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Here are some Spanish words and phrases to learn when traveling or living in Costa Rica. Take your time and learn them, it is always helpful to practice while you are out and about enjoying the areas.

estañon sin fondo — “bottomless barrel,” a person who eats a lot

 

hacer la boca agua — “to make your mouth water,” describing something appetizing or enviable

 

ir a mi arbolito — “to go to my little tree,” meaning to go off to urinate

 

me da pereza — “It causes me laziness,” or something more unpleasant, like fear. “Me da pereza ir a la tienda” — “I’m too lazy to go to the store.” “No me gusta visitar a los enfermos; me da pereza que me enfermo yo” — “I don’t like to visit the sick; I’m afraid I’ll get sick myself.”

 

mover el esqueleto — “move the skeleton,” dance

 

oler mal — “to smell bad,” to appear suspicious. “Ese negocio me huele mal” — “That business looks fishy to me.”

 

puros dieces — “all tens,” really good

 

¿Qué sabe la chancha de astronomía? — “What does a pig know about astronomy,” meaning someone doesn’t know he’s talking about, doesn’t know anything about some subject

 

suave — Literally “soft,” this means slow down, wait, not so fast. “Suave, viene un carro” — “Wait, a car is coming.”

 

tamaño poco — although this literally means “a small amount,” it’s used to mean “a lot.”

 

¡Upe! — expression used when you’re outside someone’s house and want in, in place of knocking, or when walking into an empty office to see if there’s anyone in back.

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