On a recent stroll through Puerto Limón, Costa Rica this street vendor’s marketing efforts caught my attention. For two reasons.
The first reason is given away by this post title. For the second, take a stab to see if you know why. I’ll give you the answer at the end of this post.
For any of our regular followers, the What’s the Word posts are a well-known topic. For those of you that are new to Speaking Latino, the What’s the Word posts take a common English word and present the various Spanish translations for that single word. On one wild and wooly occasion (What’s the Word: PALO) we even mixed it up by using one Spanish word and presenting all the different English meanings for that word. Bottom line, everything is about Spanish differences.
Language Learning: Spanish for DRINKING STRAW
So back to my stroll through Puerto Limón. This vendor’s cart initially caught my eye because of the word pipa. While it’s a word I am familiar with, translated as pipe, it surprised me to see pipa in the context presented above on the vendor’s cart.
A quick question to the vendor answered my doubt. Pipa here refers to a drinking straw.
That response instigated this post. I have found that this word has a different Spanish translation in almost every country I know, and this experience in Costa Rica only affirmed my experience.
Here’s a sample of the different translations. We have popote for Mexico. Pajita for Argentina. Bombilla for Chile. In Puerto Rico, the word is sorbeto. For Colombia, pitillo is used.
In typical Speaking Latino fashion, the Argentine word pajita may cause a chuckle in other countries. You see, it’s related to a word from Spain for jerking off. So beware!
Back to the beginning. Did you identify the second thing that caught my eye on our friendly vendor’s cart? … … It’s the word naranga spelled incorrectly. The correct spelling is naranja.
Know any other words for STRAW? How do you say it in Spain, Peru, Venezuela or Paraguay?
Check out these other articles about the Spanish Language.