To have one’s foot in the door

  • Andar arrastrándola – to scrape by with little money. Raspar la olla means the same thing.
  • Comer pastel – to have a birthday
  • Garúa or pelillo de gato – drizzle. Llovizna is the correct word in Spanish.
  • El/la direc – short for director  who is a school principal or head of an organization
  • Estar a puro té de tilo – to be nervous
  • Estar de manteles largos – to be celebrating a birthday or something else.
  • Estar tostado/a – to be crazy or high on drugs
  • Gallo viejo con ala mata –an old rooster often defeats a younger one.  Person with more experience doesn’t need much to solve a problem.
  • La gabacha blanca – slang for doctor. Doc is also used
  • Mamulón – a large person or thing
  • Panga – a small row boat
  • Patalear – means to die. Palmarse is also used.
  • Poner en tela de juicio – to doubt something
  • Seguir dando lata – to be alive and kicking. We also say, Estar vivo y coleando.
  • Ser muy carga – to be cool or good. Ser pichudo is the vulgar form of this expression
  • Tener el pie en el estribo – to be about to do something
  • Tener patas or pie – is to have influence, be well connected or have a foot in the door

American football terms in Spanish

Yesterday I heard some more terms which I would like to share with my English-speaking readers who have to watch the NFL on Fox.

totti american football

Baja – an injured player
Bloqueo – a block
Boquete – a hole or opening in the line
Cambiar el ritmo del partido – to change the momentum of the game
Comodín – wildcard
Completar un pase – to complete a pass
Dar vuelta al partido – to turn the game around
Descanso – a bye week
Diferido – delayed broadcast
En vivo – a live broadcast
Fogeo – a scrimmage
Hombre en movimiento – a man in motion
Jugada grande – a big play
Limpiar la zona – to clear out the zone
Marcador –scoreboard
Marcador final – the final score
Marcar – to guard a player
Mover las cadenas – to more the chains
Partido apretado – a tight or close game
Por aire – passing game
Por tierra – ground game
Pos temporada – post season
Pretemporada – preseason
Quedarse corto – to come up short on a play or not get enough yardage
Quitarse la marca – to get away from the defensive player who is shadowing a player
Remontar – to make a comeback
Ritmo – timing
Serie ofensiva – a drive (series of plays)
Sujetador – the person who holds the ball when a field goal is attempted or the device used to hold the ball during a kickoff
Tener el viento a su favor – to have the wind at one’s back
Tener el viento en su contra – to play against the wind
Tiempo fuera – a time out
Tirar el pañuelo – when the referee throws a yellow flag to indicate a penalty
Zona roja – red zone

What you see is what you get

Arrastrado – someone who begs for a woman’s love
Así es la cosa – What you see is what you get.
Bicha – a motocycle
Bicho – a criminal
Encanfinar – to hit someone
Guarera – a drunken spree
Jona – short form of the man’s name Johnathan
Leñazo – a car crash or big blow
Mataperros – a car’s front bumper. Mataburros is also used
No darle bola or No darle pelota – to give no importance to or to not pay attention to someone or something
Paja de agua – a small stream or aqueduct
Plato de babas – B.S.
Quitado/a – a person who no longer wants to participate in an activity
Tapis – a drunk person
Una persona teja – a cool or great person
Ser un llenazo – to be a successful event


More costa rican slang

  • Aminovio or aminovia – a friend who like you boyfriend or girlfriend
  • Buena estampa – a good looking person. La misma estampa is to look identical to someone.
  • Burucha – wood shavings used to make Christmas decorations.
  • En un abrir y cerrar de ojos – in a jiffy
  • Enpalomar – to put someone in jail. Encarcelar is the correct verb.
  • Esperar un toquecito – Wait a minute!
  • Estar como las vacas – to screw things up
  • Jumapellido – last name of person who like s to drink a lot of alcohol.
  • Marinovia or marinovio – You girlfriend or boyfriend who is almost married to you.
  • Pase – bus fare in Costa Rica. Pasaje is the correct word
  • Pechonalidad – a woman with a nice bust/breasts
  • Pega de chorizo – someone who is a good for nothing
  • Pezeteño – a person from the city of Pérez Zeledón or San Isidro as it is sometimes called.
  • Portal or pasito – a Christmas nativity scene. The correct Spanish word is nacimiento.
  • Rodri – short form of the man’s name Rodrigo
  • Se le subío el apellido – to get angry
  • Yunaí – slang for the United States. In correct Spanish Los Estados Unidos


A stupid act

  • Afroviernes – slang for viernes negro or Black Friday when products are put on sale at low prices
  • Así es el arroz – that’s the way things are
  • Caballada – a stupid act. Burrada is also used.
  • Cafetero – slang for a person from the nation of Colombia
  • Chochosca – slang for money. Harina and mosca are also slang for money.
  • Chúcaro – an untamed horse
  • Comerse jamón – to be easy or a piece of cake
  • ¿Cómo está el arroz? – How are things going?
  • Empunchado – to make a big effort or to try hard
  • Ganarse el arrocito y los frijolitos – to earn a living or work
  • Gatazo – a sly or cunning person
  • Gato – a person with green, blue or light-colored eyes
  • Hacerse el gato bravo – to take possession of something
  • Paganini – a person who pays for everything
  • Resfriado – literally means to have a cold but can also mean to be resentful
  • Se le metío las cabras – to be angry. Se le metío el diablo is also used.
  • Sentirse como hormiga en popi – to be happy
  • Sincejas – a snake or a woman