Few things get more attention it seems than money. People use it every day—sometimes multiple times a day.
People plan where they live around money, where they travel around money, where they work around money, and where they retire around money.
Since money is an essential tool that most people cannot live without, it has developed a rich and colorful bank of slang terms in which to be described.
Who says writing about money has to be boring? Finance, currency, legal tender? Incorporate some change into your financial writing.
Slang Terms for Money List
What is slang for money? Here is a list of 80+ slang terms for money. Some of the terms are similar to each other; some are even derivatives of each other, but they all relate back to money.
This is not an exhaustive list. I’m sure there are some terms I missed, and I’m sure more terms will be coined in the years to come. In any event, this is a fun list to get your brains rolling.
Slang for Money List:
- Bacon: Money in general; bring home the bacon.
- Bands: Paper money held together by a rubber band. Usually $10,000 or more.
- Bank: Money; Obviously related to banks that hold money.
- Bankrolls: Roll of paper money.
- Benjamins: Reference to Benjamin Franklin, whose portrait is on the one hundred dollar bill.
- Big bucks: Large amounts of money; generally used in reference to payment or employment compensation.
- Bills: A banknote; piece of paper money.
- Biscuits: Money in general; origin unknown.
- Bisquick: Money in general; origin unknown.
- Blue cheese: Reference to the new U.S. 100-dollar bill introduced in 2009, which has a blue hue to it.
- Blue cheddar: See blue cheese.
- Bookoo bucks: See big bucks.
- Bones: Dollars (origin unknown).
- Bread: Money in general. The analogy being that bread is a staple of life. Food is a common theme for slang money terms.
- Brick: A bundled or shrink-wrapped amount of money, usually in amounts of $1,000 or $10,000. A reference to the rectangular shape that looks like a brick.
- Broccoli: Paper money, reference to its color.
- Buckaroos: Money in general.
- Bucks: Dollars; Thought to be a reference to deer skins used for trading.
- C-note: One hundred dollars; a reference to the Roman Numeral for 100.
- Cabbage: Paper money. In reference to the color of U.S. currency.
- Cake: Money in general; similar to bread and dough.
- Cash: Money in general.
- Cash money: see cash.
- Cheese: Money in general (origin unknown).
- Cheddar: Money in general (origin unknown).
- Chits: Money in general; originally a signed note for money owed for food, drink, etc.
- Chips: Money in general; reference to poker chips.
- Chump change: A small amount of money.
- Clams: Money in general; Possible origin is thought to be clamshells that were once used as a form of currency by Native American Indians in California.
- Coin: Money in general, paper or coin.
- Commas: Money in general, reference to increasing amounts of money; moving from one comma to two commas as in from 10,000 to 1,000,000.
- CREAM: Acronym meaning “cash rules everything around me.”
- Dead presidents: Paper money; a reference to the presidential portraits that most U.S. currency adorns.
- Dinero: Money in general; originally the currency of the Christian states of Spain.
- Dime: Another reference to coin, specifically the dime.
- Doubloons: Money in general; reference to gold doubloons.
- Dough: Money in general (origin unknown).
- Fetti: Money in general; originates from feria, the Spanish term for money.
- Five-spot: Five-dollar bill.
- Fivers: Five dollar bills.
- Franklins: Hundred dollar bills. Benjamin Franklin is one the U.S. hundred dollar bill.
- Frog: $50 bill in horse racing.
- Frog skins: Money in general.
- Gold: Money in general; reference to gold as being a tangible product for thousands of years.
- Green: Paper money, referencing its color.
- Greenbacks: Paper money; Greenbacks were U.S. current in the Civil War.
- Gs: Shorthand term for “grand,” which is a thousand dollars.
- Grand: One thousand dollars. In the early 1900s, one thousand dollars was thought to be a “grand” sum of money, hence grand.
- Guac: Money in general; reference to guacamole’s green appearance.
- Guineas: A coin minted in England from 1663-1813.
- Gwop: Money in general.
- Half-yard: Fifty dollars.
- Hundies: Hundred dollar bills.
- Jacksons: Twenty dollar bills. Andrew Jackson is one the U.S. twenty dollar bill.
- Knots: A wad of paper money.
- Large: Similar use as “grand.” Twenty large would be the same as saying twenty grand.
- Lincolns: Five dollar bills. Abraham Lincoln is one the U.S. five dollar bill.
- Long green: Paper money, from its shape and color.
- Lolly: Money in general; origin unknown.
- Loot: Large sum of money; originally money received from stolen plunder or other illicit means.
- Lucci: Money in general; loot; possibly stemming from term lucre.
- Lucre: Money that has been acquired through ill-gotten means.
- Mega bucks: See big bucks.
- Monkey: British slang for 500 pounds sterling; originates from soldiers returning from India, where the 500 rupee note had a picture of a monkey on it.
- Moola: Money in general (origin unknown) Also spelled moolah.
- Notes: Money in general; reference to banknotes from a bank.
- Nugget: Referencing gold, but a general term for money of any kind.
- OPM: Other people’s money; accounting term.
- Paper: Paper bills of any kind.
- Payola: Money in general, specifically money earned as compensation for labor; a paycheck.
- Pesos: Money in general; Pesos are the official currency of Mexico.
- Plunder: Stolen money.
- Quid: One pound (100 pence) in British currency.
- Rack: Synonym for dollars when talking about thousands. Five thousand racks. Ten racks.
- Rock: Million dollars
- Roll: Shortened term for bankroll.
- Sawbuck: Ten-dollar bill. Originated from a sawbuck device, which is a device for holding wood to be cut into pieces. Its shape is that of an “X” form at each end, which are joined by cross bars below the intersections of the X’s. The “X” shape resembles the Roman Numeral for ten, hence sawbuck.
- Scratch: Money in general (origin unknown).
- Scrilla: Money in general (Possibly formed from analogy to another slang money term: paper. Paper once came in the form of a scroll. Scroll became scrilla.).
- Shekels: Money in general (biblical currency; also modern day currency of Israel).
- Singles: Single one-dollar bills.
- Smackers: Dollars (origin unknown).
- Stacks: Multiples of one thousand dollars.
- Ten-spot: Ten-dollar bill.
- Tenners: Ten-dollar bills.
- Turkey: Money in general; sometimes referred to in the phrase let’s talk turkey.
- Wad: Large sum of money; usually a bundled sum carried in your pockets.
- Wonga: English Romany word for money.
- Yard: One hundred dollars.
Summary: Slang for Cash
I hope some of these other words for money were new to you. As I mentioned above, this list is obviously not exhaustive. People will be finding new ways in which to describe money until the end of time.
Until then, I will be here documenting them as they appear on the literary scene.
If you see any easy terms that I missed in my list, tweet me at @Writing_Class, and I will add them to the list.