06/20/2019 (Thu) 23:32:19
Name some idiomatic expressions from your language, give a literal translation and explain their meaning.
Cutucando onça com vara curta: "Poking a jaguar with a short stick". A reckless act.
Encher linguiça: "Filling sausages". Meaningless filler speech. Comparable to "padding out" or "beating around the bush".
Lei para inglês ver: "A law for Englishmen to see". In a strict sense this is the Feijó Law of November 7th 1831. It banned the slave trade but went completely unenforced, as it was passed only to appease Britain, which was pressuring the government to cease the import of Africans. Thus, at the time the law was said to be just for Englishmen to see, and the expression now applies to anything used only to maintain appearences. Comparable to "Potemkin village".
Tirar o cavalo da chuva: "Removing one's horse from the rain". A reference to 19th century etiquette: visitors left their horses exposed to the elements, expecting to leave quickly, but their hosts could offer to take their horses off the rain and leave them sheltered so they could spend more time. By some poorly understood semantic shift, this invitation came to mean giving up: you take your horse off the rain if you abandon some pretension.
A vaca foi pro brejo: "The cow went to the bog". A situation greatly worsened.
Dar nome aos bois: "Naming the oxen". Denouncing those involved in something, typically negative, or saying something important.
Boi de piranha: "Piranha ox". Sacrificing something of lesser value to save something greater, allegedly from cattle barges throwing away an older bovine into piranha-infested waters to save the rest. For that we have a more easily understood expression, dar os dedos para não perder as mãos ("giving away the fingers to save the hands").
Queimar a rosca: "Burning the donut". Homosex. Bolsonaro famously replied this to a homosexual on Twitter.
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