Tuesday 15 June 2021

A Nickname Is Part of Gringo Life in Costa Rica

What is Mel Gibson’s nickname in Costa Rica? Maybe  “Get the Gringo”? from the title of his latest movie.

Most North Americans tend to gravitate towards each other when living abroad. Costa Rica is no exception in that we have a large gringo colony and many of them hang out together and develop a sense of camaraderie which is good.

When living in a foreign country it is nice to have friends with similar backgrounds. This can help you feel at home in your adopted country and ward of the symptoms of homesickness. One interesting phenomenon I have observed during the 33 years I have lived here is that of nicknames among retirees and other expats from the U.S. and Canada.

- Advertisement -

Gringo males like to give each other nicknames here.

The names are usually associated with where one comes from or his or her current or past profession. I know a whole cast of characters (personajes in Spanish). A newbie usually has to have lived here for a while before he or she is assigned a nickname. Here are some of the nicknames and the story behind them.

Dallas Tom – An expat who has lived here for about 20 years. He lived in Dallas before he sold his trucking company and relocated here.

Canadian Mike – A colorful character form the city of Ottawa Canada. He lives part time in town of Grecia where he bought a home. Mike was a taxi driver in Canada and has traveled all over the world. He is fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish.

- Advertisement -

Search Engine Bill – A virtual walking encyclopedia. You ask him a question about a certain topic and he can go on for hours expounding on it. Bill claims to be a member of Mensa. The latter is the largest and oldest high IQ society in the world.It is a non-profit organization open to people who score at the 98th percentile or higher on a standardized, supervised IQ or other approved intelligence test.

Banana Bread Steve – A jack of all trades with an exceptional mechanical ability. He was a born tinkerer who loves taking things apart to see how they work. He also baked and banana bread on the street for many years when he fell on hard times. He is no longer with us.

Doctor Rick – An American chiropractor and natural healer.

Sailor Bill – A legend in the Gringo Gulch bar scene. The guy was actually a retired member of the merchant marine as the story goes. He stuck out like a sore thumb because of his gravelly and raspy voice.

Indiana Dave – A used car dealer from the state of Indiana who has been kicking around Costa Rica for a couple of decades.

English Terry – A retired Englishman who visits Costa Rica every winter. He loves to talk politics.

- Advertisement -

Miami John – A tatooed chap who used to live in a trailer near Miami. He now lives in Jacó beach with his family.

GM Paul – A retired auto worker for General Motors who has lived here for a couple of years.

Penthouse Bill – The late Bill Morrision who ran a penthouse apartment in the center of downtown San José for many years. The place was a hang out for expats who played cards, consumed liquor and chased women. Bill hosted some wild parties there in the old days.

Whorehouse Tom – The late owner of a massage parlor/ bordello in the 1990s. Tom was quite a character. He probably held the record for the most alcohol consumed in one lifetime.
One-eyed Mike – A Vietnam war veteran who ran a whole slew of bars in the famous “Gringo Gulch” area of San José
Bobby “Papi” Dempsey – The successful current owner of Papi’s Sports Bar in the heart os “Gringo Gultch”

Unfortunately, most of the American newbie retirees who have moved here here during the last ten years or live outside of San José never have had the chance to meet any of the interesting charters mentioned above.

There are scores of other people I have left off the list many of whom lived here during the wild 1980s when a whole different world existed in Costa Rica before the dull and uninteresting real estate people and overnight gurus and other opportunists moved in.

By Christopher Howard, Live in Costa Rica Blog


- Advertisement -

We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

"Rico" is the crazy mind behind the Q media websites, a series of online magazines where everything is Q! In these times of new normal, stay at home. Stay safe. Stay healthy.

Related Articles

[BLOG] Costa Rican Electric Company – General Maintenance Procedures

During my fifteen plus years of living in Costa Rica, I...

Heliport, Money and Weapons in Costa Rica

Following reports by residents of Las Asturias de Pococí about flyovers...


Are you fully vaccinated? You can now enter Spain

Q TRAVEL - Travelers from the European Union or third countries, including Costa Rica, who have fully been vaccinated, will now be able to...

Southwest adds yet another route to Liberia, now from Denver

QCOSTARICA - Southwest airlines will add a new route to the Daniel Oduber International Airport, in Liberia, this time connecting with the city of...

Tourism’s path to recovery

QREPORTS - A new travel trends research paper released today by Tripadvisor®, the world's largest travel guidance platform, reveals that vaccine rollouts globally are...

Today’s Covid News: A slight drop in new cases and deaths is seen

QCOSTARICA - Faced with wasting a vaccine dose when people in the priority groups scheduled do not show up, and a substitute cannot be...

Carlos Alvarado describes calls reprehensible the persecution of Ortega against opponents in Nicaragua

QCOSTARICA - The President of Costa Rica, Carlos Alvarado, described the persecution of Nicaragua President Daniel Ortega against opponents as reprehensible after the government...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 14: 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate

Today, Monday, June 14, vehicles with plates ending 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

The US improves travel alerts for Central America; Not Costa Rica and Nicaragua

QCOSTARICA - The United States has eased travel advisories for most Central American countries, with the exception of Costa Rica and Nicaragua, according to...

Which countries could follow El Salvador by making it legal tender?

Q24N - El Salvador may be the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender, but recent developments suggest that it might not be...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction: June 12, “ODDS”

Today, Saturday, June 12, only ODDS can circulate. The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save for those under the...


Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.