Brazilians even have their own finger snap

This is just one of the countless gestures integral to communication in Brazil, and never taught in any Portuguese class. The estalo brasileiro, or Brazilian snap, is used to indicate speed; sometimes it’s used to (rather rudely) tell someone to pick up the pace.

To snap like a Brazilian, start with your hand pretty much as it would be for the international version of the snap, in which your middle finger ends up hitting the base of the thumb. In the Brazilian version you keep your middle finger pressed against the tip of your thumb and the sound comes from your index finger hitting your middle finger as you waggle your arm. Keep your index finger very loose.

As you can see in the instructional video above, I completely failed at this, much to the delight of the Brazilians who instructed me. I do hope you’ll fare better.

Someone else has created a more sober (though not necessarily more useful) demonstration of the same.

1 Comment

  1. Avatar
    April 12, 2012

    Just as a friendly comment, most of latinamerican people do the same. We do it in Honduras, I have friends of Central America and some other countries in South America and also do that 😉

Leave a Reply to Chef Cancel reply


Comments Policy

We read the comments; useful additions and corrections are quite welcome, and articles are frequently updated based on comments from readers. • We do our best to delete ethnocentric, xenophobic, and other useless comments. • Offended? Think we've got your culture all wrong? Nationalism (or regionalism, patriotism, whatever) is an understandable reaction; it’s also boring. Disagree with something? Tell us what you think joking, flirting, drinking, sex, dancing and other debauchery in your culture is really like. If you don't like these things, or want to pretend that your culture doesn't have a unique take on them, you're really in the wrong place. • This site, like any cultural anthropology, deals in generalizations. Of course not each and every person does blah, blah, blah... • And finally, before you go thinking this is all about you, you may want to bounce around the site a bit and learn about the ridiculous ways we screw, drink, and dance in other parts of the world.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.