass at someone in our native language is hard enough.
Imagine doing that in a foreign language like Portuguese!
So, worry not, my dear friend. Uncle Eli is here to help you use the right words at the right time.
Don’t Sound Like a Jerk
But first let me tell you some things.
Jeremy (hypothetical person) had only one picture in his mind — a beach strewn with beautiful women.
At least, that’s what he saw on the Internet on some questionable websites. His friends also talked about them that way.
And when he came here, he found women weren’t so compliant as he wanted to.
He would hit on them and be rejected.
He would try and say something in Portuguese — even though he hadn’t learned anything — and people took him for Chewbacca.
And over time he got more and more repellent.
You don’t want to be that kind of person.
Be respectful to anyone you ever approach. Do so and you’ll live a long and happy life.
The Foundation — Important Words for Flirting Properly in Portuguese
They are foundational but not “sexy”.
Please make yourself comfortable. It’s going to be a long ride.
Different age groups behave differently and use different words as well.
Wow. What a surprise.
So, if you’re about forty you are likely to use the word “xavecar” (shah.veh.KAH) for “flirt”.
I’m not forty but that’s the word I use.
- O João está xavecando a Maria. John is flirting with Mary.
But the kids nowadays don’t use that word anymore. They prefer the more modern-sounding “paquerar”.
- A Maria não paquerou ninguém na festa. Mary didn’t flirt with anyone at the party.
But if Mary had, people could say she is “paqueradeira” (flirtatious), which is no bad word anywhere in Brazil.
However, some prudes might try and use that as an insult.
But that’s not really relevant.
Taking Action — Starting to Flirt in Portuguese for Real
Jeremy is a new man. He saw the wrong ways he was going and decided to be back to polite society.
But from time to time he asks himself whether he should make a pass at someone at parties.
- Dar uma cantada em alguém. To make a pass at someone.
- Dar em cima de alguém. To hit on someone.
And any of these expressions are okay to be used in that situation.
Of course, let’s say Jeremy takes a chance and connects with a nice woman.
Upon seeing that the woman is having a moment with Jeremy, her friends might whisper to each other:
- Tá rolando um clima ali. They’re having a moment there.
And “rolar um clima” means “to have a moment, to connect”, that moment when there’s chemistry and electricity going on between two people.
(literally: to roll a weather.)
But if nothing really happens, we could say:
- Não tem química. There’s no chemistry.
But you don’t need to use this last expression to talk necessarily about romantic connections.
When you have a lesson with a teacher and nothing clicks —you dislike the teacher for no particular reason, perhaps — you could also say that there is no chemistry.
But clima implies some kind of sexual or romantic connection.
The Five Modes of Flirting
There are many websites for those who want to learn how to flirt.
(If you’re not so good at that, you could use taking a gander at those websites — some of them are good.)
And according to some of them (like this one), there are five styles of flirting: physical, traditional, sincere, playful, and polite.
And since that division makes sense, let’s use it to structure the vocabulary we are about to learn.
And you can read on for a cursory understanding of the styles.
Those who are more physical in the flirting style tend to rely on physical signs.
And because you don’t really talk when you do that, you have to know some of the physical signs Brazilians resort to and how to talk about them.
You know when you gaze at someone trying to seduce them but at the same time you look like you just remembered you have money in your pocket?
That’s the “look forty-three.”
And that expression comes from a song by the Brazilian singer Paolo Ricardo.
- Aquele olhar 43 dele me deixa doida. That Look 43 of his drives me crazy.
Dar uma Secada
If someone looks intensely at you, chances are this person is interested in you.
And in Brazil, when you look to intensely get something or someone it’s as if you can dry it with your gaze.
And that’s what this expression means. Look at someone so intensely it’s as if you’re drinking this person with your eyes.
- Ele me deu uma secada que pensei que ia desmaiar. He looked at me so intensely that I thought I was going to pass out.
This is actually a quite interesting word.
A sigh may signify many things, including the sensation of love or admiration one feels toward someone else.
And in Brazil, um suspiro also denotes a kind of candy.
- Ele suspira de amor. He sighs out of love.
It’s the lady and the knight story — or the lady and the lady or the knight and the knight.
After all, things change.
And here, you find the chivalry so typical of that kind of setting.
The traditional way of flirting has some expectations but no formula. Just be courteous and respectful but take action.
A more formulaic approach can be found a couple of sections below under “playful”.
- Posso te oferecer um drinque? Can I offer you drink?
- Deixa que eu abro a porta para você. Let me open the door for you.
- O que uma moça bonita faz aqui sozinha? What does a beautiful young woman do here alone?
It’s exactly what you see — there is no beating around the bushes and no understatements. You just say what is in your heart.
And again, although we don’t find any formulas for that you’ll see that there is some common vocabulary and structures below.
- Eu estava pensando que talvez rolasse nós dois. I was thinking that perhaps we could have a thing.
- Não pude deixar de te notar. I couldn’t help noticing you.
- Desde o primeiro momento que te vi, não consigo parar de pensar em você. From the moment I saw you I can’t stop thinking of you.
According to the article, the playful kind doesn’t really care about the outcome of the flirting. All they want is to have fun and use flirting as a type of tool.
This is why you find “funnier” and “catchier” phrases here.
And because catchy phrases are highly dependent on cultural background, I must explain the two last ones to you.
- Gata, que roupa feia. Tira isso agora. Hottie, what ugly clothes you have on. Take them off.
- Gata, você tem brigadeiro? Não? Então me dá um beijinho. Hottie, do you have brigadeiro? No? So, give me a little kiss.
- Pra você virar bombom só falta a valsa, porque um sonho você já é. For you to become a Sonho de Valsa only the Valsa is lacking because you are a sonho already.
Here are the candies referred to in the second example:
Beijinho is a type of candy but it also translates as little kiss. And that’s what the person is asking for.
And in Brazil, we have a wildly famous bonbon called Sonho de Valsa (dream of waltz). And that’s what the play with words is about.
And if you ever have the chance to use any of them — and you are not seen as a pest — you’ll probably get some smiles… And maybe an interesting conversation.
Do you see someone who is really hot? In Brazil, he or she would be a cat (gato/gata).
Here, introverts rule.
Not always, of course. But at least they are prevalent here.
And the polite way of flirting is all about politeness — it’s quite self-evident.
You want to show interest, you want to make the other person see you’re there is a friend but you might be someone else.
And if you’re too polite when flirting you might fall into the “friend zone” — a term Brazilians picked to describe the very same concept.
- Você também gosta daqui? Sempre venho com meus amigos. Do you also like it here? I always come here with my friends.
- Eu posso me sentar aqui? Can I take a sit here?
- Que tal a gente dar uma olhada nos livros? How about we go take a look at the books?
When you flirt, you might want to use some pickup lines like the traditional:
- Você vem sempre aqui? Do you always come here?
- Você quer sair comigo? Do you want to go on a date with me?
- Você está só aqui? Are you alone [implied: single]?
- Você tem namorada/namorado? Do you have a girlfried/boyfriend?
- Oi, sumido/sumida! Hey you, I haven’t seen you and look at you now! How hot! I’m interested.
And if you are hopefully successful, things might get more serious and become love.
At that time you’ll probably want to say I love you.
But you might want to go the literary route and use some poems to win someone over.
No matter what you do, having more vocabulary will always help.
And tell me the comments below — what are some common flirting strategies people use where you are?