Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Word of the Day: Fritear

Fritear is a popular way to say the verb 'to fry'. The correct Spanish verb is actually 'freir', but many make the mistake of using the past participle of this verb, 'frito', as the base morpheme for the verb itself.

This non-standard way of speaking is also used in other areas of the Spanish-speaking world. I have heard the verb 'fritar' in other countries, which comes to mean the same thing. It's just that Costa Ricans will most commonly add an '-ear' ending to new, made-up verbs--whereas other cultures tend to simply add an '-ar' suffix.

To use a personal example, if I had a love interest at the time in Costa Rica, a friend of mine would always ask me "are you going to [insert girl's name here]-ear today"? (The actual pronunciation of the suffix is most commonly [-iar] because of the Costa Rican tendency to say the 'e' like an 'i' when forming a dipthong with an 'a' or an 'o', the two other "strong vowels" in Spanish.)

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