Want to know more Spanish? Here is a list of random Spanish words to help in Costa Rica life.

ahora/ahorita — now/right now. Yet these words are often used to mean not now, in other words later, in a while, in a little bit, and in many cases, maybe…maybe not… but definitely, NOT now. “Quieres una cerveza?” “Ahorita” — “Do you want a beer?” “A little later.” “¿Quieres comer ya o ahorita?” — “Do you want to eat now or later?”

andar — “to walk,” and other meanings, but used in Costa Rica to mean that you have something with you on your person. “No ando efectivo” — “I’m not carrying cash.”

bicho — an animal of any kind, but often used of a bug. “¡Hay muchos bichos!” — “There are a lot of bugs!”

coco — “coconut,” sometimes used of the head. “Ponga un casco para protegerte el coco” — “Put on a helmet to protect your head.”

¡Cuidado! — Careful! As in English, an expression often used when it’s too late, right after people hurt themselves.

duda — “doubt,” but often used to mean “question.” “Cualquier duda, llámame” — “Any questions, call me.”

fresco — cool, like a cool breeze. It also means fresh, like newly made bread. Spanish speakers often make the mistake of thinking “fresh” means “cool.” “Fresco” is also a fresh fruit drink often served with lunch.

jale — Let’s go, or you go

mañoso — mischievous, but also used of someone who is picky about food

nop — “nope.” Occasionally heard in Costa Rica in place of “no.”

ocupar — “to occupy” or “take up,” but used in Costa Rica to mean “to need.” “Ocupo un destornillador” — “I need a screwdriver.”

sip — “yep.” A formation that mimics “nop.”

trigueña/o — dark-skinned person, darker than the average Latino but not as dark as a person of African descent.

More random Spanish words to come…