To Kick Ass

  • Botado – a person who spends a lot of money. Mano suelta is also used.
  • Chapulinear – to rob gold chains off people’s necks or commit other petty street crimes
  • Encanfinado – to be angry
  • Estar solo – to be in a class by itself or to be crazy
  • Forrado – to have a lot of money. Cagado en plata (vulgar) is also used.
  • Güilón – a pretty young girl
  • Hacerle jupa or mente – to think about something
  • Marimba – a skinny person of animal
  • Matarle la jugada – to spoil someone’s plans
  • Me limpió – I am impressed or to kick ass
  • Oriundo – neighbor
  • Repellar – literally means to put a coat of plaster on a wall or any surface. In slang it means to rub against a woman on a bus.
  • Sacar la tarea – do do good at something
  • Tatas – parents
  • Tragar grueso – to have a hard time or to not be doing well
  • Troles – slang for feet
  • Trompas – are ugly faces
  • La ve ruda – to have a hard time. Le ve fea or la ve ofe are also used
  • La voló – to screw something up or make a mess of things


Shoeshine Boy

  • Aderezar – to spice something up in figurative terms like a story or anecdote
  • Bañazo – embarrassment
  • Burucha – wood shavings. A more correct word is viruta
  • Chochosa – money haring, huaca or mosca are also slang for money
  • Chucarear – to get angry
  • Dar palos de ciego – to grope
  • Dipu – short for diputado or Costa Rican congressman/woman
  • Dorar una pastilla – to sugar coat or downplay something (figurative)
  • Estar como hormiga en popi – to be very happy
  • Hacerse el chancho – Don’t worry
  • Licenciado en cuero – slang for shoeshine boy. The correct word is limpiabotas.
  • Ordeñar – to siphon (rob) something like gasoline. Ordeñar literally means to milk a cow.
  • Pinolero or paisa – slang for a Nicaraguan person in Costa Rica
  • Voladera de balas – a shoot out Balacerta or tiroteo are also used
  • Zumbear el esqueleto – to do zumba which is an exercise that combines Latin music and aerobics.


Go to jail for uttering obscenities to women in Costa Rica

Piropos are flirtatious remarks or comments men often say to women as they walk down the street in Latin American countries. For example. ¿Qué hace una estrella como tú volando tan bajo? What is a beautiful star like you doing by flying so close to earth? Unfortunately, there are many piropos which are directed towards women that are extremely vulgar and degrading.

Now there is a law in Costa Rica that can punish men with a fine and or jail time if they insult women with indecorous remarks. According to Article 392 of the Contravenciones Contra Las Buenas Costumbres, “Anyone can be put in jail from 5 to 30 days for expressing obscene words or gestures in public. If judge decides that the words expressed insult one’s honor, fines can range from a little over $100 to almost $800 dollars depending on the offense. Furthermore, if the guilty party can’t pay the fine, he will have to spend time in jail to work it off.”

Here is a list of the some of the vulgarities for which a man will be fined or thrown in jail in Costa Rica:

  • ¡Caripicha! – Penis face
  • ¡Chúpeme el culo! – Kiss my butt
  • ¡Deje de ventilarse el hocico con tanta mierda!– Stop ventilating your mouth with so much BS
  • ¡Hijueputa! – Son of a bitch
  • ¡Huelepedos! – A kiss ass
  • ¡Malparido! – Bastard
  • ¡Mamapichas! – A person who performs falacio
  • ¡Me cago en tu madre! – I will defecate on your mother (very insulting)
  • ¡Qué ricas nalgas! What a nice butt you have!
  • ¡Rica! – Rica or delicious woman
  • ¡Vaya ver quién se la coge! – Get screwed or go to hell

There are a lot more of these obscene remarks which I have chosen not to include. God forbid if a foreigner utter one of these vulgarities!


To play it cool

“Como si” nada (as if nothing happened) is an idiom that is somewhat confusing for English speakers who trying to learn Spanish. There is an alternative and longer way of expressing the same idea: “Como si no hubiera pasado nada.” (as if nothing happened).

To play it cool

Here are a few examples of how how this idiom is used.

  • El hizo como si nada. He acted like nothing happened or to play it cool.
  • El siguió hablando como si nada. He just went on talking like nothing happened.
  • El autor saca dos artículos por semana como si nada . The author put out two articles per week like it was nothing.
  • Ellos cargaron unas cajas muy pesadas como si nada. They lifted some heavy boxes like it was nothing.
  • José siguió hablando como si nada. Jose continued to talk like it was nothing.
  • María hizo como si nada. Mary assumed a casual air
  • Ella se quedó como si nada ante las circunstancias. She was competely unfazed in the face of the circumstances.
  • Costa Rican saying: Todo el mundo jala para su saco. Everyone thinks of himself.

The best of the best

  • Almanaques or primaveras – are years when referring to one’s age. For example,
  • ¿Cuántos almanaques tienes? How old are you? ¿Cuántos años tienes? Is the correct expression.
  • Armarse la gorda – to raise an uproar
  • Avionetazo – a plane crash
  • Celulitis – literally is cellulite but can also refer to an addiction to using a cell phone continuously.
  • Echar para el saco – to chalk something up to experience
  • Estar en alas de cucaracha – to be about to be fired from a job or end an relationship
  • Farmacha – a bleach blonde
  • Fio – short for the woman’s name Fiorella
  • Fran – short for the man’s name Francisco
  • Maleta – literally means suitcase but can also refer to a man’s genitals
  • Mameyazo – a big blow or hit
  • Pararle la peluca a alguien – to upset someone or make someone mad
  • Sampedranos – those who live in San Jose’s suburb of San Pedro
  • Sombra – usually means shade but is slang for “jail” in this case
  • La tapa del perol – the best of the best or cream of the crop
  • Volar piedras – to throw stones, apedrear or apedrar are the correct terms
  • El yugo – work ……trabajo is the correct word