Going to remember this one

My wife came up with a new-to-me Portuguese saying last week, which is one of the least “bem educado” (well-mannered, or properly brought up) things I’ve heard from her. Which, of course, is why it cracked me up.

After an extremely rushed, stressful week, she flopped into bed and said, “Estou tão ocupada que não tenho tempo para dar um traque.”

Which means, “I am so busy I don’t have time to fart.”

Usually I can think of a comparable English phrase to her Portuguese ones, but that one has no peer. We do say, “I’m being run ragged,” or “I’m being rushed off my feet,” but those aren’t remotely as colorful. I have therefore adopted this one into my personal lexicon.

As an aside, the literal translation for dar um traque is “give a fart,” which is how the Portuguese say it. Fart is not a verb for them, it’s a noun — and a rather specific noun, because traque isn’t just any fart. It’s the noisy type. The airy, silent type is called bufa. Either way, you have to give ’em.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in language, Portugal. Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Going to remember this one

  1. Ana_ñ says:

    I can’t think now of a similarly “colorful” equivalent in Spanish, but I can say that what we do with farts (‘pedos’) is not to give, but to throw them 🙂
    And we share the fetid ‘bufa’ variety: same name and same meaning.

  2. kepler20f says:

    First of all, let me be the first to say that this post stinks.

    Secondly, you left out the worst of all, which is probably more commonly used in the North.

    It starts with a ‘p’ and for some reason it became the less-polite form of the… concept, even though it’s the one that derived directly from Latin. I’ll refrain from typing it, the Wiktionary does it for me in all its authority:

    On topic: I really like that expression (“so busy I don’t have time to fart”). I learned to not use it again in the U.S. after being met with disgusted and puzzled looks. Which was puzzling *to me*, considering the widespread and socially tolerated use of “ass” in this here culture.

  3. Lilaine says:

    Thanks for giving, Maria 🙂

    On the same ‘expression mode’, with an equivalent poetic streak, my GrandPa used to recite a slightly modified well-known quote from ‘Le Cid’ by Corneille :
    The original is:
    “Ô rage! Ô désespoir! Ô vieillesse ennemie!
    N’ai-je donc tant vécu que pour cette infamie?”
    and means something like:
    “O! rage, O! sound despair, O! unfriendly old age,
    Have I lived all that long to endure this garbage?”
    (Wow! How could I come up with these alexandrines,
    and yet still find the rhyme while keeping the meaning…
    I’m a poet, probably… :p)

    And GrandPa, a distinguished flatulist, in his usual joking way always recited the transformed quote:
    “Ô rage! Ô désespoir! Ô douleur qui m’étouffe!
    En voulant faire un pet, je n’ai fait qu’une louffe!”
    Which means:
    “O! rage, O! sound despair, O! agonizing pain!
    Though I meant a neat fart, just a puff I obtained!”
    Yes, I did it again ;).
    It took me long enough, but was worth the effort. 🙂

    • kepler20f says:

      :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:
      :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

      So “pet” is what the French got from ‘peditum’? Awesome.

      Are there any PetSmart stores in France? 🙂

      • Lilaine says:

        Pet(pronounce peh) is the familiar term(prout is the kids’ favorite).
        Gaz, flatulence, loufe, vesse are more elaborate vocabulary.
        Lacher une caisse(‘let one rip’ would be an appropriate translation) is slang
        About PetSmart, and still in the fart mindset(not sure about the mind part, though…), I remember a book by James Herriot, where there was a hilarious ‘farting boxer’ story. 😀

        • kepler20f says:

          Oh, we could be here all day digressing on farting dogs.

          I actually am familiar with all those terms except “loufe” (good one!)
          After all, like all good Portuguese I have at least two sets of aunts and uncles and – last count – 12 cousins in France.
          They used to go “home” every year for ‘les vacances’ and my cousins would educate me on the really important stuff.

          I learned to say “T’es con ou quoi?” at the age of 7.

        • kepler20f says:

          On James Herriot: I remember watching all the episodes of ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ on TV.
          At lunch time, when I got home from school. Now that was a memory I wasn’t expecting to get revived in this thread.

        • Alma says:

          Liliane: Prout, really? That’s almost exactly like the Swedish word, prutt. Why have I never heard that before?

          Also, we have one word for the noisy kind and one word for the sneaky kind, prutt vs. fis. Then there’s the ambiguous fjärt, which is obviously related to the English word. And they can all be made into verbs by adding an a to the end.

          This has got to be the funniest comment section to date here at OE. Possibly also the most educational 😀

          • oregon expat says:

            Possibly also the most educational

            Amen to that — they never teach us these things in language classes. I have no idea why, this is the important stuff!

          • kepler20f says:

            If I had to vote for one winning word, that would definitely be “fjärt”.

            Jag är så upptagen …

          • Lilaine says:

            Yes, Alma. Prout! (As many French words, it might have an origin in a ‘neighbor’ language — Vikings did invade French territory at some time in History).
            I suppose you’ve never heard it because French people around you were ‘polite’ enough to just make a loufe. You might have smelled it, though… :O

          • Alma says:

            Oh, I hope you’re right about the vikings! Nice to think they didn’t just spread destruction but also useful words.
            I realize that I need to start reading ruder books than I have been, to broaden my vocabulary in not-so-university-condoned directions…

  4. oregon expat says:

    I have been laughing out loud over these comments! And, they’ve been pouring in so fast that I haven’t had time to…

  5. Phoenix says:

    Isn’t the best English equivalent “too pooped to pop”?


  6. Lisa Shaw says:

    The closest English equivalent I can think of is “I am so busy I don’t have time to bless myself.” Not quite so pungent a phrase. 😉

    • Lilaine says:

      As I know the British subtlety, this would be a double-entendre… 😉
      After all, hearing ‘God bless you’ right after a sneeze is most common… 😛

  7. kk613 says:

    Here in the Deep South (U.S.of A.) we say “I’m so busy I don’t have time to take a shit”.

  8. Jbrandao says:

    lol. 25 comments in a very short time, on a post about farts. Keep it classy Internet! 😉 lol

  9. xenatuba says:

    Nothing to contribute but tears of laughter. We have family lingo: SBD (silent but deadly)…and some really funny “fart and run” stories, especially from work.

  10. xenatuba says:

    Oh, and another: I don’t know whether to shit, run or go blind for being undecided and in a hurry…or what traffic does in front of me while operating in emergency mode.

  11. Ana_ñ says:

    Classy and educational, indeed. A brilliant Spanish essay entitled The Metaphysics of the Fart (‘La metafísica del pedo’ http://perso.wanadoo.es/pybarria/lametafisicadelpedo.htm) analyses meticulously in a rich prose this phenomenon in all its aspects, explaining the most subtle differences between the nouns pedo, ventosidad, gas, flatulencia, flato, cuesco, bufa, zullón, follón, pedorrera or borborigmo, as well as their correspondent verbs and adjectives, and the appropriate names for the persons throwing them (as I said in other comment, we throw them, like bombs, ‘tirarse un pedo’). Of course, I can’t list here the complete classification. Suffice to say that it even includes quotes of our Spanish baroque writers, but also Shakespeare or Mallarmé. In its section of cosmogony, it explains the “big-bang” –yes, this is related with the concept of starts guts we learned here the other day. After its hilarious sections of mythology and history, teratology, science and art, it ends with some proverbs, including this Portuguese one: “com bom presunto, bom vinho e bom peido, o prazer chega cedo“

    • Lilaine says:

      Ahh, Ana_ñ 😀
      Thank you for this cultural elevation. 🙂
      My all time favorite French writer and humanist was a wonderful expert in the “Art of the fart”.
      Here’s a most interesting article about ‘Ars honeste petandi in
      societate’ or ‘The art of farting honestly in society’, supposedly one of Rabelais’s contributions to this universal metaphysical topic.
      If I find the time, I’ll sum it up in English for your enjoyment.

      • oregon expat says:

        Leave it to the Spanish and the French to have cultural, artistic and metaphysical examinations of the fart!

        However, I do have to give the Latin Passion Award to the Spanish for “throwing” their farts. That is a visual image I will never be able to erase.

        (Actually, I am envisioning a Pedro Almodóvar heroine, probably in a smashing red dress and heels, gesturing and talking wildly while throwing a fart.)

        • Lilaine says:

          In the sensory universe range, you might also like the musical/aural reference of Gargantua (One of Rabelais’ characters) “barytonnant du cul” (kinda ‘baritone-booming’ from his ass).
          Of course, there is the olfactory dimension to envision, too, when you’re done with the visual and aural… 😉

        • Ana_ñ says:

          Oh Rabelais, dear Lilaine, he got me into trouble in this -our loved- blog: The Pantagruelian Affair (it is not an adventure of Tintin) — Better keep my mouth shut.

          I am greatly honored to accept this prestigious award, Oregon Expat. For the presentation I will proudly wear an Almodovarian dress and my highest heels.

  12. Carla Fernandes @Galway, Ireland says:

    There actually is a Portuguese verb that has the same meaning of “to fart” – it’s “peidar”. Maybe it is more used in other parts of the country than in the Algarve, I am not sure. But I am from Lisbon and we have used this verb ever since I can remember – “dar um traque” was used as a way to say ” to fart” without being too blunt. It’s like using “vou à casa-de-banho” (I need to use the toilet) instead of saying I’m going to take a shit”.

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