Wednesday, April 9, 2008

In the Campo

The word 'campo' most people learn as a word meaning 'countryside'. This meaning is still valid in Costa Rica, but perhaps a more common usage, even in "el campo" itself, employs the word as a synonym for 'space'.

For example, if someone is trying to squeeze through a small space around another person, she'll say "deme campo por favor".

The first time I heard someone asking me for some 'campo', I didn't know what to make of it. (I was either too slow to pick up on contextual clues, or I was just too caught up in the new language to function as a normal human being.) I ended up getting out of the way, but it was about a minute later when I fully understood that the person was not only asking for a little space, but that campo actually means 'space'. A real epiphany, I know.

¡Dame campo o dame la muerte! Sounds like a country song.

Pura Vida,


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