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Learn Spanish a little at a time. Howler has many lessons online for you to read, learn and practice. These are Useful nouns for you to put into practice.

alcagüete — a person who tolerates more than he or she should, like a pushover; or someone who keeps secrets for other people

 

atajo — shortcut

 

cabro/cabra — “male goat/female goat,” meaning boyfriend or girlfriend

 

cacharpa — an old vehicle in terrible condition

 

chorizo — “sausage,” meaning a bribe

 

chusma — rabble, riffraff or criminal element. “En ese barrio hay pura chusma” — “That neighborhood is full of shady people.”

 

guachimán — “watchman,” security guard, also known as a “guarda” or a “guardia”

 

jama — food (the verb jamar means to eat)

 

jamón — literally “ham,” used to mean “easy.” “Estuvo jamón el exámen” — “The test was easy.”

 

leche/lechero — “milk,” “milkman,” someone with a lot of luck

 

mordida — “a bite,” meaning a bribe

 

nerdo — nerd

 

paño — towel. (Often toalla in other countries, though toalla is more commonly used in Costa Rica to mean a kitchen dish towel, a feminine sanitary napkin or a moist towelette used to clean babies.)

 

peso — the basic unit of currency in several countries, and also used colloquially of the colón in Costa Rica

 

sabelotodo — a know-it-all

 

suampo — swamp

 

vaina, vara — thing, object, issue, nonsense, excuse, problem

 

zaguate — a mixed-breed dog, a mutt

zancudo — mosquito

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