In English, there's the phrase pick up line. It stands for a sentence or group of sentences (usually not more than a few, definitely less than a paragraph) that indicate an attempt at one person to "pick up", or attract attention from, someone of the opposite sex.

Some samples of pick up lines in English are:

  • Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?
  • Hey baby, I wish you were asynchronous, so you'd give me a callback.
  • Guess what I'm wearing? The smile you gave me.
  • Know what's on the menu? Me 'n U.

I know (or suspect) that similar "lines" exist in Portuguese, but what are they called? Linha de levantar doesn't seem like it fits.

3 Answers 3


In Brazilian Portuguese, the best translation would be the substantive "cantada":

sf bras, coloq* seduction and a proposition. dar/passar uma cantada em to make a pass at someone, to chat someone up.

But I should add that there are some other completely different meanings for the word "cantada" (specially as an adjective or verb instead of a substantive).

And, as stated by bfavaretto in a comment, the word "xaveco" probably also fits.

However, in my personal opinion, "cantada" fits better than "xaveco" because for me "xaveco" seems to be a bit (but only a bit) too broad for this because it could also fits sometimes (but surely not always) as a synonym for "paquera". And "paquera", although related, is clearly not the same thing as "cantada".

* "sf bras, coloq" means feminine substantive, Brazilian, coloquial


In European Portuguese, a possible translation is frase de engate.

  • 1
    Também pode ser linha de engate. Commented Jul 15, 2015 at 21:09

Also in European Portuguese, we have the informal word piropo.

substantivo masculino

[Portugal, Informal] Expressão ou frase dirigida a alguém, geralmente para demonstrar apreciação física (ex.: ficou corado com o piropo; piropo de mau gosto).

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