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