Cape Verdean Creole, also called kriolu or kriol, is a aboriginal language acquired from both Portuguese and also African dialects. The is generally an oral language so details expressions and their spelling might vary depending on which island you room visiting.

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It is reasonably simple to uncover a overview to typical words and touristic phrases online, however, it is not so simple to find a list of the slang and colloquialisms the the region. V the aid of my other RPCV’s (Returned peace Corps volunteers), ns compiled a perform of phrases and slang which you are most likely to encounter throughout your visit.

Side note, translate into this list and reminiscing on mine 2 years invested in Cape Verde truly filled me v sodade. Don’t worry, girlfriend will find out that indigenous below.

Common Phrases and Expressions

Casca dente – This literally converts as “to peel the teeth”. Simply as Americans might say “say cheese!”, this is an expression frequently used amongst children definition “to smile”.

Example: “Get all set to take a picture, casca dente!”

Da pa doduThis phrase translates come “give because that crazy” and is one expression definition to plot silly. It likewise can be offered when someone is play a joke on someone else or exhilaration up.

Example: I offered this expression rather a little with my students once they would certainly act increase in class. If a college student was joking about I would certainly say to the class “el da pa dodu, o não?” This way “he is exhilaration silly, don’t you think?”

Djabôdja – This indigenous is in reality a shortened variation of the phrase “dja bo odja” meaning “now you see” or “I told friend so”.

Example: A mother is informing her child not to play v the scissors, yet the son persists and also winds up cutting himself. The mom is likely to exclaim “djabôdja”.

Ka ta daThis expression is provided when something just isn’t going come happen.

Example: If a man is make the efforts to impress a girl who is just not interested. Someone can sympathetically speak “Sorry man, ka ta da.”

ManeiraThis is a one-word expression translating to “what’s up”?

Example: You pass by who in the road and can speak “maneira?

O nha mae – This literally way “oh my mother”. The an expression comparable to “oh my gosh”.

Example: friend watch your friend put means too much hot sauce on their Cachupa and you understand she is walking to make herself sick. You clock her carry the spoon of exceptionally spicy food approximately her mouth and cover her eyes together you exclaim “oh nha maeeeeee”. (Sometimes words mae is held for a long time for included effect, as with you would host the indigenous “noooooooo”.)

Sodade dare matam – This phrase literally method “longing is death me.” that is similar to the American speak “to miss something so negative it hurts.”

Example: i haven’t viewed my girlfriend in Cape Verde in 6 years, sodade dare matam.

Sta sab; sab di mas; rei de sabiThese 3 expressions typical “it is good” with enhancing levels the intensity. Sta sab basically way “it is good”, vice versa, sab di mas way “it is an extremely good”. If you are eating at someone’s home and also you really want to flatter your host, you deserve to say the enjoy the meal is rei de sabi literally translating together “the king that good”. This expression have the right to be offered to define most anything from food and also music, to a state of being.

Example: If someone asks “How was the party? You deserve to respond O nha mae, sta sab de mas”, which we now know translates to “Oh mine goodness, it was very good!”

Ta ba ta baiCommonly provided on São Nicolau, this Cape Verdean phrase is a response meaning “it’s going”.

Example: someone asks “how are you act today?” You might respond “ta ba ta bai.”

Tchuba ta tchobiLiterally translating as “the rain is raining”, this expression is used merely to show that it is raining.

Example: friend walk inside, drenched indigenous the rain, and also alert your friends that undoubtedly “tchuba ta tchobi”.

Tomá um pinguin – regularly used as soon as referring come an alcoholic beverage, this phrase means “to take it a sip”.

Example: “Come over below and shot this grogue (rum), tomá um pinguin.”

Txin-txinThis expression amounts to saying “cheers!”

Example: Raise her glass of grogue and also say “txin-txin”!

“Tomá um pinguin.” Tio Toi with his specialty grogue.


Common Words and also Exclamations

Basofu –(adj.) elegant; showy; extravagant

Bulea – (n.) complimentary ride; hitchhiking is an extremely common in Cape Verde, so understanding this indigenous will certainly be useful

Claro(expression) duh; obviously; the course

Fixe/ Fixola(adj.) cool

Fla-fla(n.) This native literally equates to “talk-talk”, an interpretation gossip

Fofa(adj./n.) A ax of endearment meaning cute. You can use it as an adjective or as a noun by calling who “nha (my) fofa”.

Fusko; Moku – (adj.) drunk

Gatita(n.) cat; sexy girl

Malcriôde – (n.) miscreant; someone that is poorly raised

Morabeza – (n.) This is important a creolian word together it does not translate into Portuguese. It is a word referring specifically to Cape Verdean warmth and also hospitality. You may thank a hold saying “Obrigada pa bo morabeza” definition “thank friend for her hospitality.” For much more on Cape Verdean morabeza, take a peek at our other post .

Moço/ Mos(expression) dude/man/bro

 Volvu – (n.) granny panties

Xata – (adj.); This native is often used to define a clingy or overly jealousy girlfriend, although the really just refers come a crazy/annoying female


Insults, Cursing and also other Vulgarities

Anda na cominho ku – This basically method to have actually sex

Bai pa merda –This expression equates to “f*ck off”.

Da raiba – This is one expression for “piss off”.

Gustoso/Gustosa – This word equates to “tasty”, yet is regularly used come mean preferable or sexy.

Krika bu mae – This expression means “your mom’s vagina”. It is not supplied as an insult, however rather as an exclamation. If someone accidentally drop something, or if someone is startled, you may hear them yell the end krika by mae!

Mata porku – Although this expression equates literally to “kill a pig”, it refers to the plot of having actually sex.

Nha kre ovo – This is an expression an interpretation “I want some loving”.

Peixe/Cabeça de peixe – Peixe literally equates to fish, yet it is also a typical word because that penis. Cabeça means head, so friend can figure the remainder out. This is a great word to know, otherwise you will certainly be basic target for jokes. I had actually a entirety conversation with a group of teens in creolian talking about how I prefer peixe, however I i will not ~ touch Cabeça de peixe because they space scary looking. Of course i was referring to fish, and also not wanting to eat fish heads, yet being teenagers, they chose to interpret this the other way. They had actually a laugh and also I was confused, the is until I discovered the other meaning of this word.

See more: How Many Slices Does A Large Pizza Have, How Many Slices Are In A Large Pizza

Sab pa kaga – This saying way “cool together shit.”

Ta fest ti koku – This basically equates to I’m gonna party ‘til i shit.”


Planning a pilgrimage to Cape Verde? Be sure to inspect out our perform of must-try regional dishes.