Sunday, December 23, 2007

Derogatory Suffixes

Costa Ricans use diminutive suffixes heavily in their daily lives. Although some of these suffixes, such as -illo, can be derogatory, in Costa Rica they are usually employed to place emphasis on the noun or adjective to which it's attached. Also, Costa Ricans are usually mild-mannered people and will go to great lengths to avoid verbal conflict.

With that said, Costa Ricans do sometimes use derogatory suffixes to express dissatisfaction with something. For example, a Costa Rican might refer to a group of people as 'esa gentuza', meaning 'those trashy people'. Another suffix is -ucho, which has a similarly negative connotation. "Vamos para Cartucho", as someone might say, lamenting a trip to the city of Cartago. (Just for the record, I have nothing against Cartago--it's lovely)

Go here for more information on Costa Rican suffixes

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