Algarve’s sayings, expressions and accents show marked differences in relation to standard Portuguese, but due to the prolonged isolation to which it was subject, the particularities of the Algarvian language are greater. It should be remembered that, until less than a century ago, connections with the rest of the country, with the exception of Baixo Alentejo, were almost exclusively made by sea. Sometimes, the strong individuality of the Algarve accent puts understanding to the test on the part of those who are not familiar with it, but this approximation is part of the charm and pleasure of traveling, because the terms and ways of saying translate the identity and cultural heritage of the places and of the people. One of the most famous ways of seeing and earing these dialects are the curses.

The Algarve curses were used in verbal combats, whenever people got angry. And those who heard them would have their ears burning. Ironic, caricatured, malevolent, humorous, biting and even with a touch of superstition, the Algarve’s plagues hit the nail on the head. These days they are little used and remembered with a joke.

Most often uttered by fishermen’s wives (commonly known as cuícas), the “Monte Gordo plagues” were almost “weapons of attack” used in the usual street discussions of the past. Translating the exaltation in the face of any unfavorable situation and in the search for a disconcerting verbal revenge, these sayings intended to curse the other, in a clear attempt to intimidate, often resorting to invoking God or the forces of heaven to amplify the fear of the recipient.

Collected and annotated in an important study in 1979 by Mr. Luciano Domingues and published in the magazine of the now extinct Association for the Defense and Research of the Cultural and Natural Heritage of VRSA (ADIPACNA), present themselves today as an important testimony of the ancestral way of being of the populations of Monte Gordo.

«God grant that he has such a fever that his belt buckle melts».

They are nowadays an important testimony of the ancestral way of being of the populations of Monte Gordo.