21 Oct

The use of nicknames is fairly common in Brazil, especially among friends and family, as it creates a sense of affection and intimacy between individuals. 

Even though people can use physical characteristics or funny events to make up nicknames for others, the most common way is abbreviating their names or using its diminutive form. Just add -inho, -inha, -zinho or -zinha to the name of your friend and you have a nickname for them. For example, Olavo becomes Olavinho and Clara is nicknamed Clarinha.

Augmentative forms using -ão or -ona are also common, however, they are more frequently seen among men. In Brazil, you will see a lot of Carlos being nicknamed Carlão.

Moreover, people might also be called by the first or last syllable of their names. For example, Júlia might be called Ju and André might be called Dé.

Watch teacher Deise’s video about the use of diminutive in Brazil on our Instagram.

Brazilian nicknames for girls

Check a few examples of common nicknames for girls in Brazil:


Brazilian nicknames for guys

Check a few examples of common nicknames for guys in Brazil:


Nicknames and football in Brazil

If you like Brazilian football, you might have noticed that most players use nicknames in their jerseys. This is a common feature among Brazilian players and dates way back when. The team that won the 1970 FIFA World Cup, for example, features players like Pelé, Jairzinho, Tostão, Ado, and Zé Maria. All of them used nicknames as their professional names.

By the way, the Brazil national football team also has a nickname itself. It is called Seleção Canarinho. The Canary (Canário in Portuguese) is a yellow bird and the Brazil team got this nickname because of its yellow uniform.

Check a few other Brazilian football players known by their nicknames:

Nicknames for lovebirds in Brazil

If you have a Brazilian boyfriend or girlfriend and are looking for a cute nickname to call them, here are a few options widely used in Brazil.

  • Amor
  • Amorzinho
  • Mozão
  • Mozi
  • Querido(a)
  • Bebê
  • Vida
  • Lindo(a)
  • Benzinho

Some cities also have nicknames in Brazil!

Nicknames are not only used for people in Brazil. Some famous cities also have nicknames themselves. From abbreviations to affectionate nicknames, a few cities are also famous for their other names. Check it out!


If you want to learn Portuguese while experiencing the Brazilian culture, join Caminhos Language Centre, the largest and most exciting Portuguese school in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

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