“Oxente” (pronounced “oh-SHEN-chi”), or “oxe” for short (pronounced “osh”), is an exclamatory expression that has no direct translation in English and, although the meaning sometimes depends on the situation, it is generally used to express surprise or disbelief about something like how English speakers might exclaim “what???!!!” at some news they just heard. It is a colloquialism that has become a cultural identifier of Bahia as it considered regional slang that is only used in the Northeast of Brazil. For example, a conversation using this expression might go:
Maria: Oí João, do you have my Batala CD that I loaned you a week ago?
João: Oh no, sorry. I forgot to return it to you again. In fact, I’ve been loaning it out to all my friends who also love Batala’s music.
Maria: Oxente!!! João, I need my CD back. How do you expect me to survive another day without grooving to my Batala tunes?!?! Oxe! (sucks teeth and rolls eyes at João in utter annoyance and disbelief)
Now that you’re ready to falar baianês (speak Bahian slang), let us know in the comments below how you would use the word Oxente.
Check out another use of Oxente in this song by Bahian singer Jauperi.