Very Slangy Ways to Say Goodbye in Portuguese… and Some Regular Ones
“How do you say goodbye in Portuguese?”
And that’s all there is to it.
Even Google could have done a much better job than that.
But does Google live in Brazil? Does it know what José and Carla say when they are going their ways?
(For the record, I’m sure Google knows what we are up to, but let’s pretend it doesn’t know anything.)
And you’ve probably had that experience.
You memorized some formulas from your textbook — or, God forbid, Duolingo. You’re confident you will rise to the challenge when it comes to you.
Until such a moment when Maria waves goodbye and expects you to say something back.
You stutter, you freeze, and then you end up saying hi.
In this article, you’re going to have lots of alternatives so that you
1) are never at a loss for words when you want to say something and
2) recognize what Brazilians say because we hardly ever use only one word.
Now the Ride Commences
You don’t know how but you got caught in a Brazilian family gathering.
Everyone knows each other. They curse and scold as a way of showing love — a very common thing in a family like mine.
Then it’s 10 o’clock already and everyone has to go. What would they probably say?
Tchau, Tchauzinho, Tchau-Tchau . (Bye-bye.)
This one is by far the most used expression when you’re taking leave of someone (I know, it sounds old).
The longer you make this expression the more informal it is.
- Olha, preciso dizer tchau, agora está ficando tarde. Look, I need to say goodbye, now it`s getting late.
- Tchau para vocês. Bye for you.
That family uses these expressions among themselves. But you’re not part of that family. You don’t feel that comfortable to say it without flinching.
Easy solution? Pick one of the alternatives below.
Até Mais, Até Logo, Até Já, Até Breve. (See you soon!)
All of those expressions mean the same — “see you soon”.
The farther right you move the more formal you get.
A gente se vê por aí. (We will see each other around.)
You bump against one of the cousins of that family. You have a rather friendly chit chat with her. In the end, she says she must leave and adds:
- A gente se vê por aí. We will see each other around.
You can use that with people you have more than a nodding acquaintance with.
But you don’t want to use that with people you know nothing about.
Valeu, falou. (That’s it.)
That’s one of the most informal ways to say goodbye in Portuguese.
Because it’s been a long time since I was a teenager, I’m not sure if teenagers use that expression still.
But I know that people in their 20s use that.
And I remember hearing my neighbors mocking young people who said “F AL OU” to them.
- Valeu aí galera, vou indo lá. Thank you all, people, I’m going. See ya.
Fui! (I’m gone!)
Marina is always in a hurry.
She’s carrying a lot of books and scuttles by as you see her. You greet her and ask how she is, and she stops to answer. After two minutes, she says:
- Fui! I’m gone!
- Agora fui. Thanks. Now I’m gone!
We usually pair that up with one of the alternatives above. It’s just a clear indication that you’re already going and there’s no way back.
Até daqui a “mmm”. (See you in “period of time”).
You’re just finishing a lesson with me. And because you have two lessons a week, we know exactly when we’ll meet again.
Then we’ll probably say:
- Até daqui a dois dias. See you in two days.
This structure comes in handy whenever you know when you’re going to see someone again.
This is a neutral expression. You don’t have to worry when you use it. But you do have to know when you’ll meet the other person again.
Otherwise, you’ll be downright creepy… Like Google.
Adeus, Adeusinho. Farewell… (And little farewell.)
I can imagine only two situations where you would use this expression in Brazil.
One, you are really upset at someone and don’t want to talk anymore. So, you just say, “adeus” (literally, to God).
Two, you know you’ll never — or likely never — see that person again. That might be a long departure, long and painful.
And the alternative — the one with -inho at the end — sounds funny and it evokes a cartoonish atmosphere to your conversation.
And I’d use that to be humorous when saying goodbye.
Tenha um bom dia, uma boa tarde, uma boa noite . (Have a good day, good afternoon, good evening or night.)
That’s a mega formal way to part ways with somebody.
Perhaps, something a salesclerk would say over the phone.
Se Cuide, Te Cuida! (Take care!)
This is a very common expression used among friends.
And it can mean both a heartfelt way to say goodbye and a warning, as I talked about in this article.
And a Bit of Humor
And the two following expressions sprung from my home state, Ceará.
And if you don’t know, Ceará is widely known as the land that has spawned the biggest number of renowned comedians in this country.
- Já vai tarde. You’re going too late.
- Vai porque quer, pois falta de amor é que não é. You’re leaving because you want, for there is no shortage of love here.
É Hora de Dar Tchau
And that’s it.
Now it’s time for me to say tchau and até a próxima.
But before I leave you, tell me the comments below: what have you said goodbye to that you wish you didn’t? In my case, there’s so much to tell. But I’m sure I would never say goodbye to many of my friends again.
And if you want to improve your Portuguese going forward, I do suggest you check out this article on how to greet like a Brazilian and this one on the expression tudo bem and some traps it hides.