Best slang terms for money

slang words for money

Do you know your saucepan from your monkey: What about a sawbuck or a pony or any old moolah? At Compare Holiday Money we see lots of currencies with strange sounding names Taka, Reals, Levi, Colons and Ringgits to name a few, but these are all official names for the currencies and are known throughout the world.

Many countries have developed their own ‘slang’ terms for their currency and we have been looking at some of them.

In England pre-decimal currency had it’s own terms. The shilling, equal to today’s 5p was known as the ‘Bob’ and the half-shilling or sixpence was known as a ‘tanner’ or a ‘tilbury’. The 5 shilling piece (25p today) was known as a ‘crown’ or ‘5-bob’ and it’s sister the ‘half-crown’ of which one or two bawdy songs were written and you have to be of a certain age to have sung them!

Some slang words for notes have endured and post-decimal we now have a ‘ten bob bit’ (50p), ’nugget’ (£1), a ‘melvin’ (£5), a ‘pavarotti’ or ‘browny’ (£10), a ‘score’ (£20), a ‘pony’ (£25), a ‘ton’ or ‘century’ (£100), a ‘monkey’ (£500) and loads of names for £1000 including ‘grand’, ‘bag’, ‘grubby hand’, ‘bucket’, and a ‘large’!

If you have some lemon and lime and fancy a giraffe, have a captain cook by casting your mince pies at Aldertons dictionary.

Across the world there are some interesting terms.

Canadian monetary slang (£10 = about $16)

$1 coin = ‘loonie’, $2 coin = ‘toonie’,  $5 bill =’fin’, or ‘half-sawbuck’, $10 bill = ‘ten-spot’ or ‘sawbuck’ and $100 bill = ‘c-note’.

Russian monetary slang (£10 = about R720)

The main currency of Russia the Ruble, has some slang attached to it’s notes for instance, R100 = ‘stolnik’, R500 = ‘pyatihatka’ and R1000 = ‘shtuka’, ‘kusok’ or ‘kosar.’ R1million is called ‘limon’ (lemon).

The South African Rand has an interesting collection (£10 = about R180)

Mainly derived from township slang we have R10 note = ‘tiger’,  R20 = ‘choc’, R50 = ‘5 tiger’ or ‘pinkie’ or ‘jacket’, R100 = ‘clipper’ and R1000 = ‘grande’ or ‘stene’ and R1m = ‘bar’.

In the United States (£10 = about $13)

The country that gave us dimes, nickels and quarters also name a $5 bill a ‘fin’, ‘fiver’ or ‘five-spot’, the $10 bill is a ‘sawbuck’ or ‘ten-spot’ or ‘hamilton, $20 the ‘jackson’ or ‘dub’. The $50 dollar bill is called a ‘frog’, and $100 a ‘franklin’ or ‘c-note’ and $1000 a ‘grand’, ‘stack’ or a ‘large’.

Of course this is not a definitive guide as these slang terms would vary from city to city, town to town and neighbourhood to neighbourhood but it gives you a little insight. If you want more then you can consult the great Wikipedia which did help the author with his research!

And by the way, a ‘saucepan’ was the slang term for the old Aussie pound, after the British  ‘saucepan lid’ (quid)

Don’t forget if you need to exchange your pounds, shillings and pence for any currency then have a look here.

I’m off for a vera and phil, bye!

Posted by Graham Morley

Graham Morley

Graham is the Business Development Manager for Compare Holiday Money.

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