EP word of the week (#12): SAPO

Ostensibly the Portuguese word for toad (the amphibian), [o] sapo is a highly common word in the day-to-day of most Portuguese people with online access because of SAPO, the first and most popular Portugal-based search engine (and whose mascot is obviously inspired by the animal – see below).

Like Yahoo, SAPO‘s main page is filled with news articles from the country’s main newspapers about the issues of the day (and SAPO 24, its news service, also aggregates news from international newspapers of record like the UK’s The Guardian or Spain’s El País). Most people with an online presence usually start their day by reading the main headlines from SAPO, making it one of the country’s most popular websites.


So, if you hear Portuguese people talking about reading something on [o] SAPO, don’t think we’ve invented some weird form of toad-based divination (or worse, a toad-shaped smartphone); that’s just the name of our go-to news aggregation website/web search engine.

On the idiom front, here’s a note: engolir um sapo (to swallow a toad) or engolir sapos (to swallow toads) means “to accept a setback or to acknowledge a mistake”; is there any idiom in English/your native language that you’d use in this situation? Please share them in the comments!

Related words/useful sentences:

  • [o] motor de busca: search engine
  • [o] jornal: newspaper
  • [as] notícias: the news
  • O SAPO é um motor de busca como o Yahoo ou o Google. SAPO is a search engine like Yahoo or Google.
  • [Tu] Leste aquela notícia no SAPO? Que escândalo! Did you read that newspiece on SAPO? What a scandal!
  • Quando [eu] acordo, vou ao SAPO ler as notícias. When I wake up, I head over to SAPO and I read the news.

7 thoughts on “EP word of the week (#12): SAPO

  1. Patricia/orfeonegro March 3, 2016 / 10:40 am

    It’s the same in German: “eine Kröte schlucken” (to put up with a disadvantage)
    Although Spanish is closer to Portuguese than German (!) there seems to be no “tragarse un sapo” (?) At least I’ve never heard that…


  2. Patricia/orfeonegro March 3, 2016 / 10:24 pm

    Learning is a lifetime job: my mother tongue is Spanish, but I believe I had never heard the expression in Spanish…Thanks for letting me know!


    • luisdomingos March 4, 2016 / 9:41 pm

      You’re welcome! (:


  3. Yuliya March 27, 2016 / 8:52 am

    Hello, Luis! Nice blog! :)
    I am studying Português and think your blog is very interesting and useful for this purpose.
    In Russian there are some idioms with close meaning, though not exactly the same.
    1. “Even an old woman can be mistaken” (In English: Even a wise man stumbles) – is used to excuse own (or someone’s) mistake. In Russian it sounds not so obviously as an old-fashioned word is used.
    2. “Put ashes on a head” or “tear hair out” – to regret about something (doing something wrong)


    • luisdomingos March 28, 2016 / 2:36 pm

      Hello, Yuliya! Olá!

      First of all, thank you for your kind words – I’m glad to know 1) You’re studying Portuguese all the way from Russia (which is very impressive); 2) You’re finding the blog helpful and instructive on your learning process – that all one can ask, really: to know I’m helping somehow.

      Thank you for sharing some Russian sayings to go with the Portuguese! It’s always interesting to know similarities and differences between languages.

      I look forward to more comments/questions from you in the future!

      Good luck with your studies (:


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