I’ve never lived in the jungle before.  Therefore, I never believed I would utter any of the jungle phrases I’ve come to say on a daily basis.

It’s always interesting to adjust to a new way of life.  In the beginning, the romance phase, nothing sounds odd. On the phone with a friend the other day, I realized I was slinging jungle jargon.

I compiled the most common ‘odd to me jungle phrases’ here in the rainforest in hopes that if you plan to visit the jungle in Costa Rica any time soon, you have prior warning of life in the rainforest.

Costa Rica Phrases

1. What is that noise? Without fail, something is usually making a noise in the jungle.  Usually so loud it keeps you up at night.

Did you know geckos make noise?  It sounds like a tiny chirping bird.  I only just learned this the other day, and I’ve lived here for a few months now. Who knew?


2. I can’t stop sweating.
For real though.  It does not stop. With highs at 97 F and the lows at 87 F, a million percent humidity (during the dry season). My eyelids even sweat for heavens sake! I hope that’s normal.

3. Look at this new bug bite! I will not force you to look at my chewed up legs.  Suffice to say, there is usually a new one bothering me.  Small price to pay to live in paradise – slowly going insane from the itching. Constant itching.
Jungle Phrases

4. Come look at this spider!
We started naming our spiders around our outdoor office.  They tend to get very large when we don’t move them, but they help out with the misquotes, and a new web goes up every day.

To go against this is futile.  Golden Orb Weavers (Banana Spiders in Spanish) are the most common around our office.  That being said, so are wolf spiders, but they tend to stay among the leaves. Creepier? Probably.

5. Did you see that snake they found the other day?
Rule #1 in the jungle.  Always know where you are putting your body.  Rule #2, carry a flashlight. Rule #3, always look up.

6. The howler monkeys woke me up so early this morning.
The name “Howler Monkey” and the sound they make (think if the Dementaurs in Harry Potter made noise), drums up a much bigger image in my mind than the actual monkey itself.  It’s so small!  We usually hear them a few times a day, and many times in the early, early morning. Thanks guys.

7. I think a bug just flew in my mouth Or drink. Or food. Or down my shirt.  Just, no.  Also, how big was that bug just now?

LOFL Jungle Bugs

8. I think an iguana pooped in my room.
The struggle is real.  With all the open air cabina doors/windows around here, it’s a wonder more monkeys don’t wander in and out.

Also, I found myself having a conversation the other day about the fact we know what size poo is linked to geckos, iguanas, opossums, and toads. Life skills people, life skills.

9. Playing the game: What is that noise coming from – a big bug or little terrifying animal? Or when the game get’s too real and it’s just a statement: I don’t want to see the animal that noise is coming from. I realize this is similar to phrase #1, however the difference is very large.  As in, some noises are cute or interesting, while others are terrifying.

10. Is it really 8 pm? What am I still doing up? Time for bed.  Because we are so close to the equator, the sun sets around 6 pm each night (depending on the time of year) and rises before 6 am each morning.  It’s great for the internal clock, and makes this night owl sleepy earlier.

I’ve actually watched the sun rise multiple times, journal before 7 am and go bed a few hours before normal. My coworker/roomie walked in on me one night, all snuggled into bed with my book. I was upset with him for trying to get me out of bed so late until he said, “Azahar, it’s literally 8:40 pm.”

Costa Rica Phrases

There you have it.  Tools for a normal conversation in the jungle, or preparation for life in the jungle. It’s been amazing, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Do you have weird sayings where you live? I’d love to know your local phrases in the comments below, or to connect on Instagram!