Here's Why Gringos At The Olympics Need To Be Very Careful About Saying "Sugarloaf Mountain" In Portuguese

A little linguistics lesson for you!

This is Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro. In Portuguese, the mountain is called Pão de Açúcar. That literally translates to "bread of sugar."

Matthew Stockman / Getty Images

Pão — which means bread — has a little accent on the "a" which changes the pronunciation quite a bit!

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This is something that Americans talking about Rio de Janeiro need to be careful about. For instance, Tuesday morning on the Today show, Matt Lauer pronounced it "pau de açúcar," which does not mean sugarloaf.

Pau is a slang word for "penis" or "dick." So, Matt Lauer told everyone to go look at "Sugardick Mountain."

But it's actually a whole thing! And Brazilians have been making fun of gringos not being able to pronounce Pão de Açúcar for ages.

Twitter: @StefanyUnnie

"When we were on the videocall, he kept talking about pão de açúcar, but since he’s gringo he said 'sugar dick.'"

Twitter: @liraalexxyaa

"'Do the pão de açúcar hike'

'I wanna do the sugar dick mountain hike'


Twitter: @goaway_bitch

"There are nice gringos and there are gringos who say 'sugardick mountain.'"

It could be way worse, though. A reader told BuzzFeed Brazil last year about a story where a gringo asked for directions to "Pão de Chuca" — which means "Anal Douche Bread."

Bread of What? by Guilherme Fani

"A gringo asked me once if the 513 (bus line) passed the 'Bread Chuca.' When I managed to stop laughing, I said yes."



A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.