Sunday, 5 February 2012

Portuguese expressions that make me smile: It’s cold enough to crack

Está um frio de rachar – literal meaning: “it’s cold enough to crack”

This is said when it’s chilly out and is usually preceded by one of several possible expletives. If you live somewhere in northern Europe you are probably thinking, “these Portuguese are weaklings! We pay for Wintersun holidays to Portugal in December what are they complaining about?”

What I love about this expression is how it manages to home in on that feeling of bone-deep freezing cold that might literally shatter your body into a thousand little shards of ice. Now that’s what serious cold feels like, isn’t it?

It’s true that this expression can be overused. Sometimes it really is only chilly by Portuguese standards and if that’s in the summer it could be as warm as 20 degrees C out and is just based on the fact that last week it was probably 35 degrees or more. But right now – in the middle of an unusual cold snap in February - it’s chilly by anybody’s standards. Brrrrrr.


  1. - Ui, está um frio de rachar!
    - Macacos me mordam, não fora por estar com uma mão à frente e outra atrás, se não viajaria já para um destino mais quentinho! Mesmo com tanta americanice, desta vez em jeito de resguardo aquecedor para me suavizar a temperatura na cama, mesmo assim, dizia, acordei com os pés de fora! Gostaria de viver à grande e à francesa que faria aí umas habilidades nem que fosse só para inglês ver! Estou aqui com a pulga atrás da orelha...

  2. Thanks LisbonBelle! That's a whole extra series of blog posts for me now!