Costa Rica Coffee Guide

Tico Talk for expats and tourists: Part 5

September 22, 2019

You can’t call yourself fluent in Costa Rican Spanish unless you understand its slang.

Over the past several weeks, we brought you Parts 1,2, 3 and 4 of our Tico Talk series on tiquismos or costarriqueñismos.

Here’s Part 5:

Abrirse: To go, leave or “split.” An expression used by young people.

Achaque: Symptoms of an illness.

Adiós: Is, perhaps confusingly, a greeting that people say when they pass by each other on the street and continue walking. Adiós typically means goodbye, which is the opposite of the Costa Rican greeting.

Acois: “Here.”

A culo pelado (vulgar): Naked. Chingo/a or chingoleto/a are also used here. Desnudo/a is the more common word for naked in Spanish.

A grito pelado: Shouting. Gritar means to shout.

A la par: Next to. Al lado de or junto a are the more common Spanish expressions.

A medio palo: To do something half-way or half-assed. A medias.

Agarrar volados: To learn from other people or take advice.

Animalada: An act caused by bad manners.

Apuntarse: To participante in something.

Arrancado/a: To be mad or angry.

Arrastrar: To repeat a class that someone has failed in school. Repetir or reprobar are more common Spanish.

Arrimado/a: a person who to lives or mooches off others.

Avispado/a: to be intelligent or sharp, like an avispa (wasp).

Tiquismos or Costa Rican expressions of the week:

A medias, ni mis medias: Not to do something half way, or ‘go halves’.

Armarse la gorda: To start a fight or ruckus.

Socarse la faja: To economize or try to save money. Literally to “tighten your belt.”

Christopher Howard has been conducting monthly relocation/retirement tours and writing retirement guidebooks for over 30 years. See www.liveincostarica.com. He is also the author of the one-of-a-kind bestselling, “Guide to Costa Rican Spanish,” that can be purchased through Amazon.

You may be interested

Costa Rica to eliminate coronavirus test requirement for tourists
Costa Rica
1449 views
Costa Rica
1449 views

Costa Rica to eliminate coronavirus test requirement for tourists

Alejandro Zúñiga - October 22, 2020

Costa Rica will soon eliminate the negative coronavirus test requirement for foreign tourists, authorities announced Thursday. Beginning on October 26,…

These are the steps Costa Rica is taking to reactivate its tourism sector
Costa Rica
4785 views
Costa Rica
4785 views

These are the steps Costa Rica is taking to reactivate its tourism sector

The Tico Times - October 22, 2020

The Costa Rica Tourism Board (ICT) on Thursday presented the steps it’s taking to reactivate the sector in context of…

Blockades are back: Protests block two roads Thursday [updated]
Costa Rica
21997 views
Costa Rica
21997 views

Blockades are back: Protests block two roads Thursday [updated]

The Tico Times - October 22, 2020

Update (9:30 a.m.): The Public Security Ministry (MSP) now says the blockade on the Interamericana Sur highway at Loma Verde de…