All Thumbs

  • Chuparse los dedos – to lick one’s fingers
  • Contar con los dedos de la mano – count on one’s fingers
  • Estar a dos dedos – to be on the verge of doing something
  • Dar un dedo de la mano por – to give one’s right arm for
  • Darle un dedo y se toma hasta el codo – give someone an inch and they take a mile
  • Dedar – to nab or finger someone
  • Dedear – to stick your finger into a woman’s vagina
  • Dedo anular – ring or third finger
  • Dedo gordo or dedo pulgar – thumb
  • Dedo índice – index finger
  • Dedo medio – middle finger
  • Dedo meñique –little finger
  • ¡Dos dedos nada más! – just a tiny drop of a beverage
  • Hojear – to thumb through a book
  • Morderse los dedos – to chew one’s nails
  • No mamarse el dedo – to not be a fool
  • No tener dos dedos de frente – to be not very bright
  • Poner el dedo en la llaga – to put salt on the wound
  • Ponerse el dedo en la boca – to keep quiet
  • Ser torpe – to be all thumbs
  • Tronar or chasquear los dedos – to snap one’s fingers
  • Sacar or enseñar el dedo medio – to give some one the finger or flip them off


Short Pants

  • Apear las placas del carro – to confiscate a car’s license plates for a traffic violation
  • Aserricense – a person who lives in the mountain town of Aserrí south of San José
  • Cacharpilla or carcacha – a jalopy or old car
  • Cachetonas or gorditas – large size beer bottles
  • Calladito es más bonito – it is better not to talk too much
  • Chores – short pants or cutoffs
  • Echar adelante y arar con los bueyes que tenemos – to keep persevering
  • Estar como paco – good enough to eat or devour (food or a beautiful woman)
  • El que más grita, traga pinol – a squeaky wheel gets the grease
  • Jalarle las orejas – to scold someone
  • Pega – a person who is a pain in the neck
  • Pichinga – a large receptacle for storing any liquid
  • Se le fue la pájara – something or someone got away from someone
  • Tener cola – to have problems from the past
  • Trabajar con las uñas – to work with very few resources



  • Cabecera – headboard
  • Cama – bed
  • Cama – a bed of lettuce for a salad or other dish
  • Cama or colchón de agua – water bed
  • Cama matrimonial – double bed
  • Cama plegable – folding bed
  • Chinche – bed bug
  • Colcha, edredón, cubre cama – bedspread
  • Echarse una zambullida en la cama – to dove into bed (literally)
  • El que hace la paga – you make you bed, you have to lie in it
  • Hacer or tender la cama – to make a bed
  • Lecho or cauce – river bed
  • La hora de dormir – bedtime
  • Lecho de la muerte – death bed
  • Levantarse con el pie izquierdo – to get up on the wrong side of the bed
  • El pie de la cama – foot of the bed
  • Los pies de la cama – the legs of a bed
  • Postrado en la cama – bedridden
  • Ropa de cama – sheets and pillow cases
  • Sofa cama – sofa bed


To be a good cook

  • Botaratas – a person who wastes money
  • Corvas – Legs
  • Darse un relax – to kick back or relax
  • Esquinera – an easy woman or one with a bad reputation
  • Está legal – to be cool (figurative sense)
  • Estaca – a cheapskate
  • Estañón sin fondo – a person who eats a lot or a bottomless pit
  • La farandutica – a click of Costa Ricans like a jet set
  • Lata – an old bus or a person who is a nuisance
  • Hacer un MCGyviver – to improvise or use what is at hand to get out of a jam, just like on the famous TV show
  • Quedar como jarro de loco – to be in bad shape
  • Sapo – a gossiper
  • Sátiro – a dirty old man
  • Se merendo – humongous or very big
  • Tener buena cuchara – to be a good cook
  • ¡Zócale! – Hurry up! Get moving!


A car crash

  • Cletear – to ride a bicycle. Montar en bicicleta is more correct.
  • Comerse un gallo – to have sex (slang)
  • La Escupe fuego – slang for gun
  • Forrado/a – to have a lot of money. We also say tener todo el huevo.
  • Leñazo, Bombazo, guamazo – all mean a violent automobile crash
  • Jocote – a type of local fruit or slang for someone’s big toe
  • Jocotear – to bother someone
  • Jupón or jupona – a stubborn person. Necio/a, terco/a and cabeza dura all mean the same.
  • Macuco – a strong person
  • Ponerse full – to be full like a soccer stadium
  • Ponerse de todos colores – to get embarrassed
  • Rajar de algo – to brag about something
  • Salir con un domingo 7 – to do something stupid
  • Soplado – fast
  • Todo está a cachete – all is very good. The same as pura vida