On last one’s Legs

  • Cachiflín- a type of firework that is lit and then slithers all over the ground like a snake. Correr como cachiflín means to run like crazy.
  • Cachudo – slang for bull. The correct word is toro
  • Carga or galleta – is an awesome person
  • Chinchiví – type of alcoholic beverage from the province of Alajuela
  • Engavetar – is to put someone in jail (slang)
  • Estar en las últimas – to be on one’s last legs or about to die. Can mean that an object like a car is on its last legs, too. Estar con una pata en la tumba (one foot in the grave) is the same. Patear el balde, colgar las tenis, estirar la pata, pasar al otro lado, pasar al otro mundo and palmarse all mean to die in Costa Rica slang.
  • Estar en veremos – to wait and see
  • Gota de agua – someone’s twin
  • Guato, zaguate and guau-guau – all are slang for dog. Perro is the correct word.
  • Irse de pollo – to be made a fool of. Agarrar de mae or pasar por inocente are synonyms
  • Maleta – refers to a man’s genitals in figurative terms. Maleta actually means suitcase.
  • Ponerse más bravo que un toro de Zapote – is to get very mad. Estar como agua para chocolate or estar que me lleva el diablo are the same
  • Se fue en todo or la voló – means to screw up something

Correr como cachiflín

This is the end

  • At the end of the day – al final del día or al fin y al cabo
  • End (of a rope or stick) – extremo or cabo
  • End of the world – el fin del mundo
  • Ends of the earth – el último rincón del mundo
  • For hours on end – hora tras hora
  • From end to end – de punta a punta or de cabo a rabo
  • Get hold of the wrong end of a stick – coger el rábano por las hojas
  • His hair stood on end – Se le paró el pelo or se le puso el pelo de punta
  • Make ends meet – Alcanzar el dinero or cubrir las necesidades
  • There’s no end to it – esto no se acaba nunca
  • To put an end to – poner fin a or poner punto final a
  • To the bitter end – hasta el último suspiro
  • Unending – interminable


Shut up!


A pedir de boca – Just what the doctor ordered or perfect
Andar en la boca de todos – To be the talk of the town
Boca abajo – Face down
Boca arriba – Face up
Boca del estómago – The pit of one’s stomach
Boca del río – The mouth of a river
Bocado – A snack or mouthfull
Bocón – A person with a big mouth (who talks a lot and or can’t keep secrets). Lengua larga or lengua de trapo mean the same thing.
Boquilla – The mouthpiece of an instrument or a nozzle
¡Cállate la boca! – Shut up!
En bocas cerradas no entran moscas – Best to keep your mouth shut
Las malas lenguas – Gossip
¡Muérdete la lengua _ Shut up!
Para hablar y comer pescado, hay que tener mucho cuidado – To be careful what one says.
Por la boca muere el pez – Best to keep your mouth shut
Se me hace la boca agua – To make one’s mouth water. Also se me hace agua la boca
Trompudo – Person with a big mouth (literally)

TiquismoComo para chuparse los dedos – Finger licking good.

To live “High on the Hog”

Comer en olla grande – To be living high on the hog
Coronadeño – A person who lives in the town of Coronado
Entrar con los tacos de frente – To confront something head on
Hatillense – A person who lives in the Hatillo neighborhood of San José
Irse de pollo or irse de mae – To be made a fool of
Melos – Short for gemelos which means twins
Meneca – A beautiful woman
El pato de la fiesta – Laughing stock. El hazmereír means the same thing
Pura carnita – Said when something is very good
Sapri – Short for the soccer team Saprissa
Se le volteó la tortilla – The situation got reversed
La Sombra – Jail
Sopapo – A blow as the result of being hit
Volar ojo – To watch or take care of something
Volar rueda – To drive a car


Sudar tocacos

  • Ser carga – to be very good at something or be very good in general
  • La doña de los frescos – rain
  • Mucho rín rín y nada de helados – all talk and no show
  • Ni lerdo ni perezoso – a person who acts fast without hesitation
  • Ninis – refers to young adults who do not study or work
  • Peluquear – to cut hair
  • Las pompis – a woman’s real end or butt
  • La refo – is la Reforma or Costa Rica’s main prison in Alajuela. La peni is also used in slang for penitentiary.
  • Sacar colmillo – to show off one’s talent
  • Sudar tocacos – to swear a lot
  • Tener la papa en la mano – to have things going your way
  • Las teresas – a woman’s breasts
  • Verolís – a flower that sprouts among sugarcane. This usually happens around December and indicates that it is time to harvest the crop.