Carioca Meaning example: Ele é Carioca mas eles não.

Hello dear friends! Have you ever heard the word carioca? Today we’ll teach you the meaning of Carioca, and of course how to be a carioca!

To begin with, let’s learn how to say this word. Repeat after us:

Everything that comes from the city of Rio de Janeiro is Carioca. And of course, natives are called Cariocas as well. Cariocas are different (in a better way) from the rest of Brazil, specially with their lifestyle and their accent, kindly called Carioquês. But what does Carioca mean, really? Where does this come from?

Learn the word carioca meaning

Like many things in Brazilian culture, Carioca comes from the indigenous Tupi language and there are disputes about its meaning, but the most accepted one is that the word kara’i oka means house of carijó, a tribe in Rio de Janeiro that was close to the Carioca River in Tijuca’s nature park, in the city’s northern zone.

Carioca or Fluminense

When you first come to Rio, you may hear the word Fluminense as a way to name someone who lives in Rio de Janeiro. The difference between Carioca and Fluminense is that the former is used when speaking about someone who lives in the state of Rio de Janeiro, while Carioca is only for the city itself.

Explore Rio with us in our RioLIVE! Activities!

Other names in the state of Rio de Janeiro

Rio is big! And we also have different names for the people of each county in Rio de Janeiro, most of then have the termination –ense or -ano, so don’t call everyone a Carioca! Check them out:

Arraial do Cabo Arraialense
Belford Roxo Belford-roxense
Cabo Frio Cabo-friense
Duque de Caxias Bibarrense
Itaperuna Itaperunense
Macaé Macaense
Nilópolis Nilopolitano
Nova Iguaçu Iguaçuano
Niterói Niteroiense
Petrópolis Petropolitano
São João de Meriti Meritiense
Teresópolis Teresopolitano
Volta Redonda Volta-redondense


Carioca da Gema meaning

We also have a specific name for someone who’s born and raised in the city of Rio de Janeiro: Carioca da Gema, literally translated would be Carioca from the egg yolk. But this doesn’t make any sense, right?! Well, the explanation is that this word is related to an egg yolk because it relates to the origin of the family. Someone who is Carioca da Gema would be a person that not only was born in Rio, but also their parents and grandparents born in Rio too. So it might be making a little more sense, if we think that the egg yolk is the part of the egg that “makes” the chick.

How to be a carioca!

Now that you know the carioca meaning, let’s learn how to be a carioca!

How to be a carioca: Eles se divertem jogando altinho!

Cariocas love playing altinho at the beach!

How to be a carioca: Luana: Tá quase o Pólo Norte aqui!

For Cariocas, 20 degrees is winter and very cold!

How to be a carioca: Cariocas use the word Pilot to call the driver.

Cariocas use the word Pilot to call the bus driver.

How to be a Carioca. Diogo: É mermo, Derek! Já é então!

Cariocas agree by using the expression Já é and É Mermo. Became a true carioca by learning Portuguese with us in Brazil.

Don’t forget to add these tips to your list…

There are also other tips that can be included to that list! See them bellow!

Os cariocas batem palmas para o pôr-do-sol no Arpoador.
Cariocas clap their hands for the sunset at Arpoador.

Os cariocas jogam frescobol.
Cariocas play frescobol.

Os cariocas jogam futevôlei.
Cariocas play footvolley.

Os cariocas jogam vôlei de praia.
Cariocas play beach volleyball.

Os cariocas comem farofa.
Cariocas eat farofa.

Os cariocas chamam o garçom pelo nome.
Cariocas call the waiter by their name.

Os cariocas chamam todo mundo de cara, não importa se é homem, mulher, cachorro ou pedra.
Cariocas call everyone by dude, it doesn’t matter if it is a man, a girl, a dog or a rock.

Os cariocas falam merrrmo ao invés de mesmo.
Cariocas say merrrmo instead of mesmo.

Os cariocas comem pizza com ketchup.
Cariocas eat pizza with ketchup.

Os cariocas dizem valeu no lugar de obrigado.
Cariocas say valeu instead of obrigado.

What are the Cariocas like?

Last, but not least, let’s listen to Adriana’s Calcanhotto song and learn what the cariocas are like! Listen to the song and complete the table with its lyrics.

Espertos Alegres Modernos Claros Sacanas
Bonitos Diretos Atentos Bacanas Dourados

Carioca song meaning

Cariocas são _____________ Cariocas are beautiful
Cariocas são _____________ Cariocas are nice
Cariocas são _____________ Cariocas are slick
Cariocas são _____________ Cariocas are golden
Cariocas são _____________ Cariocas are modern
Cariocas são _____________ Cariocas are smart
Cariocas são _____________ Cariocas are direct
Cariocas não gostam de dias nublados Cariocas don’t like cloud days
Cariocas nascem bambas Cariocas are born bohemian
Cariocas nascem craques Cariocas are born craques (Very good at football)
Cariocas têm sotaque Cariocas have an accent
Cariocas são _____________ Cariocas are happy
Cariocas são _____________ Cariocas are attentive
Cariocas são tão sexys Cariocas are so sexy
Cariocas são tão _____________ Cariocas are so clear
Cariocas não gostam de sinal fechado Cariocas don’t like red traffic lights

Before you go, check out this one last video:

And that’s it! Now you know the carioca definition, and you’re almost one yourself!
See you next A Dica do Dia

Tchau tchau!

Click on the links below to see more related Dicas
History of Rio de Janeiro
Subway in Rio de Janeiro
What is Farofa in Brazil
Samba in Brazil

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