Americans have many different words and expressions to talk about money. If you’re interested in idioms related to money, here is a great post. This week, I’m going to give you some slang words for money.
What’s the difference between idioms and slang?
Idioms are expressions – usually more than one word – that have a specific meaning. When you see an idiom, maybe you understand all the words, but they don’t make sense together. For example, maybe you understand the words, “make” and “killing,” but when you see the phrase, “make a killing,” you don’t understand the expression. That’s an idiom. “Make a killing” means to make a lot of money.
- Cindy made a killing when she sold her grandfather’s clock.
Slang words are usually just one word, maybe two. Sometimes they are normal words that have a different meaning, like “cool.” “Cool” normally means a little cold, but as a slang word, it means good or interesting. “Broke” is another slang word. Normally, it is the past tense of the verb, “break,” but as a slang word, it is an adjective that means not having any money.
- Cindy spent all her money on designer clothes, and now she is broke.
Sometimes, slang words are totally new words. In 2015, many young people started using the word, “bae” (pronounced /bei/). It’s a word for someone you love, like honey, baby, or sweetie. “Bae” doesn’t have any other meanings. It is only a slang word.
Idioms do not change in meaning. Young people, old people, people from different parts of the country, and people with different jobs all understand the same idioms. Slang depends on your age and location. My parents do not use the same slang words that I use, and people in California use some slang words that people in New York do not use. If my parents try to use my slang words, they sound very strange.
Slang Words for Money
Now that you understand the difference between idioms and slang, here are 15 slang words for money.
- Bones – dollars (countable)
A movie ticket costs like 12 bones now. (Americans sometimes use “like” to mean approximately/more or less.)
- Bucks – dollars (countable)
A drink at the movies costs 8 bucks!
- Smackers/Smackeroos – dollars (countable)
I took my girlfriend to the movies, and I paid 50 smackers for our tickets and snacks!
- Loot – money (non-countable)
Fifty smackeroos is a lot of loot for one movie.
- Moola – money (non-countable)
I might need to borrow some moola since I spent all of mine at the movies.
- Dough – money (non-countable)
I don’t have any dough. I’m broke.
- Benjamins – $100 bills (paper money)
I saw like 5 Benjamins in your wallet last week.
- Big ones – $1,000
I spent 2 big ones ($2,000) on a new TV.
- Grand – $1,000
Two grand for a TV? It must be nice.
- Gs – $1,000
I wanted a bigger TV, but I only had 2 Gs.
- Singles – $1 bills
I want a drink from the machine, but I don’t have any singles.
- One – a $1 bill
The machine only takes ones.
- Five/Fiver/Five-spot – a $5 bill
If I give you a fiver, will you give me 5 ones?
- Ten/Tenner/Ten-spot – a $10 bill
Or if I give you a ten, can you give me a five and 5 ones?
- Peanuts – not much money
I had to quit my job. It paid peanuts.