Friday, November 21, 2008

Word of the Day: Apretar

Literally meaning 'to tighten' or 'to squeeze', apretar comes to mean 'to kiss one's boyfriend or girlfriend' in Costa Rican Spanish.

Apretar is often mispronounced in the present indicative form.

The verb, in standard form, calls for a stem change ('-e-' to '-ie-') when the stem is the tonic syllable. For example, the third person singluar form would be 'aprieta', or 'aprietan' in the third person plural form. However, many ticos will say 'apreta' and 'apretan' for these verb forms, respetively. This is a common mistake found in other countries as well.

Apretado in Costa Rica can also signify a homemade frozen treat made from a base of either water or powdered milk, and one of many flavors of syrup. The contents are placed in a plastic sandwich baggie and then frozen. To eat it you simply bite a small opening from one of the two points in the bottom of the plastic bag, and suck out the contents from the makeshift teat. This apretado treat is called chiribisco [spelling?] in many parts of Costa Rica.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad I found this blog. I'm heading to Costa Rica soon for a Spanish immersion.

Thomas Carmona said...

I'm glad you let me know. Comments like yours keep me going. So long as I know someone's reading my daily scribblings, I'll continue writing.

Anonymous said...

wow, this blog is amazing. i found it looking on google for an explanation for "diay" - i'm in costa rica for half a year, and no one here could explain me what exactly diay means.

apretar means generally "kiss", on the mouth. the young people here don't use "besar". never. they use "apretar" or "echar"
for kiss on the cheek they use "dame un beso" - "give me a kiss"

for example:
"echaste ese mae ayer?" is the same as "apretaste ese mae ayer?"