84% of Portuguese citizens say “Obrigados”

A study by the University of Coimbra, based on an incomplete thesis by Sr. Acácio at Escola Superior Agrária de Beja, shows that more than 8 million of Portuguese citizens don’t say thank you properly.

Instead, they use another word, that could literally translate to “thankses”: obrigados. Obrigados is to Portuguese what Graciax isn’t to Spanish, Merci beaucoups isn’t to French and what Xies Xies will never be to Mandarin.

The study also shows that if you are in the remaining 16% of dudes that say Obrigado the chance of saying Obrigados will increase by the time you turn 40. And if you condemn people who say Obrigados it’s against your nature: your dad, mom, grandparents, they all said at least 23 times in their lives (according to the study’s data), in formal and informal circumstances, Obrigados. It’s in your blood so it’s likely to be in your mouth in the following years…

The paper also pays close attention to where you could hear it more frequently. Sr. Acácio actually abandonded his thesis when he was just about to do a heatmap on the regions that are more prone to say Obrigados. It turns out Lisbon, Portugal’s main hub for tourists, takes the cup when it comes to share this “unusual yet warm and cozy way to thank people”, according to the study.

“Sometimes people don’t need to thank at all. There’s nothing to be thankful for. Yet Portuguese people are so kind and humble that they repeat Obrigados furiously; often they say Obrigados to each other just to feel better or to carry on with their lives”, the study goes on about Portugal’s natural bond with such a precious… word.

Now that’s a question: is Obrigados even in the Portuguese book of words? We called Sr. Acácio, now retired in Moura, living with his wife: “Não pá. Ninguém no seu perfeito juízo e genuína humildade pode e deve dizer obrigados”, so… a Nope on that one. “Imagine que em vez de Bom Dia, que é o vosso Gude mórningue né, a malta toda dizia Bons dias ou Bom Dias ou, pior ainda, Muitos bons dias. Não faz qualquer sentido. Alguém tem de fazer alguma coisa em relação a isto pá”. The last sentence is a very Portuguese attitude towards everything so we won’t translate. Don’t need to say obrigados, we’re cool…

The University of Coimbra states that, if you happen to be living in any of the following cities you’re about to be blasted by some serious Obrigados, shouted from young kids to seniors:












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