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

To have fangs

  • Apretados – frozen juice or jello which is sold in a plastic sleeve which you have to squeeze or suck to extract the liquid. This term comes from the Spanish verb apretar which means to squeeze.
  • Chanearse – to dress well
  • Chaine – slang for threads or clothes
  • Estar tamarindeado – to be drunk
  • Tener colmillo – to be astute, clever or convincing. It literally mens to have big fangs.
  • Los apagafuegos – is slang for firemen in Costa Rica. The correct Spanish word is bomberos
  • Mameyazo – means the same as Quedarse como un Cristo or all banged up
  • Mita y mita – to go halfsies or pay half of something. We also say vamos a medias .
  • Meche – short for Mercedes which is the name of a woman. It is also slang for the automobile Mercedes Benz.
  • Quedarse hecho un Cristo – used describe a person who is bruised or beaten up. This expression literally means to end up like Jesus Christ.
  • Tragar grueso – to grin and bear it
  • Turri – short for the town of Turrialba
  • Turrialbazo – used to describe for the Turrialba volcano’s behavior when it spits out ash or rock.
  • El yugo or brete – both words are slang for work. Trabajo is the correct word.


To be angry

  • Bañazo – is to make a fool of oneself. Hacer el ridículo or ponerse en ridículo mean the same thing.
  • Chivearse – to be angry. Enojarse, estar bravo/a , estar chivo/a or tener mucha cólera all mean the same thing.
  • ¿Cómo está el arroz – How are you? Slang for ¿Cómo está usted?
  • Irse de pollo – to be made a fool of
  • Pacho – a blast or a lot of fun
  • Pegar con cerca – is to come to a dead end both literally and figuratively
  • Pollitos – children. Niños is the correct word.
  • Puris – slang for the mountain town of Puriscal
  • Semáforo – this words literally is a traffic light. Since nobody respects traffic lights here, semáforo is used for person who nobody respects.
  • Sombra – literally means shade but in Costa Rica it can mean jail
  • Sopapo – is a big blow or a hit. Leñazo and pichazo (vulgar) are also used here.
  • Una vez al año es sano – once a year is ok. In reality this expression is an excuse to do something like eat sugar, drink alcohol or engage in other risky, unhealthy or sinful behavior.
  • Verla peluda – to have something bad happen. Verla fea or verla ofe are also used in Costa Rican slang.