A Jalopy

  • A puro huevo – with a lot of effort
  • Colado – a part crasher or someone who has not been invited
  • Culo de gasolina – a woman who will not go out with a guy unless he owns a car (vulgar).
  • Enjachar – to make a face at someone. Hacerle una cara means the same.
  • Estar como una uva – to be well
  • Famositico – famous
  • Guato – dog Perro, Gua-gua and zaguate are also used here
  • Lámpara – an excuse
  • Maricucha – slang for marijuana
  • Mechudo – long, unkept hair
  • Perol – an old car on a jalopy
  • Ponerle pecho en tierra – to arrest. Literally it means to put someone facedown on the ground.
  • Ratero – a thief
  • Resfriado – literally means to have a cold but it can also mean to be resentful
  • Sacarse la rifa – to screw up
  • Sacarle el menudo a alguien – to amaze someone
  • Ser un jamón – to be easy. Jamón can also mean an odd job or ham.
  • Troles – slang for feet
  • Zarandear – to scold
Enjachar – to make a face at someone
Enjachar – to make a face at someone

Costa Rican Jail Lingo

Every country has its own slang and Costa Rica is no exception. Tiquismos and Pachuquismos are two types of local slang which are spoken by many, especially the country’s young people. In fact, in Costa Rica prison inmates actually have their own separate jargon that is used for almost any daily situation they may encounter.

Here are some of the terms used in the country’s prisons.

  • Abanico is the entrance to any cell block where the guards are stationed.
  • Abaniquero is the guard who works at the abanico.
  • Arrollado is when an inmate is kicked out of a cell block.
  • Barco is used to describe a newly arrived prisoner.
  • Barco can also mean drugs or any other item that is smuggled into a jail illicitly.
  • Bomba actually means “bomb” or “pump” in proper Spanish. However, in jail slang it is anything people on the outside bring to a person in jail like food or clothing.
  • Bombero is the officer or guarda who delivers food.
  • Cable is any document sent to a prisoner form the jail’s administrators.
  • Cabo is any prisioner who works for another.
  • Campana is any individual who warns others if a guard is approaching or a type of look out.
  • Cobacha is a sheet inmates use to make a type of tent with which they cover their bunks to have privacy.
  • Galeta is a place where things are hidden.
  • Jachudo is the inmate who is the leader of a cell block.
  • Mandadero is an errand boy.
  • Mandarse is a verb used when two prisoners have a fight with a knife.
  • Nicho is the bottom part of a bunk.
  • Palomar is the top part of a bunk.
  • Pasarela is when a guard makes an unannounced visit to a cell.
  • Pasonazo is someone who transports something illegal from one place to another like drugs.
  • Los perros are the inmates who protect Jachudo or head of all of the inmate population.
  • Rancho is any type of prison food or meal.
  • Rayado is the head of security in a jail.
  • Seño is a female guard.


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!