Portuguese Shorthand

Despite my tendency to be a little grumpy at times, I have somehow managed to make some friends and acquaintances during my time in Brazil. This means that around 50% of the text on my Facebook time-line is in Portuguese.

This has proved to be rather a good learning aid. If I want to know why Maurício’s status update got 18 likes, I’m going to have to work out what he actually said! But deciphering text posted on Facebook, Twitter, emails and text messages is not just a matter of looking up words in a dictionary.




OMG Churchill! Didn’t you know that gesture is rude in Britain? Rofl lol…

Portuguese Text Speak

Text Speak has been around for longer than you might think. Winston Churchill received a letter containing an “OMG” way back in 1917!

But this character- and time-saving communication form really proliferated with the introduction of text messaging and the internet. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the common English examples such as lol, rofl, etc (that last one is Latin!), but how well do you know Portuguese shorthand?

Below is a list of the abbreviations I’ve come across – have I missed any out?








bj / bjs
Certain readers (the puerile ones) may snigger at this one. You will often see it tagged on to the end of emails and text messages. The writer is sending you one or more beijos (kisses) – nothing more than that!


If you post something funny on Facebook you may be rewarded with a long line of Ks in response. This is equivalent to the English “Hahaha” though apparently Brazilians laugh like this: “Ackackackack!”.


This is the equivalent of “lol” – a quick way to acknowledge something funny and/or to clarify to the recipient that you’re just kidding. It comes from the Portuguese riso (laughter) but interestingly this is only used in Brazil – in Portugal they use lol.


When I say that my name is Fuleco, I feel that people are trying not to laugh. Could it be that this is all in my head, doctor? rs


I like this one because I worked it out all by myself! The Portuguese word for “more” or “plus” is mais. The word for “too much” is demais. Are you with me yet? D+ = de-mais.


The Portuguese words for “Why?” and “Because” are Por quê? and Porque respectively – both are represented in textspeak as pq.  


A nice easy one (in context at least) – this represents the Portuguese word for “you” – você.


The Portuguese word for “no” is the delicious sounding não. Trying to explain (in text) how to pronounce this word is tricky – try saying “naowhm” without touching your lips together – kind of like that… Anyway, Brazilians have shortened this three letter word to one – ñ.


A little while ago a Brazilian colleague of mine forwarded an email to me and simply added these three letters to the top of the mail. I thought he was saying Please See Comments and spent the next minute trying to find where his comments actually were. It turns out that he was actually saying Para Seu Conhecimento – equivalent to FYI (For Your Information). An alternative to this is PSI (Para Sua Informação)


This one is a bit rude I suppose (though I can never tell exactly how rude these things are – Brazilians seem to say this stuff all the time!). PQP stands for Puta Que Pariu which literally translates to the bizarre “Bitch that gave birth to this/you” (incidentally, I would love to introduce that into the English language). This is kind of a tricky one to translate as it seems to be used in a bunch of different contexts. In general I see/hear this one as an exclamation in response to something bad or annoying (rather like “son of a bitch!”) but I’m sure there are exceptions.





This is the classic “Son of a Bitch!” – Filha Da Puta! I quizzed Mrs Eat Rio on this for a while recently as I think this phrase should really be Filho de uma Puta! She said that you hear quite a few different versions, but the version I hear most often actually means “daughter of the bitch”.



OK then – I hope that has been helpful for some of you. Now let’s see who can come up with the longest/most offensive sentence using Portuguese Textspeak! I’ll start you off with one I wrote yesterday:

-PQP! Nos temos d+ chuva no Rio hoje! Vc acha que vai parar esta noite? 

-FDP! rs

-kkk! Bjs!



24 replies
  1. Raf Kiss
    Raf Kiss says:

    Entertaining Tom kkkkkkkkkkkkk…

    I think it should be “shuva D+”

    Another use of “PQP” I heard several times already is location. Like when someone tells you he had to go to a godforsaken place, he would say: “tava (estava) lá na PQP”

    D+, ne?
    oq vc acha?


  2. Marcos
    Marcos says:

    cácácá sounds like kkk but I prefer hahaha because it sounds like rárárá. I also like the Portuguese abreviation when they think that something or somebody is funny. I really like the lol abreviation. I seldom use swearwords when I speak so I avoid use pqp or fdp despite the fact that I think it’s quite funny when I hear people say these words on the streets and it’s very common, especially here in Rio de Janeiro. I don’t like neither the name of the mascot of the FIFA 2014 World Cup nor the animal itself. In my opinion the Brazilian committee should’ve chosen Zé Carioca, the Walt Disney character first because he is famous throughout the world or at least in many countries and becase he is more charismatic. I also think that a parrot is more beautiful than a armadillo.

    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Ha ha ha! When you hear that do you think of frog-frog-frog? 😀 That would make me laugh extra hard!

      Cariocas say PQP a LOT! Or maybe that’s just the guys who work in my office… 😉

  3. Nanda
    Nanda says:

    I’m brazilian and even i can’t understand what those young kids are saying sometimes ( i’m a 25 five-year-old ancient ). I’ll add a fell essentials i think pretty much everyone knows:

    msm = mesmo
    blz = beleza
    kct= cacete
    vlw = valeu
    kd = cadê
    tbm = também
    fds = fim de semana

    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Ha ha ha! If you’re a 25 year old ancient then what does that make this 36 year old?! 😉 Give me a few more years and I will be complaining about “the youth of today” and “the problem with kids these days…”

      Thanks for the additions Nanda – I’ve seen some of these, but not all. mto util msm, vlw!

  4. The Gritty Poet
    The Gritty Poet says:

    Lol @ bjs – in non-puerile fashion I’ll have you know 🙂

    For some reason I often associate d+ (when said abbreviation is standing alone) with the English term “dyke”.
    My favorite Portuguese abbreviation is “Grrrr” – which is used to convey anger.

    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Hi Larry – off the top of my head, I would guess it is used as an abbreviation for muitos or muitas. Hard to say without more context though.

      • ariel
        ariel says:

        For instance:
        E ela eh minha amiga cmte!
        Another example:
        Eh pra vc virar um consultor cmte leonardo….

        • tomlemes
          tomlemes says:

          OK, I have to admit I had no idea on this one. Mrs Eat Rio says it might be short of “comandante” (commander), as a jokey way of speaking (a bit like when customers and barmen sometimes call each other ‘capitan’ or ‘guerreiro’ in a jokey-friendly way). That’s the best I can do! 🙂

  5. Phil
    Phil says:

    anyone know what vts is? My girlfriend tags in on the end of her name angelavts and doesn’t explain other than it’s just letters. So I would like to know. I have searched many a website and looked lots of places. Please help me understand. Also I’m about to give her a ring in a few days and this is something bothering me since it’s never just letters when it comes to a name. If anyone knows please reply. Thank you.

    • tomlemes
      tomlemes says:

      Hey Phil! Hmmm, I wonder what it could be… Is there a reason you couldn’t just ask her directly? I’ll have a bit more of a think about this, but if you decide to ask her and she explains, I’d love to hear the explanation! Cheers, Tom

      • Phil
        Phil says:

        I have and she said just letters to help her remember but she used vts on the end of her other name on a different website and that got me thinking. Angelavts and gomesvts — seems it has a meaning to me.


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