I had a conversation today with my host family about the difference between a bomba de gasolina or a “gas station” and just a bomba, or a “bomb”. My question was more or less why they were called something similar. I told them I wouldn’t ever want to go to a place that advertised gasoline and an explosive device in the same name.
Here, the term bomba is pretty much used for everything. As far as the gas station is concerned, the term refers to the crank of “Lizzie” cars way back when, if I understood correctly. The Ticos also say bomba in songs of limmerick–I’ll try to explain better: there are some very old and very traditional rhyming verses of two lines each, and in parties someone will start, and they’ll recite one of the rhymes. At the end of the two lines, everyone yells, bomba! and if someone else knows another two lines, they’ll sing next. It’s like a call and response of the “southern” churches, except that each two lines will each tell a different story and I think the singer can modify his lines if he is quick enough to do so.
Other expressions of note:
¡Pura vida!–means “Pure life!”, or “It’s the best!”
¡Solo bueno!–means, “Only good!” Used in conversation: “How is your job?” “¡Solo bueno!”
¡Soque!–means, “Hurry up!”
¡Qué chiva!–means, “How cool is that?” or rough equivalent
¡Charita!–teasing lament, mostly used in the country. Same equivalent as “You poor baby” or “Aw, what a bummer”.
Have a nice day!