I make a hundred k a year.

How much money does someone earn when he says the above? I understand it as

  • make = earn
  • hundred = 100
  • k = kilo

With this the sentence translates to:

I earn 100000 CUR a year.

where CUR is an undefined currency which seems to be known by all parties.

Is that correct? If not, why not?

  • The symbol K is sometimes used for a thousand, for example in referring to units of salary or in reference to the Y2K computer bug. The letter "K" is used to represent 1000, because it represents the prefix "kilo," which means 1000 of something in the metric system. For instance, kilogram means 1000 grams.
    – user66974
    Jun 3, 2015 at 19:18
  • Yes, k is commonly used to mean "thousand", as it was traditionally done in kilogram and kilometre as well.
    – oerkelens
    Jun 3, 2015 at 19:18
  • 2
    Yes, that's correct. In America, it'd be a hundred thousand dollars. Jun 3, 2015 at 19:19
  • I've also heard the term "kilo-bucks". First heard terminology this ca 1970.
    – Hot Licks
    Jun 3, 2015 at 21:08
  • Funnily enough in The Netherlands, 100,000 is called a Ton(ne)
    – mplungjan
    Jun 4, 2015 at 9:02

2 Answers 2


You are correct. K is short for kilo. 1K is one thousand, as in:

  • Kilometer: 1000 meters
  • Kilogram: 1000 grams
  • Kilobyte: 1000 bytes (actually 1024)

To say that you earn 100K means that you earn 100,000.


100K is also very commonly used in ASIA as well. Here 1K normally means 1000 (local currency).

'Kg' is also a symbol for kilo, which contains 1000 grams. So K can be informally used to say a thousand and nowadays it is very common informal practice in Asia as well.

"I make a hundred k a year" means he is earning a hundred thousand (local currency) a year.

  • 2
    Actually "kilo" is the SI prefix for one thousand of any unit. It's just that "Kilogram" ("Kg") is often informally abbreviated to "kilo".
    – Useless
    Jun 4, 2015 at 10:58

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