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Talk like a tico

Maybe at the beggining you won't notice, but Costa Rica has a completely different variety of spanish. Cultural influences have led to a vocabulary that's a mix of english, spanish and caribbean dialects.

Obviously you're not gonna go mouthing these things off at a business meeting with your regional supervisor, but when you're not at a business meeting with your regional supervisor, you can have some fun with the language.

Costarrican term Proper spanish term Translation
Aguevado Aburrido Boring or depressed.
Chopo Arma de fuego A gun, more like a "gat" or a "nine".
Chunche Objeto Thing. A generic term used for anything and everything. Kinda like a whatchamacallit or a thingamabob.
Harina/Guevo Dinero Money. You might hear "todo el guevo" -> "loads of money".
Jama Comida Food
Jeton Mentiroso Liar
Lata Bus Bus. Wait until you get on one of the public buses and you'll see why the term.
Madre (que madre) Que mal In a two words, "this sucks".
Mae (Maje) Nonexistant A generic term used to refer to others. Originally masculine in gender, but recently ported to any of the two. Comes from the english "man" (e.g. "Hey man")
Mierda Nonexistant "Que mierda" -> "That sucks". Sometimes heard is also "que shit".
"Esa mierda" -> See "chunche".
Pinta No idea. I guess "punk" would be the best translation. Your typical street corner urban dweller with the long hair, multiple piercings, etc.
Playo Homosexual Gay. More exactly "queer", except it's not considered a slur.
Tuanis Good, nice. Comes from the english "too nice".
Yodo Café Coffee. Yodo is iodine, you get the picture.
Varas Objetos/Actitudes "Que varas de mae" -> "The hell is wrong with you?"
"Traigase esa vara" -> "Bring that thing over here"


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