Wednesday, January 2, 2008

¿Quién es más macho?

In Costa Rica macho doesn't mean macho. Well, it does, but it most often means blonde. Just like any other Spanish adjective, it has a masculine and feminine form, so a macha would be a blonde female. The word rubio/a is understood in Costa Rica, but the preferred term is macho/a. (You will most often hear rubia when referring to the local beer Pilsen, which is a blonde)

So, if you, as a light-haired foreigner, hear someone call you macho, don't get all weird about it. She's likely not coming onto you, but simply identifying you with respect to your hair color. (Foreigners in any Latin country should get used to commentary on physical attributes, as Latinos have no shame in telling you that you're very fat, skinny, pale, or dark-skinned) Also, don't be alarmed if someone calls you gringo, as Americans are very well-liked in Costa Rica and the word gringo does not carry the same negative connotation like in other places and time periods in Latin America.

Pura Vida...


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Ralph said...

This is a really useful weblog! My wife and I visit Costa Rica at least once a year, and I've been working hard on my Spanish. I know enough to make myself understood in most situations, but I want to be able to understand the locals much better.

I already knew about "rubio" from various sources (especially from "Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal", where Tia Petunia is described as "rubia, delgada...") but now I know about "macho"! That's most interesting.

Thank you for writing about Costa Rican Spanish. It's information that is difficult to find anywhere else.

Thomas Carmona said...

Glad you guys like the blog. Make sure to check out my dictionary, too. It's far more comprehensive than the blog.