H is for Hacerse Bolas

Costarican idioms (loosely interpreted)   Hacerse bolas is to become confused, which is easy to do if you don’t speak Spanish very well. Like me. But for a long time I didn’t have to learn the language. The area where we live, the Atlantic coast, was first populated by indigenous natives and then by WestContinue reading “H is for Hacerse Bolas”

G is for Guachimán

Costarican idioms (loosely interpreted) Guachimán is another name for a watchman. Some dress in formal uniforms, have a police baton, and a gun like the guy on the left. They guard neighborhoods and individual businesses. Tourists are often alarmed to see these men with automatic assault weapons at the grocery store or ferretería (hardware store),Continue reading “G is for Guachimán”

F is for Frito

Costarican idioms (loosely interpreted)   Frito means “in trouble,” sort of our way of saying, “It’s toast.” It used to be wild down on the Atlantic side of this country. It’s called the Free Zone because it is the area between the Panamanian frontier and the first puesto de policía (police check point) at Cahuita. Twenty yearsContinue reading “F is for Frito”

E is for Estañon Sin Fondo

  Costarican idioms (loosely interpreted) Gluttony. I don’t believe I am a glutton, but I do tend to hoard food. For a long time I stockpiled because there simply weren’t any decent pulperias ( grocery stores, mostly called tiendas in other Latin American countries) in our area, so if I saw something we needed, or IContinue reading “E is for Estañon Sin Fondo”

D is for Dicha

Costarican idioms fro A to Z (loosely interpreted) D is for dicha, or luck. When you ask anyone in Costa Rica how they are, they almost always answer, “Muy bien, por dicha,” or, “Muy bien, gracias a dios.”  “With luck,”  or “Thanks be to God,” we are doing okay. They acknowledge with this common greetingContinue reading “D is for Dicha”

C is for calenton de cabeza.

Costarican idioms from A to Z (loosely interpreted) The verb calentar means “to heat,” so this expression means “to get angry” (hot headed). Do I have a problem with this? Ha! This has probably been my single highest hurdle living in Costa Rica. When I first arrived twenty years ago (can it have been thatContinue reading “C is for calenton de cabeza.”

B is for Bochinche

Costarican idioms from A to Z In Costa Rica, bochinche means “to mix it up” or “to fight.” But, curiously, it is also a Costarican national dish. When ordering the almuerzo, or lunch, one can order a casado or a bochinche. The only difference is the way they are presented. The casado is a combinationContinue reading “B is for Bochinche”

A is for Apuntarse

Costarican idioms from A to Z (loosely interpreted) A is for Apuntarse: to join, as in join in an activity, or a club (or a blog challenge). The verb matricular is also used here, but that is better translated as “enroll.” The informal is apuntarse (¿Alguien se apunta a escribir una blog A a Z?).Continue reading “A is for Apuntarse”