Ways To Say Uncle In Portuguese

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Written By Jessica Knight

Founder of Linguatics. Passionate multilinguist.

Looking to expand your Portuguese vocabulary? Want to impress your Portuguese-speaking friends and family? Look no further, because in this article, we will show you the various ways to say ‘uncle’ in Portuguese.

Whether you have a paternal uncle, maternal uncle, or even a great-uncle, we’ve got you covered. From ‘tio’ to ‘tio-avô,’ we will explore the different terms used to describe uncles in Portuguese.

Additionally, we will introduce you to terms such as ‘tio de consideração’ for an uncle by marriage or close family friend, and ‘tio adotivo’ for an adoptive uncle.

By the end of this article, you’ll be equipped with a range of expressions to accurately describe your uncles in Portuguese. So, let’s dive in and start expanding your Portuguese language skills.


Tio, the Portuguese word for uncle, sounds as warm and comforting as a cozy family gathering around the table.

In Portugal, the word ‘tio’ is commonly used to address an uncle or any older male relative. It is a term that reflects the close bonds and affection within Portuguese families.

It is a term that reflects the close bonds and affection within Portuguese families. Whether it’s a playful nickname or a respectful title, ‘tio’ carries a sense of familiarity and love that truly captures the essence of family.

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Tio-avô (uncle-grandfather)

One interesting term in Portuguese for an uncle-grandfather is ‘tio-avô.’ This term is used to refer to the brother of one’s grandparent.

In Portuguese culture, the role of an uncle-grandfather is highly respected and cherished. They often play an important role in the family, providing wisdom, guidance, and love to their nieces and nephews.

It is fascinating to see how the Portuguese language has specific terms to express different family relationships.

Tio paterno (paternal uncle)

Imagine yourself in a family gathering, surrounded by loved ones, and there he is, your dad’s brother, your tio paterno, sharing laughter and stories with everyone. He is the paternal uncle, the one who is related to you through your father’s side of the family.

Tio paterno is not only a family member but also a friend, someone you can always count on for advice and support. He brings joy and warmth to every family gathering, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Tio materno (maternal uncle)

Growing up, my maternal uncle was always a pillar of strength and guidance. His wisdom and support shaped the person I am today. Tio materno, as we affectionately called him, played a crucial role in my life.

From teaching me valuable life lessons to offering a listening ear, he was always there for me. His kind heart, patience, and unconditional love made him the epitome of a loving uncle.

I am forever grateful for his presence in my life.

Tio por parte de mãe (uncle on mother’s side)

Close your eyes and picture a caring and supportive figure in your life, someone who’s always been there for you, offering guidance and love – that person is your uncle on your mother’s side.

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He’s the one who shares a special bond with your mom and has been a constant presence in your life.

Whether it’s helping with homework, giving advice, or simply being there to listen, your uncle on your mother’s side is a pillar of support and love.

Tio por parte de pai (uncle on father’s side)

Now, let’s shift our focus to your uncle on your father’s side – that person who brings a unique perspective and a whole new set of experiences into your life.

Your ‘Tio por parte de pai’ is a special figure who plays an important role in your family. He is someone you can turn to for guidance, support, and advice.

With his wisdom and life experiences, he can offer a different viewpoint and enrich your understanding of the world.

Embrace the bond with your ‘Tio por parte de pai’ and cherish the moments you share together.

Tio-avô por parte de mãe (great-uncle on mother’s side)

Imagine the wealth of stories and knowledge your great-uncle on your mother’s side, or ‘Tio-avô por parte de mãe,’ can bring to your world. He offers a unique perspective that will leave you captivated and inspired.

With his rich life experiences and wisdom, he can share tales of generations past. He can impart valuable life lessons and provide insights into your family’s history.

Embrace the opportunity to learn from this remarkable individual and cherish the bond you share.

Tio-avô por parte de pai (great-uncle on father’s side)

Now, let’s turn our attention to the great-uncle on your father’s side, or ‘tio-avô por parte de pai’ in Portuguese.

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This is the brother of your grandfather on your dad’s side. In Brazilian culture, family ties hold great importance, and this extended family member plays a significant role in maintaining those connections.

They offer wisdom, guidance, and a sense of heritage that enriches your family’s story.

Tio de consideração (uncle by marriage or close family friend)

When it comes to family connections, there’s someone special who may not be related by blood, but holds a significant place in your heart – the tio de consideração. This uncle by marriage or close family friend plays a crucial role in your life.

They offer guidance, support, and love just like a biological uncle would. They are an integral part of your family, and their presence brings joy and warmth to every gathering.

Tio adotivo (adoptive uncle)

Picture yourself at a family gathering, surrounded by loved ones, and there stands your tio adotivo (adoptive uncle), who’s embraced you with open arms and a heart full of love.

He may not be your biological uncle, but the bond between you is just as strong. Your tio adotivo has chosen to be a part of your life, to support and care for you.

He’s a reminder that family is more than blood, it’s about the love and connection we share.


So now you know all the different ways to say ‘uncle’ in Portuguese! Whether it’s your paternal uncle, maternal uncle, great-uncle, or even an uncle by marriage or adoption, you have a variety of terms to choose from.

Portuguese language and culture place a strong emphasis on family, so it’s important to know how to address your relatives properly. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to navigate family gatherings and conversations with ease.

Parabéns! (Congratulations!)