The Latin word raptus came to our idiom What a while, a term that can be used to name a short time period. For instance: “I was chatting with Juan for a while, I noticed that he was very enthusiastic about the project”, “Stay calm, in a while I’ll go home and we’ll talk about it”, “I’m sorry, but Manuel left the office a while ago”.

A whileThere is no precise definition of how much weather equates to a “a while”. It can be five minutes, ten minutes, half an hour or even a couple of hours, depending on the context and on each occasion. The concept, precisely, is used when the time that elapsed is not known exactly.

If the time that cannot be estimated is Very brief, there is talk of a “Little while”: “In a little while I’ll finish this report and I’ll pick you up”, “The baby cried for a little while but soon fell asleep”.

The word that occupies us has given rise to a long list of adverbial phrases that we use frequently such as “soon”, “for a while”, “hang out” or “from time to time”.

Rato can also be the satisfaction or the discomfort what turns out temporary or ephemeral: “The truth is that we had a nice time last night”, “Because of Rubén we have a hard time”, “I’m very angry with you, yesterday you gave me a hard time”.

A “free time”, on the other hand, it is the moment that a person has at your disposal for do what you want, without obligations or commitments: “When I have some free time, I’m going to take Mary for ice cream”, “In my spare time I usually read science fiction novels”, “I haven’t had a free time to watch a bit of television for several days”.

Likewise, it should not be forgotten that, according to the RAE, the term while can also be used to refer to the male rat or even a mouse.

In addition to all the above, we cannot ignore the existence of other terms that use the word at hand. Thus, for example, we find the so-called marriage while, which is collected in the RAE. To which it refers? To a marriage that has been celebrated in an absolutely legitimate and, of course, solemn way but that has not yet been consummated, that is to say, that the people who have married have not yet had sexual relations.

Rato is also a surname. Thus, in Spain, there are well-known characters who have it, as would be the case of Rodrigo Rato. This is a politician from the Popular Party (PP), who served as a minister during the period in the government of José María Aznar and who was in charge of the Bankia financial group. He is currently making the headlines of the world media because a myriad of alleged crimes he has committed, such as tax fraud, money laundering or asset hoisting, have begun to be uncovered. A long list of events that have destroyed his public image and that are being thoroughly investigated, leading to the emergence of new information on the matter practically daily.