7

According to the Priberam definition, the word "Batuta" applied to people denotes someone brave, fearless.

In Brazil we have a famous movie named "Os Batutinhas" ("The Little Rascals" in the original), which leads me to believe that the word can be used as a synonym for "bad children".

Besides, I always see the same word being used to denote a "cool guy" like in:

Obrigado por me devolver o livro, você é um cara batuta.

So, which is the most common meaning of "Batuta"? Are there some differences between regions (maybe between countries)?

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"Os batutinhas" is an old TV series from the early 50's and I often watched it when I was a teenager.

As far as the word is concerned, "batuta" can mean "baton" the stick an orchestra conductor uses. It can also mean "a bully guy", though.

In the diminutive form, to me it sounds like "os capetinhas", "os endiabrados", "aqueles que estão sempre aprontando alguma" and of course it refers to children under the age of ten.

As for "você é um cara batuta", I've heard it a few times and it can mean anything good, like: "you are a nice guy" or, in Portuguese, "tu és um cara legal" (I prefer this one) or "tu és um cara safo", "tu és boa gente", "tu és sangue bom", all of these slang phrases.

  • Is "tu és um cara legal" ever used? – Sir E_net4 the Wise Downvoter Sep 26 '15 at 13:57
  • "Você é um cara legal", hoje usa-se "maneiro" no lugar de legal. Depende da palavra que o programa de tv malhação disser para os adolescentes usarem. – André Lyra Jan 15 '16 at 15:37
  • @AndréLyra Meus filhos usam "manero". Eu ainda uso legal, e meus amigos também. – Centaurus Jan 15 '16 at 15:39
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The Dicionário da Academia das Ciências de Lisboa may help with batutinha. It defines batuta as:

(1) Gíria Aquele que dirige um assalto; o chefe de uma quadrilha. (Jargon Person who leads a robbery; head of a gang.)

(2) Brasil Pessoa que é conhecedora, perita numa arte ou ofício. (Brazil Person who is knowledgeable, expert in a art or craft.)

(3) Brasil Pessoa forte e corajosa (Brazil A strong and brave person.)

Centaurus explains in his answer, that batutinha means, when applied to young children, endiabrado, someone who’s always up to something naughty, so it is an apt equivalent to little rascal. Meaning (1), perhaps with a little help from (3), could be the basis for this meaning. Note that in different cultures otherwise negative words like rascal and pilantra, malandro are used appreciatively to refer to young children (often with an inho in Portuguese). Not far from where I live, in Portugal, there’s a kindergarten named Sorriso Maroto, or naughty smile.

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