Brasilmagic\’s Weblog

Venting to the World

Brazilians and brand names

A funny habit that we Brazilians have is to call certain products by their brand name. For example, no one in Brazil says “I have to buy a new blade for my shaver”, they say “I have to buy a new gillette for my shaver”.  Gillette everyone knows as a famous blade maker, among other products.

The same goes for chewing gum: we call it chiclete, yes, the famous Chiclet brand. Other examples: we don’t say “I have to make some copies”. We say” I have to make a xerox of this”. Yep.  We call any cola beverage “coca” or “pepsi”, no matter what brand of cola it is.  How do we call milk with cocoa powder? Nescau.  The famous Nestle brand of cocoa.

One of the reasons for that is that our industrialization happened later than in America, and some products had no competition for a long time (take “gillette” for example). These names stuck, even though newer brands came along.  Do any fellow Brazilians remember other examples?


March 28, 2009 - Posted by | Difference between cultures


  1. Oi Grace,

    cotonete e mertiolate tb são bem comuns.


    Comment by bellavida | April 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. Obrigada Bellavida! Tinha esquecido estes dois.

    Comment by Grace Farrell | April 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. Wow… achei teu blog por ai!
    I`ll read it always now!

    But I`ll be honest with you, I think it deppends on the region, I mean… Most people that I know will say Pepsi instead of Coca. Or Toddy or Chocomilk instead of Nescau.
    Gillete, cotonete and mertiolate I totally agree.
    nice Blog!

    Comment by Nicolas | April 7, 2009 | Reply

    • Thanks Nicolas, you are also right. Toddy is the most common! I use to remember saying “Vou fazer um toddy”. I still say “quero uma coca” but I know many people say “vou tomar uma pepsi”.

      Comment by Grace Farrell | April 7, 2009 | Reply

  4. Yeah, it really depends on the region. I agree with gillette, cotonete, chiclete and mertiolate. But everyone here where I live says “refrigerante” and “chocolate frio/quente”. Tipo, eu pergunto “você quer um refri?”, “quero um Guaraná Antártica” (porque também tem Guaraná Kuat que é da Coka Cola e diga-se de passagem que é um nojo!).

    Comment by Rita | August 21, 2009 | Reply

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