what does cafucu mean in english

What Does Cafuçú Mean?

Brazil is one of those places where even when you’ve learned the language (or are learning, as is my case) there will always be some new expression that isn’t in your handy copy of “Everything You Need to Know About Brazilian Portuguese and Then Some.” Brazilian Portuguese is an immensely rich language with new phrases coming into the mainstream everyday. Multiplied by the fact that queer co-cultures create their own meanings and understandings… [Insert your deity here] have mercy! Today we’ll look at Cafuçú.

What does Cafuçú mean?

“Cafuçú” (pronounced: kah-foo-SOO) used in common Portuguese gay vernacular is a word that many queer Americans might understand as “trade”, or a masculine “straight-acting” and well-built man.  My initial understanding of cafuçú is that of “sexy gardener” or “sexy pool boy” or “sexy construction worker who arrives conveniently when someone’s partner isn’t there for some knock-knock-nookums.” Turns out I wasn’t far off.

Raced, classed and othered, Cafuçú refers to Black-mixed margianlized cis men who typically work labor-intensive service jobs like construction workers, carpenters or mechanics and have little formal education but who are prized for their well-toned bodies. They may or may not be good-looking in the face.

In this candid convo-turned-podcast, I speak with my friend Felipe about the meaning and history of the phrase cafuçú and other Brazilian Portuguese words commonly used. As we were drinking prior, we are drunk during our convo. Lolz ensue. (Content warning: This is a candid conversation and I don’t call anything out in-convo.)

So that’s all she wrote (or podcasted)! If you have something to say, sound off in the comments section below or join the conversation on Twitter.

In addition to all that Filipe shared, we mentioned a song that I said I’d tag. A popular techno-brega band Banda UÓ has an ode dedicated to loving Cafuçu in the fitting song I <3 Cafuçú.” The translated lyrics are below the audio video. I got the initial translation from Google and made the awkward syntax make sense for English listeners:

I Love cafusú
I Love cafusú

Since that day I denied his love
I’ve wanted to, ah, I wanted to [keep denying]
But it was so hard to say no to that body
I was shaking, ah, I was shaking

Tell me doctor (yeah) that issue (ahem)
Will there ever be some medicine to heal the heart?
Tell me doctor (yeah) that issue (ahem)
Will I ever be able to resist the charms of this nigga? [Yes, you read that right. But there’s a different context and way of usage in Brazil. In many context race is erased from its usage and it becomes synonymous with “dude”. In this context, while it is raced, it doesn’t carry the negative connotation for Brazilian listeners as it would in the US and Anglosphere.]

I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú

[Doctor:] I already prescribed you syrup
The tablet that you want (you want)
But you took cow horny [tesão de vaca is a product to make you horny]
Your whole body was shaking (shaking)

Tell me doctor (yeah) that issue (ahem)
Will there ever be some medicine to heal the heart?
Tell me doctor (yeah) that issue (ahem)
Will I ever be able to resist the charms of this nigga?

I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú

He comes to me with like he only wants me
He has swag/rhythm, he wants me , I said yes
He is mulatto and naughty
Ungrateful brat, he’s Brazilian

If you want my love so pay attention
It’s no good for you to arrive rubbing your hands
But he is delicious, he is half-naked
That’s what I like, he’s cafuçú

Se quer o meu amor então preste atenção
Não adianta já chegar passando a mão
Mas é delicia, ta semi-nu
É do que eu gosto, é cafuçú

I Love, You Love, We Love .. Cafuçú

I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú

Here are the lyrics in the original Portuguese:

I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú

Desde aquele dia que neguei o seu amor
Eu já queria, ah, eu queria
Mas foi tão difícil dizer não àquele corpo
Eu tremia, ah, eu tremia

Diga doutor (yeah) essa questão (aham)
Será que algum dia existirá algum remédio pra curar seu coração?
Diga doutor (yeah) essa questão (aham)
Será que algum dia talvez tu resistiria aos encantos desse negão?

I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú

Já te receitei xarope
Comprimido que você queria (você queria)
Mas você tomou tesão de vaca
Seu corpo inteiro tremia (ele tremia)

Diga doutor (yeah) essa questão (aham)
Será que algum dia existirá algum remédio pra curar seu coração?
Diga doutor (yeah) essa questão (aham)
Será que algum dia talvez tu resistiria aos encantos desse negão?

I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú

Ele vem todo se querendo só pra mim
Tem um gingado, ta na cor, eu digo sim
Ele é mulato, bem traiçoeiro
Moleque ingrato, é brasileiro

Se quer o meu amor então preste atenção
Não adianta já chegar passando a mão
Mas é delicia, ta semi-nu
É do que eu gosto, é cafuçú

I Love, You Love, We Love.. Cafuçú

I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú
I Love cafuçú

Sage Nenyue

Sage is a twenty-something Millennial who lives with his partner and two cats in Recife, Brazil. He graduated with a Bachelor's in Communication Studies (Media Studies) from The College of Wooster and now teaches English to some of the most wonderful people you will ever meet.

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