LNH20: Generation 2.0 #4

Lalo Martins lalo.martins at gmail.com
Thu Dec 29 09:17:48 PST 2011

quoth Martin Phipps as of Thu, 29 Dec 2011 12:07:32 +0000:
>   "Meu Deus," Juliana said.

Here's a catalogue of some more religious Brasiliansms you can use for 
Juliana; Apoena being non-Christian, I can't use them for her :-)

In the "whoa" group:
"Jesus amado!" (dear Jesus!)
"Ave Maria!" or just "Ave!", sometimes shortened to "Aff!"
"Mãe do céu!" ("heavenly mother", ~= American "Mother of god!")
"Ai Jesus!" or "Ai meu Pai!" (religious version of "oh crap")
"Jesus, Maria, José!" (strongest surprise interjection for a Brazilian 

"Deus me livre!" (lit. "God keep me from that", meaning "let's hope not")
"Deus me livre e guarde!" (rarer, more emphatic version of above)
"Se Deus quiser" ("God willing", kind of the opposite)
"Graças a Deus!" (thanks God!)
"Juro por Deus" (I swear by God; swearing (in this sense) is not a taboo 
in Brazil, and is commonly associated with religion)
"Jura por Deus?" (the same, but asking of another person)

Also, Catholics (and especially Brazilian/Portuguese ones) worship the 
saints in a nearly polytheistic manner, so it would be appropriate to 
invoke, eg, "Santo Antonio" for love and matters of the heart, "São 
Longuinho" for finding things (but who needs that with George around?), 
"São Francisco" for calm and serenity, "São Jorge" for general/fighting 
courage, "São Pedro" for faith-related courage, "São Cipriano" against 
evil spirits and black magic (no really), "São Cristóvão" for travel, 
"Santo Expedito" for anything urgent, "São Rafael" for health, "Santa 
Rita de Cássia" for the impossible. Some common rituals include lighting 
a candle in a hidden place for Santo Antonio, jumping on the spot for São 
Longuinho, feeding a wild animal for São Francisco.

The average Brazilian is Catholic but non-practising, although being in a 
state of pretty much constant danger, I wouldn't be surprised if Juliana 
actually attended Church regularly. Also the vast majority incorporates 
*some* syncretism with African-American religions, especially Umbanda, 
and is about as likely to visit the nearest "terreiro" as the church, 
sometimes in the same day. In recent decades, they're quite likely to be 
attending something Oriental as well, like Yoga, Reiki, Johrei, or any 

-- Lalo “cultural” Martins

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