Beginner's Guide to Brazilian Fighter Nicknames

by Caleb on May 3, 2007

I read Mad-Squabbles’ post the other day titled What does “napao” mean anyway?, and realized there are a ton of Brazilian nick names that are probably a mystery to many. You know, the kind of thing that is decided upon when sitting around joking around with buddies one time, but never goes away. I decided it’s time to take a stab at a decent list of nicknames we often see and hear among Brazilian MMA fighters and jiu-jitsu names. After living in Spain a while I speak Spanish fluently, which is usually enough to get me by in Portuguese, even the Brazilian variety. But on this assignment I had to enlist the help of a specialist for some of these, so I called on good friend Andrew Correa. Andrew is a black belt in BJJ and often seen referreeing at tournaments all over the country like Grappler’s Quest and the Pan-Ams. He also runs Jiu-Jitsu Now in Northern Virginia. Here’s a list of nicknames you may have heard, their owners, and translations that we came up with:

  • Babalu (Renato Sobral): The name of a brand of gum in Brazil
  • Cacareco (Alexandre Ferreira): Junk, or garbage
  • Cachorrao (Ricardo Almeida): Big dog
  • Cachorrinho (Flavio Almeida): Little dog
  • Cachorro Locou (Renato Matos): Crazy dog
  • Charuto (Renato Verissimo): Cigar
  • Comprido (Rodrigo Medeiros): Tall
  • Franjinha (Ricardo Miller): Bangs, as in forehead hair cut horizontally
  • Jacare (Ronaldo Souza and Romero Cavalcanti): Alligator
  • Jucao (Roan Carneiro and others): “Juca” means “dude”, so a “Jucao” is a big juca
  • Lagarto (Lucio Rodrigues): Lizard
  • Limao (Luis Heredia): Big lemon
  • Louro (Marcos Galvao): parrot, someone who talks a lot
  • Macaco (Jorge Patino): Macaque, a type of monkey
  • Magrinho (Cole Miller): A good way to say skinny like “little skinny”, or “very skinny”
  • Margarida (Fernando Pontes): A Portuguese girl’s name derived from the name of the flower. Pontes claims he was given this for being a complainer or a crybaby.
  • Morango (Fabricio Camoes): Strawberry
  • Napao (Gabriel Gonzaga): Big nose
  • Pé de Chumbo (Delson Heleno): “Lead foot”, i.e., clumsy
  • Pé de Pano (Marcio Cruz): “Cloth (or towel) foot”
  • Pezao (Vinicius Magalhaes): Bigfoot
  • Roleta (Roberto Magalhaes): Roulette
  • Sapao (Carlos Alejandro Bán): Big frog
  • Soneca (Helio): Sleepy
  • Sururu (Edson Jorge): The name of a seafood dish made with a bunch of mixed left overs, mixed. In slang, it also refers to a commotion, as when a bunch of people arguing for something, they are “making sururu”
  • Toquinho (Rousimar Palhares): Treestump
  • Tussa (Roberto Camargo Alencar): short for “dentussa”, meaning Big Teeth
  • Urso (Mauricio Motta Gomes): Bear
  • Zé: An abbreviation for the name Jose

There are probably dozens more I’ve not addressed here but it’s a good start. Let me know if there are some you’d like to see added to this list!

    After BJJ practice in Gracie Humaita

Chatting after rolling in Gracie Humaita in Rio de Janeiro

Last updated: October 23, 2008

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Aj May 3, 2007 at 8:44 am

haha! and i thought you guys would have Vini, aka Pezao on the list.

Bucho May 4, 2007 at 8:23 pm

Nice job bro, it’s always something that’s fascinated me about Brazilian society in general, all the way back from when I was a young kid idolising Brazilian football players.

chewbacca May 5, 2007 at 8:01 am

I’m a brazilian MMA fan and I would liek to suggest some corrections:

* “Babalu”: AFAIK, his nickname has no relation to the chewing gum, which is called “Bubbaloo” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubbaloo) by the way. “Babalu” is the Brazilian name for the character “Baba Looey”, from “Quick Draw McGraw” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baba_Looey);

* “Pé de Pano”: The literal translation is correct, but it is not what it means. “Pé de Pano” is the Brazilian name for “Sugarfoot” (http://www.gpdesenhos.com.br/paginas/outros/outros/picapau/pedepano%20.htm), fom “Woody Woodpecker”;

Hope I helped!

mike September 22, 2007 at 12:35 pm

At the adcc’s my friend was telling me cacareco was like a crappy car or a dumptruck.

dude April 9, 2010 at 9:12 pm

chewbacca babalu really means the gum but for the nick pé de pano you´re rigth

louro also means blond

GLaucio August 25, 2011 at 9:50 am

I’m brazilian and I can0-= explain some names that you are said
“Comprido” is Long
“Cacareco“ is Scrap
“Louro” is Blondie and Parrot is usually Loro
“Margarida” is Daisy
Pé de Pano is the name of the Woody Woodpecker’s name in Brazil
We in Brazil carry the nick name since age of school kid and sometimes we don’t know the real name of the persons

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