Adventures in Portuguese

Sister Shipp (one of the sisters in our district) is quite honestly the most adorable person I have ever met.

So adorable in fact that we decided to give her a nickname: Bonitinha.

Because she’s sooooo ridiculously cute.

But guess what.

Bonitinha doesn’t mean cute.

We were in the class the other day and we were making sentences. And one of them just happened to include a reference to Sister Bonitinha. Both of our professors stopped mid-sentence and rushed over to us with the most shocked and solemn faces. They said don’t ever call a person bonitinha.

Ever.

Turns out, it actually means an ugly thing/person that is incidentally cute.

i.e. your ugly friend who has a cute top.

We’d essentially been calling Sister Shipp ugly every 5 minutes for 2 weeks.

Embarrassing.

So naturally we fell into fits of laughter and had the hardest time calming down enough to make any more poorly formed sentences.

But the worst part is that bonitinha is so ingrained into our vocabulary and so associated with Sister Shipp that we have a hard time NOT calling her Bonitinha.

And when we do, we have to apologize like 45 times.

Because we feel so bad.

Morals of the story:
1. Don’t trust your dictionary.
2. Ask a native.
3. Learn it right the first time.
4. Don’t call your friends ugly. They hate that.

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