I understand it means "lots of light for you" but I am hoping to get an origin and a better understanding of what this means? Is it religious? Is it slang?


1 Answer 1


Light here usually stands for wisdom, insight, in a sense that has also existed in English since at least the 18th Century (think of the period known as "Enlightenment"). Then, wishing "light" means wishing for the person to be "enlightened".

It can also stand for hope, as in "Ver uma luz no fim do túnel." (light at the end of the tunnel), or, in general, a positive state of mind.

It's very often at least vaguely spiritual, or even religious, where "light" is usually associated with some God, often the Biblical one.

It can also mean good fortune, like in "Que Deus ilumine seu caminho" ("May God lighten your way."), where one's essentially wishing easier, lighter paths, i.e., luck.

  • @ANeves It's certainly the most common case, but by no means always. The positive thought movement, for instance, also uses the word in this 'hope/wisdom' sense, with no religious reference. See, e.g., here.
    – stafusa
    Commented Oct 8, 2018 at 12:41

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