1. Travel
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Costa Rican Spanish Words and Phrases

Talk like a Tico with these Costa Rica Spanish language tips


Interested in learning Costa Rica Spanish? If you’ve traveled to multiple Spanish-speaking countries, you’re probably aware that each had its own set of particular idioms, slang and exclamations, and they don’t always cross borders. In celebration of Central America’s most popular destination, we’ve provided you with a short crash course of words and phrases endemic to the Costa Rica Spanish language

Costa Rican Spanish words and phrases:

  • Tico: A Costa Rican man; plural (Ticos), Costa Rican people
  • Tica: A Costa Rican woman
  • Macho/Macha: A blond North American or European
  • Pura Vida: Literally, pure life; full of life; perfect
  • Tipico: Native-style, i.e. Comida Tipica (traditional food)
  • Soda: A basic Costa Rican café
  • Dolor de Jupa: Headache
  • Pachanga: Party
  • Muy Helado: Very cold or freezing
  • Saludes: Greetings
  • Grosero: Rude
  • Guila: A Kid
  • Comedera: Food or groceries
  • Idiay: Hello! What’s new?
  • Jumo, Enjumado: Drunk
  • Engomado: Suffering from a hangover
  • Pulperia: Corner store
  • Salado: Too bad!
  • Andar de Tanda: Bar-hopping
  • Que Polo: How lame!
  • Buena Nota: Cool or all right
  • Que Cuentos: Yeah Right
  • Boca: Literally, mouth; A small appetizer
  • Mae: A guy
  • Chunche: Thing (a placeholder)

Learn more about Costa Rica travel!

Compare rates on flights to San Jose, Costa Rica (SJO) and Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR)

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.