In the video with Joel and Rui the word ‘bonzinho’ was shown not to mean anything really good. Is it similar to the expression ‘mais ou menos’ often used to indicate something pretty average, i.e.nothing special?
That’s correct, @lannybezant The diminutive can have different interpretations when applied to people, though. It’s often used positively(1) and it can even be included in greetings(2).
When it’s applied negatively to people, it can mean, for example, that they’re average at doing something(3) - not bad, not great. It can also mean that their personality is too nice(4), to the point of seeming overly permissive, naive or simply boring.
(1) A minha bebé é muito boazinha. Ela dorme a noite toda! (My baby is very nice. She sleeps all night!)
(2) Olá! Estás bonzinho? (Hi! How are you doing?)
(3) Ela é boazinha no râguebi. (She’s okay at rugby)
(4) Ele é muito bonzinho; eu gosto de rapazes mauzões. (He’s too nice; I like bad boys)
Thank you for your help Joseph. I’m still a bit confused though. When I say to someone ‘tudo bem?’ and they reply ‘mais ou menos’, that always means more or less ok, but not particularly good. So , according to your explanations and examples, ‘bonzinho’ sometimes is the equivalent of ‘mais ou menos’ but at other times can be the opposite i.e. the baby being very good, or when you ask someone whether they’re ok (like ‘tudo bem’?).
It seems Portuguese is characterised by nuances which it will take a long long time to get fully au fait with
Haha, yes. Unfortunately, like other expressions, it’s all about context/intention!