Being borderline solvent, she had a borderline car

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Lamb67

Senior Member
China/Mandarin
Between these chicken fights, Lorlene took me out on tours of the city. Being borderline solvent, she had a borderline car. It had no paintwork, no bumpers and no name. As it had no door handles either, her eight-year-old, Floyd, would have to climb in through the back window and burrow through the rubbish to release the doors.
3rd paragraph here:http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/2011/jan/29/guyana-georgetown-south-america-john-gimlette

I don't understand the borderline solvent's meaning here.

Any ideas please?

Thanks.
 
  • suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It means she is quite poor. Solvent is the clue to money being an issue, and borderline means close to .. so she is close to not enough money. It is not a set phrase, it is designed for mild humour in the whole passage .. and it made me smile.
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    Solvent means having money, so I would think that on the dividing line between not having money and having money, she is barely over the line on the side of having money.
     
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