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Smooth. You know what I mean?

Here is the question: Have you ever wondered how some slang was born? Really, I have been wondering about this. On a sunny day, a funky group of skaters all of a sudden start to call someone “nail.”

Obviously, if you are not Brazilian, you have no idea what it means. But let me explain this to you. When you call someone “nail” what you are trying to say is: that you’re a sucker. Simple like that. But it is not so easy to understand what kinds of connections were made to get this correlation. Why does a nail denote a flat, boring, annoying, dull, and pesky person? I don’t know, maybe is it because it’s boring to drive a nail into the wood using a hammer? Let’s agree that it is quite difficult to drive a nail without a single crooked inclination; isn’t it? Hardly ever could I do that. Annoying. Or maybe it’s because an improperly placed nail can become very irritating for your fingers. How about the hammer noise? Definitely annoying.

Ouch! I could have invented this slang. Why? Well, on my honeymoon, I traveled to Fernando de Noronha Island and, as usual, I forgot a thing: my flip-flop. So, I bought a new one, but there was not a flip-flop of the right size for me. Let’s go with the small one, then. Of course, you have already figured out what has happened. Yes! I stepped on a nail. In the middle of my honeymoon, a nail went into my right foot. Unbelievable. The nail is a nail. Perhaps this is the main reason: everybody has a bad experience with nails, don’t you think? Or all of this is just bullshit. On a sunny day, one teen funky skater looked at your boring friend and said to him: Hey, nail.

Ok, ok, I know that I have mixed concepts. Nail just makes sense in the Portuguese language. But think about it: wouldn’t it be pretty fun to introduce Portuguese slang to English speakers in English? Because at the end of the day, the same means connections can be made. Out of the blue, you call your boring friend a nail. He will not understand anything, I guarantee, and soon after you say “smooth, man, let me explain.”

Good luck to you understand what I mean by using smooth in this phrase above if you’re not a Brazilian.

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