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"Menino" vs. "Rapaz" vs. "Garoto"

Ok. So, according to Duo, "menino", "rapaz", and "garoto" all mean boy, but how are they different. I feel like "menino" implies a little boy in elementary school but that's only because it looks related to spanish "niño". Are the three different, or all 3 synonymous? Thanks!!!

June 2, 2013


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I feel menino and garoto are equivalent. Rapaz makes me think of someone maybe on his 20s, young but not a child. Sometimes the word Rapaz is used to describe a child as a grown up, so i feel this one is indeed a little different.


Yup. You're right. Plus, garoto is sightly less formal than menino, but we use them interchangeably. For moms, their sons will continue being young kids, so they sometimes tell their friends "oh.... esse é meu menino" which drives us crazy!!!! Haha


I think it is like this: Menino ( a kid between 1-8 ), Garoto ( a boy between 9-11 ), Rapaz ( A teenager between 12-19 )


"rapaz" is usually said by older people, while "garoto" and "menino" are used on the same way and by the same people...

we even have another word "moleque", which is derogatory, as a boy you dislike...


I think it's 'Muleke'?


Just in really informal writing, through Skype for example... but the correct is "Moleque"


And rapaz or rapariga is used in European Portuguese instead of menino or menina...


"Moleque" means boy. It is informal and very very usual in Brazil. It is a word derived from african dialects that was incorporated to Portuguese. If you ever visit Rio, you'll probably hear the locals saying "Aê moleque!" as "hey mate!"


Just be sure not to use "rapariga" in Brazil, it is an insult in most parts of the country.


Does this mean that in Europe it's better to use rapaz? I've heard a Portuguese friend saying menina, but i can't really judge how it is.


"Muleke" is simply a way of writing it on the Internet...or graffitis... Like "for you" would be "4u". That kind of informal situations. The word itself is very used in general, but the proper spelling is "moleque".


Muito obrigado pela sua ajuda. (Did I say it right???)


Great Lawrence!! Or "muito obrigado por sua ajuda"


Aok I 99.99% understand

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