Costa Rican Spanish Vocabulary

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    Costa Rican Word/Common Spanish Alternative/Translation

    abanico/ ventilador/ fan (box or ceiling)
    enojado/ enfadado (Spain)/ angry
    birra/ cerveza/ beer
    boñiga/ estiércol/ manure
    bomba/ gasolinera/ gas station
    cabecera/ almohada/ pillow
    calzones (not the food)/ ropa interior/ underwear (bottoms)
    carro/ coche, auto/ car
    faja/ cinturón/ belt (clothing)
    largo/ lejos/ far, far away
    macho/ rubio/ blond
    zancudo/ mosquito/ mosquito
    olores/ especias/ spices
    pajilla/ pajita/ drinking straw
    queque/ torta, pastel/ cake
    rabo/ cola/ tail of an animal
    tiquete/ boleto/ ticket

    Water in Costa Rica

    Agua, one of Costa Rica’s most valuable assets, comes in many forms. Water falls from the sky, mixes with clay, springs from the ground, and falls from cliffs. Here is some of the most useful Costa Rican terminology related to water:

    llovizna – drizzle or sprinkle

    pel de gato – very light rain

    aguacero – torrential downpour

    baldazo – literally a big bucket (a storm that’s raining buckets)

    barro – mud

    tierra – soil, earth

    arcilla – clay

    Natural spring
    naciente (f) – natural spring (a word that appears to be almost exclusive to Costa Rica)

    manantial (m) – natural spring

    catarata – waterfall (cascada is rarely used)

    pozo – well

    poza – deep swimming hole in a river

    bomba – water pump for a well (among many other things, if you care to click on the link)

    aguado – watery, dilute

    echar agua – conceding position to an opponent to give the impression of weakness, sandbagging

    aguadulce – popular drink made of hot water and brown sugar

    aguachinarse – to lose one’s crops due to excessive rain, to contract a fungal infection from excessive wetness

    agua potable – potable water

    acueducto – aqueduct, potable water project

    agua del tubo – tap water (agua de la llave is more common in South America)

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