In this post we’re going to learn some words related to gossip in Brazilian Portuguese.
Today it’s all about the fofoca, the noun that means gossip in Brazilian Portuguese.
👉In terms of pronunciation, you need to be careful pronouncing the two o’s in the word:
You need to pronounce the o in the first syllable as a closed [o] sound, a bit like the o in the English word no
In the second syllable the o has an open [aw] sound, a bit like in the English word rock.
So repeat after me: fofoca [fofawkah]
Now, let’s see how to use this word in a sentence:
To say I have a gossip to tell you! would be
Tenho uma fofoca pra te contar!
Let’s look at some important things here:
We’ve got the verb ter (to have) conjugated with eu (I), which is tenho. The nh makes a [ny] sound (like the ni in the English word onion), so in this syllable, together with the o, it makes a [nyo] sound: tenho.
Here we have the indefinite article in the feminine form to agree with fofoca, which is a feminine noun. And then we have the verb contar, which can mean to count as in to count numbers, but it’s also used as to tell, as in to tell someone something.
Now repeat after me:
Tenho uma fofoca pra te contar.
Lit. I have a/one gossip to tell you. (fofoca is a countable noun in Portuguese)
👉Some examples of synonyms for fofoca are
- bafo (lit. ‘breath’, ‘puff of wind’)
- babado (lit. slobbered)
- boato (this literally rumour, so not strictly speaking gossip, but I thought I’d include here as well).
But let’s stick to fofoca – the most common word used for gossip in Brazilian Portuguese.
👉 The verb to gossip is fofocar.
Ela gosta de fofocar.
She likes to gossip.
You can also use the noun fofoca with two other verbs, contar (to tell) and fazer (to do, to make) to mean ‘to gossip/to tell a gossip‘
contar uma fofoca
fazer uma fofoca
👉 To describe someone who likes to spread gossip (gossiper, tattletale) we use the adjective fofoqueiro:
O Pedro é muito fofoqueiro!
Pedro is very gossipy!
And because we’re talking about an adjective here, we’re going to change that to the feminine, fofoqueira, with an a at the end to refer to a woman.
Não gosto da Maria. Ela é muito fofoqueira!
I don’t like Maria. She’s very gossipy!
👉 If you would like to practice, make up a sentence using the word fofoca, or its verb or adjective variants,and write it in the comments.
Muito obrigado, e até a próxima!
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