Keen to ramp up the intellectual rigour of this blog, not least due to the fine scholarship of englishteacher365 and no good boyo’s ongoing treatise “On Eastern Bloc Surrealism and Being a Welsh”, I am happy to inaugurate my own meek fare of Brazilian Lexical Semiotics – The Basics. If you are a TEFL teacher, please feel free to cut out, paste, crayon, laminate, make a board game out of, do a jigsaw reading with, put to music, divide into Student A and Student B, or fashion a paper hat out of this material – I only ask in return that you click on the advertising on my blog at least one hundred times a day for the next three years and introduce ten new customers each to my smorgasbord well-intentioned, and increasingly erudite, emissions.
The aim of the course is to examine the meaning of common Brazilian expressions and their English equivalents, and to see if any cultural nuances can be detected in the process. I feel somewhat qualified to set forth on this subject, as at University I read Italian and was obliged to study the seminal semiotician, Umberto Eco, who, I was surprised to discover, has written much more than that novel about a monk who thought he was Sherlock Holmes starring Sean Connery.
Unit One: At the Disco
In British dance halls, after between three and five Tequila Slammers, predatory males are often tempted to compliment wenches, serving or otherwise, on their “boob tube” (see Diagram 1.1). The term in English does exactly what it says on the tin – it describes a tube that holds boobs (or bosoms, for University-educated readers).
In Brazilian, the same item of apparel has an altogether more lurid name - the “tomara-que-caia”, or “let’s hope it falls (down)”. The average Brazilian is a delightfully base creature to whom carnal relations are as natural as alcohol-drenched brawling is to the cream of British manhood. If we delve a little deeper, we find that the patriarchal nature of Brazilian society is reflected in the expression, as the probable beneficiaries of the sudden exposure of a finely-shaped bust in the average nightspot are likely to be assembled members of football teams, high court judges, local councillors, assorted married philanderers and priests. (And perhaps the odd lesbian).
As adolescent beauties are thus accustomed from an early age to wearing a fashion item whose very name conveys their partners’ and admirers’ secret wishes for a revelation of more than they bargained for, the flashing of baps is more likely to occur in the southern hemisphere than in the northern, if the preliminary findings of my research can be relied upon. Proof of this is the fact that groups of Brazilian males do not feel the need to drunkenly bray, “Get your tits out for the lads!” in nightspots in some kind of desperate, directionless mating ritual.
I hope you found this informative. Once I get EU or Mercosul funding for my work, I’ll be publishing it in all relevant journals. Meanwhile, please feel free to peer review this first draft.