Often used without knowing the true origin, these phrases come from the period of splendor and opulence the city of Potosi lived.
Indeed, we say “is costs
a Potosi!” to define a manoeuver that is particularly lucrative or
something invaluable, representing the Spanish exploitation of Potosi’s mines,
housing endless silver and mineral deposits.
It was Miguel de Cervantes who said through the mouth of his
hero Don Quixote the now famous phrase.
Still used today, these phrases reflect a period that has ended.