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The English Language and Tico Expressions

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Home / Preface
5 - Costa Rica in Brief
6 - Map of Costa Rica
8 - Symbols of Costa Rica
9 - Introduction
12 - Getting a Bird's Eye View
14 - Why Choose Costa Rica?
18 - Costa Rica Has Many Firsts to its Name
22 - A Place That Accepts All Races
30 - The Friendliness of the Costa Ricans
33 - Ticos are Individualistic
35 - Ticos Are Different and Procrastinators
38 - Why Others Have Gone Abroad
42 - Specific Reasons for Leaving Home
45 - Culture Shock
48 - Enjoy Your Retirement by Adjusting
49 - Ways to Adjust to Your New Life
56 - Making Your Stay More Satifying
58 - Cost of Living
67 - Addresses and Directions
69 - Your Car and Driving
71 - How Not to Be Obnoxious to Locals
74 - Adjusting to the Weather and Climate
76 - Choosing the Right Climate for You
77 - City Living versus Country Living
79 - Where to Live in Costa Rica
82 - Living in Your American Style
84 - Top Quality Health Services
87 - Medical Centers in San José
89 - Dying in Costa Rica
91 - Security and Safety in Costa Rica
94 - Personal Experiences of Petty Thievery
98 - Sex and Romance
101 - Going into Business Yourself
105 - Expatriates Production Enterprises
110 - Expatriates Service Businesses
114 - The Business Environment
120 - Helpful Tips for the Newcomer
125 - National Holidays and Festivities
128 - Religion, Churches & Support Groups
131 - The Optimism and Health Link
133 - The 8 Point Formula for Anti-Aging
134 - Obtaining Insurance
136 - Early Colonial History in Brief
139 - English Language & Tico Expressions
144 - Misdemeanors That Are Now Felonies
146 - Closing Words
148 - Bibliography
149 - For More Information and Contacts
151 - Appendix
155 - Index

Tico Comparisons

Cristóbal Montoya Marin, a Costa Rican agronomist, recently compiled more than a thousand old and new tico comparisons many of which are in current use in the country. Following are a few:

Sadder than a butcher on Good Friday
More worthless than a fan made of toilet paper
Less useful than an appendix transplant
Longer than a piss in an old moving passenger train
More dangerous than a blow from a midget
More dangerous than a surgeon with hiccups
More open than a blind man's piggy bank
Tamer than Lassie with a muzzle
More teeth than a cemetery for donkeys
Skinnier than a construction rod
More uncomfortable than a nun in a bikini
Worse than walking backwards with open slippers
Bigger headed than a jumbo pencil
Paler than a nun's armpit
Busier than the water system's repair man on the Titanic
More silent than a cat wearing tennis shoes
More absent-minded than Tarzan on Mother's Day

Some Adages and Their Literal Translation

If you want to delve deeper into the Spanish language, not necessarily Costaricanisms, and get to know some of the refrains (adages) of more frequent usage, there are many good books available in the city's principal bookstores. You'll find that una muerte de obispo means "once in a blue moon" and that dejar viendo al cipres means "left holding the bag." Dar cuerda (wind up) means to flirt, to looking into the eyes of someone of the opposite sex to show attraction.

¿Para qué cortarlas tiernas, si maduras se caen solas?
Why cut them green if they'll fall by themselves when ripe?
La mona aunque se vista de seda, mona se queda.
Although a monkey may dress in silk, she'll still remains a monkey.
Quien a buen árbol se arrima, buena sombra le cae encima.
Whoever gets close a good tree, a good shade will fall on him.
Le dan la mano y agarra hasta el codo
They give him a hand and he grabs up to the elbow

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All texts of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica are copyrighted © by Frank J. Thomas Gallardo and Editorial Texto Costa Rica. We recommend to buy a hard copy of How to Retire Happily in Peacefull Costa Rica.