Animal Tico-isms

What is an “animal tico-ism” you might ask?  Well, ticos have a way of associating things, with animals.  I don’t know why, and my tica friend does not know why either – it just is what it is.  It’s their culture.

Here are a few examples for you:

HORSE:  While out hiking with my tica friend, we pause to rest in the shade and drink some water.  She wipes her brow, sighs and exclaims:  “Geez, I’m sweating like a horse!”

I guess if you think about it – horses do sweat while running or working. Or glisten – which is what I do when I sweat. Really…

HORSE II: “That guy is working like a horse.”

A reference to the strength and stamina of a horse.

COW:  You’re eating at a restaurant with friends and you’re really hungry and you eat way too much.  A tico might say ”Geesuz I ate like a cow!”

Well, cows are big, and do nothing but eat (unless someone is petting them)…


COW II:   If someone is driving their car recklessly, a tico might say “Man, he drives like a cow!”

Meaning – he is clumsy, reckless, all over the road. You know, like a cow.



PIG:  Say you walk into someone’s house and the kitchen is an absolute mess (like my kitchen is when I’ve been baking).  A tico might say “This looks like a piglet’s kitchen!!” Not in an insulting way, just being descriptive.

Well – pigs are messy.  And dirty (which also happens to be another euphemism for the pig).  So if something is dirty or messy – it is associated with the pig.

CAT: “Those kids are like cats”

You call the kids in for dinner and they don’t pay any attention and keep doing what they were doing.

photo 1

MULE: “Stop being a mule”

When someone is being stubborn or does the opposite of what you told them.

HEN:  If you have too much going on and are running around like a crazy person, I would say “I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off”.  A tico would say “She’s like a hen!”

See, hen’s do run around… like chickens with their heads cut off.  (ok, bad reference)…

photo 2 copy

Bawk, bawk bawk….

I‘m sure those of you who grew up on a farm had similar sayings, and can possibly to relate to these animal-ism’s more than I. But to me, it’s just sometimes funny when I hear my friend exclaim: “Geeesuz, I’m a cow!”.

That’s all for now guys!  Ciao!  — Jen


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6 Responses to Animal Tico-isms

  1. Just a note to say I’m thinkin’ you were not raised in the country…these are normal remarks in English as well from one who has been around animals… Have a nice day…

  2. I don’t live on a farm. But in the states, anywhere, we very often use expressions comparing human characteristics with animals.

    Fat as a pig = someone is overweight
    he is pig – sloppy and dirty
    big as a bear = large, big framed tall person
    eats like a bird = eats very little
    he’s a little monkey -referring to a child that gets into mischief
    I use these comparisons occasionally too. Ticos are a lot like us. That’s great!

  3. Well, it wasn’t that long ago that the majority of Ticos grew up around all those animals instead of in the city. Many of them still do, so seems natural to them. I get a kick out of Ticos my age raised in the “campo” telling stories about their childhood, similar to the ones my grandparents would tell me.

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