You can’t call yourself fluent in Costa Rican Spanish unless you understand its slang. Here, I have a few slangs you must learn before coming to Costa Rica.
Brete: In Costa Rica brete means work. The verb bretear means to work. Trabajo is the more common Spanish word for work.
Carga: means load, but Costa Ricans use this word to describe someone who is really good at something.
Catrinearse: To dress up in one’s best clothes.
Chepe: The nickname for the name José in Costa Rica. Ticos often refer to the capital city as Chepe instead of San José. Vamos a jalar a chepe, mae… Let’s go to San José, pal.
Diay / Idiay: An exclamation used to express surprise, disbelief, delight or confusion.
Guaro: A popular alcoholic beverage made from sugarcane, but it can refer to any kind of alcohol like the word “booze” in English. Cacique is the most popular brand of guaro that ismade and sold in Costa Rica.
Filo: Hunger. Hambre is the more common word for hunger in Spanish.
Despiche (vulgar): A mess, confusion or disorder. It can also mean something that is fun, like a party.
Goma: Glue or rubber, but in Costa Rican slang it is a hangover. “Un gomón” is a big hangover.
Güila: The kids, children, or a boy or girl.
Huelepedos (vulgar): A kiss ass. Lamebotas is used in other countries.
Jugado: Person with a lot of experience
Jupa: A term that means “head.” Cabeza is the more common word for the head in Spanish. A jupón or cabezón is a stubborn person.
Pichazo (vulgar): A bunch or a large amount of something. It can also mean a hit, strike or blow to a person’s body.
Vacilón: Fun, or a person who is funny
Enjoy your trip to Costa Rica!