Hanging out with the locals has made one thing for sure - I've learned a ton of Tico Slang, or Pachuco as they call it here. It's a lot of fun to use, and it definitely makes me feel like less of a foreigner, but this stuff is puro tico, which means most of it only functions here in Costa Rica, so if I go traveling to other Latin countries, I'll be back to square one with the word on the street...
Below is a list of some of my favorite and most popular Tiquismos. This is mostly for those of you who speak Spanish, or people who are coming here or living here now.
Tico/Tica: Costa Rican born male or female.
Pura Vida: Costa Rica's official slogan, locals use it to replace the word, goodbye, your welcome and thank you.
Que chiva: slang for "how cool"
Mae:"buddy" or "man", it is often used to start or end a sentence.
Apretar: to kiss
Al chile? - Seriously
Que me dice? - What do you say? or What's up?
Que es la vara? - What's the deal?
Solo bueno! - Only good! or It's all good!
Póngale! - Hurry up!
Buena nota - A “cool” person
Nada que ver! - Nothing to see! or No big deal!
Zaguate - A womanizer (literally a mutt or a street dog)
Pura vara! - Lies!
Un pichazo - A large blow or a huge hit of something
Que dicha! - How great!
Por dicha - Fortunately
Blanco - A cigarette
Chinga - A cigarette butt
Jetón - Liar
Me presta una teja? - Lend me a buck?
Que vacilón! - How fun!
Que despiche! - What a mess! or What a good time!
Meter yucas - To tell lies
Estar puros dieces – To feel great (literally to be at pure tens)
Clavo - A problem (literally a nail)
No se monte! - Don’t mess with me!
Tumba la vara! - Stop bothering me!
Hay gente para todo – There is a fool for everything