Tuesday, November 17, 2009
The Brazilian Portuguese word for pineapple, abacaxi (pronounced ah-bah-ke-SHEE), not only means the fruit but is also commonly used to describe a situation that is "messed-up", "disastrous", or "totally screwed up." For example, a literal translation of "Ele terminou a noite com um grande abacaxi" would be "He ended the night in a totally messed-up situation."
Linguists suggest that this non-culinary use of the word abacaxi most likely came about because of the notoriously "prickly" nature of the fruit, which can be very difficult to handle. Thus, a situation that is very difficult to handle, or likely to cause damage is an abacaxi.