pagar mico

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From to fulfil + mico (an embarrassing situation), from mico (informal term for any small, long-tailed monkey). The term originated in the children’s card game mico-preto, in which there is a pair of cards for several animals, except the mico. The player who finished the game while holding the mico card loses.



pagar mico (first-person singular present indicative pago mico, past participle pagado mico)

  1. (Brazil) to make an exhibition of oneself (to embarrass oneself in public)
    • 2005, João Ximenes Braga, Juízo[1], 7Letras, page 25:
      PS: Dei uma olhada no post da manhã e pensei em tirar do ar o que falei sobre Bianca. Paguei mico, né? Bem, eu estava doido.
      PS: I looked at the morning post and considered removing what I said about Bianca. I made an exhibition of myself, didn’t I? Well, I was crazy.