Como falo em inglês: Não é uma brastemp – Inglês Online

Como falo em inglês: Não é uma brastemp

By Ana Luiza | Podcast Inglês Online

Apr 23
PODCAST INGLÊS ONLINE_NOthing to write home about

How are you? Hoje o podcast foi inspirado pela pergunta de uma leitora e aluna de longa data, a Patricia Infanti. Como dizer aquele termo que todos nós conhecemos, “Não é uma brastemp”, em inglês? Não perca!

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How are you? You’re listening to the new episode of the Inglês Online podcast. Thank you for telling everyone you know about this podcast and, enjoy!

As I said in the little intro above, today’s topic came from someone from the Inglês Online community! Patricia sent me an email wondering how to say “Não é uma brastemp” in English. The English idiom I would use to say that immediately came to mind – and I can tell you that the one I thought about is one possibility. There are other ways to convey the message of “Não é uma brastemp” but you’re about to hear my choice.

Ready? Here it goes: it’s nothing to write home about. Nothing to write home about – it’s a metaphor, right? Basically, it means you wouldn’t take the time to sit down and write a letter to tell your family about it, because whatever it is, it is not that great. It’s mediocre… Or just not as good as it could be, or not as good as you expected.

You bought a new mobile phone because the last one you had was stolen, let’s say. Everyone knows about your stolen phone so when your friends first see you call someone up on the new one, they ask you if you’re happy with the new phone. And you look at it and think “Meh..” and then you say “It’s nothing to write home about, but it does the job”. True story, by the way. That happened with me.

It’s not the best phone you could have bought. It’s a replacement phone, you’re a bit short on cash and therefore you ended up buying a cheap, no-frills model that will allow you to make and receive calls but not much else. You knew that, though. That’s what you were going for. It’s not like you’re disappointed, but you know your new phone is nothing to write home about.

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And you know how I used the word “meh”. That’s something people say when they want to convey this feeling – the feeling that whatever they’re talking about is nothing special. Nothing to write home about. It’s not great, it’s not horrible either. It’s just… meh. So you may ask someone if they liked this big, much-hyped blockbuster movie and they look at you and say just “Meh. After so much hype I was expecting a lot more.”

Now, back to the first idiom. I’m sure you can think of something in your recent past that you could describe as nothing to write home about. Maybe something you bought and it was satisfactory. Average. It would be boring to talk about about it, really since there’s nothing interesting to mention..! What is it? In my case it would be some strawberries that I bought in the supermarket the other day.

I was looking forward to eating them, I can tell you that. They looked bright red and juicy, but when I took the first bite, it was like I was eating strawberry-flavoured water, or something. They weren’t bad, but the flavour was barely there. If someone had asked me “So how are the strawberries? “, I would have said “Hmm.. nothing to write home about”. For a short answer, I would have said “Meh”.

Have you felt like saying “Meh” recently? What was it? Let me know in the comments and talk to you next time!

Key expressions

  • it’s nothing to write home about
  • meh


no-frills = básico, sem nada de especial

much-hyped = algo sobre o qual foi feito barulho, estardalhaço no sentido de promoção

the flavour was barely there = quase não tinha sabor

  • Samuel says:

    There’s also the expression “nothing to shout about”. I think both are interchangeable.

  • Joao says:

    Hello, Ana!

    I’m new here and enjoying a lot your job – well done. A question came to my mind when reading your text: you have used “That happened with me”. I would usually write this sentence replacing “with” by “to” but would like to hear you about this.

    Thanks for your time

    • Ana Luiza says:

      João, acho que “happened to” é mais comum. Quer dizer algo que aconteceu e afetou o objeto (que vem depois do TO). “Happened with” é mais no sentido de “aconteceu quando eu estava presente”.

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