Do mal, o menos!

English translation: The lesser of two evils!

GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
Portuguese term or phrase:Do mal, o menos!
English translation:The lesser of two evils!
Entered by: Douglas Bissell

14:42 Jan 19, 2019
Portuguese to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
Portuguese term or phrase: Do mal, o menos!
I understand the idea of this Portuguese proverb, but can't think of an English equivalent
Douglas Bissell
Portugal
Local time: 07:51
The lesse of two evils!
Explanation:
According to Cambridge at https://dictionary.cambridge.org/pt/dicionario/ingles/lesser...

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Note added at 46 mins (2019-01-19 15:28:35 GMT)
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Corrigindo, "the lesser of two evils". Foi um typo meu.
Selected response from:

Sergio Carré
Brazil
Local time: 03:51
Grading comment
Don't worry about the typo, I've corrected it for the glossary
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer



Summary of answers provided
5 +6The lesse of two evils!
Sergio Carré
5 +2The lesser of two evils!
Hilton F Santos
5The best of a bad bunch
Richard Purdom
4 +1A lesser evil...
Katarina Peters
3 +2No harm done!
Ana Vozone
4the least worst
Muriel Vasconcellos
4"Not so bad" or "It could have been worse"
David Chorão


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


40 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
A lesser evil...


Explanation:
...comes to mind, as in "give me the lesser of two evils"


Katarina Peters
Canada
Local time: 02:51
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in HungarianHungarian, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 72

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Charles R. Castleberry: the ....
1 day 3 hrs
  -> Thanks, Charles.
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44 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +2
No harm done!


Explanation:
It was bad, but really, no harm done. It could have been worse.

Ana Vozone
Local time: 07:51
Specializes in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 67

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Verginia Ophof: on a positive note
30 mins
  -> Obrigada, Verginia!

agree  Margarida Ataide
38 mins
  -> Obrigada, Margarida!
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36 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +6
The lesse of two evils!


Explanation:
According to Cambridge at https://dictionary.cambridge.org/pt/dicionario/ingles/lesser...

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 46 mins (2019-01-19 15:28:35 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Corrigindo, "the lesser of two evils". Foi um typo meu.

Example sentence(s):
  • "Every day you choose the best you can find among imperfect options, “the lesser of two evils” as the saying goes."
  • "Is the ‘lesser of two evils’ an ethical choice for voters?"

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/ambigamy/201611/the-lesser-two-evils-fallacy
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/08/13/is-the-lesser-of-two-evils-an-ethical-choice-for-voters/?noredirect=on&utm_term=
Sergio Carré
Brazil
Local time: 03:51
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
PRO pts in category: 4
Grading comment
Don't worry about the typo, I've corrected it for the glossary

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Liliana Arcanjo
0 min
  -> Obrigado, Liliana!

agree  Katarina Peters: ooops... I took too long to write it down and didn't see yours...
5 mins
  -> Obrigado, Katarina!

agree  Margarida Ataide
47 mins
  -> Obrigado, Margarida!

agree  Mario Freitas:
4 hrs
  -> Obrigado, Mario!

agree  Oliveira Simões: Yes, the lesser of two evils
5 hrs
  -> Obrigado, Simões!

agree  Spiridon: Yes Lesser...
1 day 16 hrs
  -> Muito obrigado!
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2 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
"Not so bad" or "It could have been worse"


Explanation:
The expression basically means "of all the bad that could have happened, this was the least bad". "Not so bad" would be an informal way to translate it and "It could have been worse" a more formal way.

David Chorão
Portugal
Local time: 07:51
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese
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3 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
The best of a bad bunch


Explanation:



https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/best-of-...

Richard Purdom
Portugal
Local time: 07:51
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 8
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22 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +2
The lesser of two evils!


Explanation:
Douglas: Deve ser "Do mal, o menor! (e não menos). "Lesse" é nome de um rio. Deve ser "The lesser of two evils".

Hilton F Santos
Brazil
Local time: 03:51
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in PortuguesePortuguese

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  airmailrpl
19 hrs

agree  Tereza Rae
1 day 4 hrs
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6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5
the least worst


Explanation:
Another option. Its's the title of a book and a film, which may be where the expression came from in Portuguese, although 'lesser of two evils' goes way back.

The Least Worst Place - Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Least_Worst_Place
The Least Worst Place: How Guantanamo Became the World's Most Notorious Prison is a book about the first several months of the operation of the …

The Least Worst Man (2018) - IMDb
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt5801704/
Directed by Orlando Javier Torres. With Sarah Arroyo, Georgina Borri, Felix Monclova, Delvis Ortiz. On the day of his best friend's wedding, Richard, a cynical ...

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Note added at 2 days 4 hrs (2019-01-21 19:25:10 GMT)
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Or maybe 'the least of the worst'

Muriel Vasconcellos
United States
Local time: 23:51
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 96
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