Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sorry, Dora, it ain't a "mochila"

On a few occasions I was subjected to episodes of "Dora la Explordora", which--unlike the English title--actually rhymes. I always preferred the name "Dora la Explotadora". Anyway, in one episode I recall an ingenious song with the following lyrics:

La mochila,
la mochila,
la mochila,
la mochila,
la mochila,
la mochila,
la mochila,
la mochila,
la mochila!

Costa Ricans understand mochila as backpack, but I have most often heard the word salveque. While both words can be used interchangeably in Costa Rica, the most local word is salveque.

Here are some other local words that are used more often than their Spanish alternatives, most of which are more common in the Spanish-speaking world:

Costa Rican Word/Common Spanish Alternative/Translation

abanico/ ventilador/ fan (box or ceiling)
enojado/ enfadado (Spain)/ angry
birra/ cerveza/ beer
boñiga/ estiércol/ manure
bomba/ gasolinera/ gas station
cabecera/ almohada/ pillow
calzones (not the food)/ ropa interior/ underwear (bottoms)
carro/ coche, auto/ car
faja/ cinturón/ belt (clothing)
largo/ lejos/ far, far away
macho/ rubio/ blond
zancudo/ mosquito/ mosquito
olores/ especias/ spices
pajilla/ pajita/ drinking straw
queque/ torta, pastel/ cake
rabo/ cola/ tail of an animal
tiquete/ boleto/ ticket