MAE (mai) In Costa Rica, unlike the U.S., Canada, for instance, “Mae” is certainly not a woman’s name. Now, granted, there may be some women living in, or visiting Costa Rica, whose birthname is Mae. Yet, that
In Costa Rica, unlike the U.S., Canada, for instance, “Mae” is certainly not a woman’s name. Now, granted, there may be some women living in, or visiting Costa Rica, whose birthname is Mae. Yet, that would be a rare case in the usage of this word since “mae” is not used with the aim of mentioning or calling a person’s name but it is a slang term, very frequently used, to address or refer to someone without saying their name, thus the difference.
The English equivalents of “mae” may be “bro” and “dude” when two or more male friends, relatives or acquaintances are engaged and addressing each other in an informal conversation setting, regardless of the means in which the communication takes places. But “mae” may also mean “guy/girl” when the person uttering the term is referring to a third person they may -or may not- be familiar with. Three examples are of both uses are shown below.
1. “Ese mae es muy gracioso”. That guy is very funny. (Speaking of/referring to a male person)
2. “¿Qué mae? ¿Cómo va todo?” What’s up, dude? How’s everything going? (Someone addressing a male friend/relative or acquaintance)
3. “El nombre de aquella mae se llama Ana”. That girl’s name is Ana. (Speaking of a female person)
Lastly, it is safe to say that a very high number of males/females in high school age and above use this term daily, and even people in the 50’s or 60’s though not as commonly as the former.