author Call Us +506 2289 5125

What does Pa’l Tigre mean in Costa Rica?

Estimated Reading Time: 4 Minutes

What does Pa’l Tigre mean in Costa Rica

Costa Ricans use animals quite a bit in their expressions. The tiger is one of them. Pa’l Tigre means not feeling well, feeling sick, or not having done well.

Estoy pa’l tigre = I feel terrible. Something that is not usable anymore, out of order, esta “pa’l tigre”.

Esta máquina esta pa’l tigre. Me fue pa’l tigre en el examen.

Christopher Howard explains pa’l tigre as to be on its last legs.

It is also customary to shorten “para el” into “pa’l”. Voy pa’l cine = I am going to the movies.

You probably already knew that “tigre” means tiger in English, although it’s pronounced teegre.

Other animals

Let’s look at some other animals Ticos like to use in their expressions.

  • Ese mae es un bicho (bug, critter) – When it’s a female, you say “esa chica es una bicha”. This can be used to express very different things: The guy is a whiz – The girl is a nasty piece of work
  • A bicho raro – is a weirdo
  • Comer como puerco o como cerdo – eating like a pig
  • Ese carajo es un lagarto (lizard) – a person who is not satisfied with a certain amount (money, food) and always wants more
  • Esa persona es una rata (rat) – that person is a swine, he is a liar, a traitor
  • No sea sapo (toad) – Don’t be such a telltale
What does Pa’l Tigre mean in Costa Rica
Este chico es un bicho raro
  • Agua de sapo (toad) – liquor made of sugar cane
  • Ella se hace la chancha (female pig) – she pretends not to understand or to hear
  • Lo agarraron de chancho (male pig) – they are kidding him
  • Me deben un tucán (toucan) – they owe me 5,000 colones
  • Ah la perica (parakeet) – oh shit
  • Llegar a la hora ‘el burro (donkey) – arriving late
  • Amarrar el perro (dog) – cheating someone out of his money
  • Que carajo más bestia (beast) – that guy is a fool
Gallo Pinto
  • Mañana tengo un camarón (shrimp) – tomorrow I have an odd job
  • El esta chiva (female goat) – He is really mad
  • Estar de pocas pulgas (fleas) – to be in a bad mood
  • Gallo (rooster) pinto – rice and beans
  • Gallo (rooster) tapado – covered lottery ticket (so the buyer doesn’t now which number it is)
  • Gato (cat) encerrado – something weird is going on, there is more than meets the eye
  • Dar gato (cat) por liebre (hare) – bait and switch
  • Por si las moscas (flies) – just in case
What does Pa’l Tigre mean in Costa Rica
Este viaje en taxi le cuesta un tucán

So helpful

Thanks again to Alf Giebler for allowing me to use his book A lo Tico and Christopher Howard for the use of the Official Guide to Costa Rican Spanish.

At Godutch Realty, we do not only sell or rent a property. We offer The Ultimate Costa Rica Real Estate Experience, contact us now to enjoy.

Feel free to leave your comments on this blog.

If you like this blog, subscribe to my newsletter by clicking the banner below.

Click here to subscribe to Ivo's Blog

I DO want to remind our readers that we appreciate any referrals you can send us. Also, remember GoDutch Realty when talking about your home in Costa Rica to friends and family. We appreciate it.

We Love your Referrals at GoDutch Realty

Facebook Comments

Ivo Henfling

If you are looking to buy a home in Costa Rica or invest in a condo anywhere in the central Valley, or looking for any property for sale in Escazu, you need to call me. I have been selling real estate in Escazu for over 20 years and can show you hundreds of happy buyers of real estate in Escazu and other areas. To me, a deal is not a good deal unless both buyer and seller are happy.

Related posts

Costa Ricans report the highest life satisfaction in the world

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes Did you know that Costa Rica is a top scorer on the Happy Planet...

Continue reading
Ivo Henfling
by Ivo Henfling

6 Passive Ideas to Stay Busy after Retirement in Costa Rica

Estimated Reading Time: 5 Minutes We have come up with some passive ideas, so you can be busy...

Continue reading
Ivo Henfling
by Ivo Henfling

Why Costa Ricans have two last names instead of one

Estimated Reading Time: 6 Minutes Did you know that Costa Ricans have two last names? When...

Continue reading
Ivo Henfling
by Ivo Henfling

Join The Discussion

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.