Sunday, August 9, 2009

Word of the Day: Millonario

You probably won't hear this while you're traveling in Costa Rica, but Costa Ricans will use the word millonario all the time in reference to rich people.

While it's easy to just say that millonario is 'millionaire', doing so would be highly inaccurate. In Costa Rica a US dollar is worth about 500 colones. Consequently, you'd only need about $2,000 in local currency to be a millionaire in the most simplistic literal sense of the word. By such a measure, nearly anyone who owns a home would be a millonario. This is obviously not what is meant by millonario.

At the same time, neither do you need to have a million dollars to be considered millonario. A cool million is something that most ticos can't even imagine. To live the lifestyle of the vast majority of Costa Ricans, one wouldn't need that much money in an entire lifetime, much less have that in net worth at a given time.

To make a long story short, millonario is simply a symbolic term for an extremely rich person, someone with many millions of colones in the bank.

Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

1 comment:

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