Thursday, August 29, 2013

Big words (swear words) - São Paulo

"I am so shocked at the swearing" said no Brazilian child ever

We belong to a small neighborhood club where our kids do gymnastics, racquet sports and soccer (of course), and we spend weekends at the pool or eating too much feijoada at the buffet. I love this small club. It is not one of the big famous ones where people go to train for the Olympics, but the staff all know me and my kids (not because we are famous but because my kids are characters in search of a story, as my husband would say).  We are also some of the very few foreigners in this club because you have to buy membership rather than renting as ex-pats are frequently allowed to do at other bigger clubs. 

There are a number of sports open to the adults too including swimming, soccer, basketball, and tennis. I had a wonderful year of tennis classes given by a teacher named Summo. I've since been on the waitlist for another two years--spaces are given by lottery. The drawback of a small club. There is also a fairly serious soccer league, and one of the men's teams comes and tosses my son's soccer team off the field every Monday and Wednesday at 4:15. I am still trying to figure out how they have that time off every other day: dear Lalo and Nico, please look into those careers. Also our volleyball and futevolei (a combo football and volleyball game) teams are pretty strong.

One of the by-products of any sport available to "adults" is the swearing. In Portuguese, swears are called "palavrões" or Big Words. As I have mentioned in other stories on soccer games, there are quite a variety of swears here, as in any country, but there is a shortlist that I will call the "f" word list, except there is a "c" word, a "fdp" combo word and "pqp" phrase. They are used often. So often in fact that this sign was posted over the futevolei court.  It says "Education. Respect. Cordiality" and at the bottom "Say no to swears".

The sign has, in fact, made a difference, which is good because my son does gymnastics right next to this court, and the other son has racquet sports across the way.  As far as I know, the only swears they know are American. And come from me. I am so proud of how bilingual my kids are.

No comments:

Post a Comment