The meaning of "Mint" in Portugese


I found this auction for an HP-55 in which the Brazilian seller describes the calculator as being in "Mint" condition. I guess the adjective "Mint" has a different meaning in Portugese.


Michael, the government facilities, here in the USA, that print our money and stamp out our coins are called mints. To say something is in mint condition means that it is now as it was when it was brand new, unused, never opened, etc. - it is "fresh from the mint" and hasn't had time to acquire wear. Hope that helps. It has nothing to do with the herb!

polarbear Mike


The seller is rather liberal in his/her interpretation of the word 'Mint'. This calculator is used and has been subjected to noticeable wear and tear, as has its case.



Ok, this is obviously not MINT for sure.

But what about a unit that is new in appearance but without all the accessories, for instance the box?


Well, sure, the calculator itself could be "mint", however, it simply would not be a "complete" set. I have a few calculators that I found by themselves without any accessories that look like they are new with no visible signs of wear, and work perfectly. I would accept someone describing them as "mint", although I personally do not like to use such terms. I tend to use terms like "excellent" and "no visible wear" when rating the calculators in my collection. This is different from NIB (new in box), which suggests that the item is complete and has never been used. I have never seen an HP that fits this description, however, I do have a few non-HP calculators that were truly NIB. I think that some people do interpret the term "mint" to be synonymous with NIB.


Hi Michael,

Would this fit your MINT and NIB? I guess this person kept it especially for auctioning off as a collector's piece.

Disclaimer: I am not the seller of this item. I do not know the seller of this item and have no interest in its sale.



Yes. Note that the manual is still in its wrapping. I am not interested in these newer vintage HPs from a collector's standpoint. Mainly my interest ends with the HP-41, although I do own and use many of the new models. I have yet to see a truly NIB classic for example.


The word "Mint" is the most often abused word on eBay, in my experience, in describing the conditions of a HP calculator product.

However, often in these cases, the pictures are worth thousand words. Then some.

Good chuckles, though. ;)


Surely the most abused word in eBay is "rare" ;-)


Then by extension a "rare mint" would be the hardest to find?



Surely the most abused word in eBay is "rare" ;-)

God yes! Ebay ought to charge a fee each time that word is used. One unused AA battery - ultra rare!



I just noted a 48GX described as "ultra rare". I guess one appearing at least once every 2 months on UK Ebay alone makes some sellers think it to be ultra rare? Compared to the AA battery, I suppose it is :)



the auction description is incorrect in various places.

Given that the pictures are of the unit on offer, the calc is far from mint.

On the contrary, it has seen intensive use.

The "chrome edging" as the seller calls the silver trim, has been washed out on different areas.

And one of the springs in the battery compartment is badly corroded.

That one will break in the near future.

The rear label has many scratches on the edges.

And the answers to questions to the seller are somewhat irritating;-)




Michael; About eight years ago someone posted most of this here. I added a bit and include it on the page when i eBay something. The funny thing is how often someone who doesn't speak English will take me to task over how it can't be all those things and i'm lying or how i'm breaking eBay rules. I tell them that they're just too smart for me and to not bid on this fraudulent auction. Sometimes someone will ask permission to use it on his auctions. To that i answer "ask the guy who I stole it from. - db

-EBAYese to English DICTIONARY-

Hard to Find = It's the only one I'm auctioning today.

Rare = "It's the only one I'm auctioning this week.

Very Rare = It's the only one I'm auctioning this month.

Unique = It's the only one I'm willing to sell.

Seller Prefers PayPal = I want your money and I want it NOW.

Mint = It looks more-or-less like it did when I bought/inherited/salvaged/found/stole it.

Minty = It's mint (q.v.), except for the funny green sauce I dribbled on it while eating lamb chops the other night.

M.I.B. = Mint In Box, but the item and box got slammed in the tailgate at the flea market.

New in Box (NIB) = I bought this with the sole intent of selling it for many times what I paid for it.

Nice = Looks great - doesn't work.

Complete = Except for the valuable, hard-to-find bits required to make it work.

Not Tested/Sold As-Is = 12VDC? 120VAC? There's a difference?

Like New = Like running over it with a car could really be that bad for it.

With Extras = I didn't feel like auctioning the manual, battery door, and case separately.

Buyer protection on eBay = We have your money. What's your problem?"

I'm no expert on this.... = broken

I don't have batteries to test it = broken

I don't know how to test it = broken

It worked last time my dad used it = broken

Reserve Price = Cost of an item in Heaven - the SELLERS Heaven.

No Reserve = none needed in light of the outrageous miniium bid.

Buy It Now = ...for twice what it's worth, or risk paying three times as much to stave off snipers.



I remember seeing this on an auction several years back. Maybe it was yours? I think I almost passed out laughing! Sometimes the coyness of some sellers is unbelievable. Ain't the internet a wonderful thing?

Edited: 20 July 2009, 11:37 p.m.


That word "rare" really bugs me. The funny thing is, I wonder who do these sellers think they are fooling?

1. If a true collector views the auction, he will know what is rare and what is not. So telling the collector it is rare is pointless.

2. What newbie will buy something he knows nothing about just because the seller tells him its rare? If one set out to buy up rare items for resale, wouldn't one first do some research? If so, then one would at least have some idea of the rarity. So again, stating that it is rare seems pointless.

So in the end, the seller is only fooling himself.


Hi Martin,

I think the word "rare" or any catching word is probably for the search engine, although I don't know if one can do searching in the description.

Knowledgeable and experienced buyers can filter out the junk from the real thing. Most of the time.

It's always make me smile when "mint" or "rare" just doesn't go hand-in-hand with the pictures the sellers so proudly present them. :)

On the other hand, English is a very rich language... I am told.


English is a rich language. That's because we stole the best words from every other language on earth, and we're not giving them back.

We especially like the dirty ones.

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