Today’s topic is all about the money. Some people have got money on the brain, which means they are always thinking about money. It’s not surprising then that we have so many different words for money. And people that use slang rarely say Money anymore. I’m also going to teach you different ways to describe rich people (people who have a lot of money) and poor people (people who don’t have much money).
Firstly, you will hear a lot of people saying Cash. Although cash actually means money that you can see, not in the bank account. So sometimes a shop or market will say you have to pay in cash. That means you cannot use your credit card or a check; you must give them money in their hand.
Another word for money is green. Although this is American slang, and very common in movies. They call money Green because their money is a green colour. For example “Show me the green” just means “show me the money”.
It’s very common in England for money to be called dough. And money can also be called bread. For example “I need to make some dough”, or “I need to make some bread”. This means I need to make some money. If we are talking about food then dough is used to make bread. And I guess people call money dough and bread because they are basic things that everybody needs, like money. It may also be because in old times people used basic things like bread as currency instead of money.
Although the British currency is the Pound, people often say the word “quid” instead of pounds. So you will hear people saying “I won 10 quid on the lottery” or “Beer costs 3 quid here”. It’s not very formal but it’s very very common. Don’t be surprised if you are in a shop and you say to the sales person “how much is this?” and they say “its 5 quid”. Strangely we don’t use quid if something costs £5.50. We just say 5 pound 50. To say 5 quid 50 would sound strange. So if someone says to you “can I borrow a few quid?” It means they want to borrow a few pounds from you.
It’s the same situation in America. Although instead of saying quid they would say Bucks. So Bucks is slang for dollars. For example if a suit cost 100 dollars they will say “that suit costs 100 Bucks”.
Other common words in England include Moola, dosh, and Wonga. “Can I borrow some Wonga”, “I need some Moola”. “I don’t have enough dosh”. They all mean the same which is money.
To avoid confusion I recommend just using cash or quid. But it’s very useful to understand the other words as different people use different words to describe money.
One phrase you have to know if you come to England is “a few bob”. This directly means a few pounds. It’s a very strange phrase as you can’t say “I need some bob” or “can you give me some bob?”. No. You can only say “I need a few bob” or “can you give me a few bob”. You have to use the words “a few”. This is the most common way in London that people ask to borrow a little bit of money. “Please can I borrow a few bob”? I don’t think Americans would understand this, as its English slang.
As you may know English money has coins and paper notes. We have a 5 pound note, a 10 pound note, a 20 pound note and a 50 pound note. But Instead of 5 pound we say fiver. So if someone says to you “have you got a fiver?”, they mean have you got 5 pound. Instead of saying 10 pound we say tenner. For example “Can I borrow a tenner?” Every English person uses this slang. Although not everyone knows that 20 pound is sometimes referred to as a “score”.
Instead of saying a thousand (1000) pound people say grand. For example “I earn 2 grand per month from my job”. This means every month you get paid 2 thousand pounds. Or you might hear people say “that house costs 200 grand. That means 200 thousand pounds. Again most English people use grand; it’s a very important to know.
English money has many different coins, although the 1 penny and 2 pence coins are a brown colour and very low value. Therefore, people call these pennies. Or they call them coppers, because the material used to make them is copper.
Ok now let’s move onto different ways to say you haven’t got much money. I think the most common one is “I’m broke”. This just means right now you haven’t got much or any money. So you might say to your friend “can I borrow some cash” and he might say “sorry, I’m broke”. This means he hasn’t got enough money to give you.
Some people prefer to say “I’m as broke as a joke”. It means exactly the same thing and it’s just said because the words broke and joke rhythm.
Another very popular one is “I’m skint”. This also means you have very little or no money. So you might say to your friend “do you want to go out to a restaurant tonight?” and your friend might respond by saying “I can’t, because I’m skint until payday”. This means they will have very little money until they next get paid. This is a very common situation for many English people. We get paid on the last day of the month; we pay all our monthly bills and we treat ourselves by buying things. Then we have used most of our money up in the first 2 weeks of the month. So we are skint for the next 2 weeks until we get paid again.
Other ways to say you haven’t got much money are “I’m pot less” or “I’m penniless”. This really means you are poor or that you currently have no money. Pots are a basic thing that you need to cook in your house, so by saying you are pot less it means you don’t have enough money to even buy the basics. And pennies are very low value money, so if you are penniless it means that you don’t even have penny coins, so you really have no money.
Now I will teach you a few ways to describe rich people, these are people with a lot of money.
A formal word is wealthy. Rich people are known as wealthy people. It means they have more than enough money and can afford to often buy luxury items. So you can say “she is very wealthy”.
However, most people will use slang such as “she’s loaded” or “that girl is minted”. Minted and loaded both mean a lot of money. Loaded means full. So if I say “she is loaded” it really means her purse is full of money or she has a lot of money in her bank account.
If you hear “filthy rich” then it means very very rich. If you are filthy it means you are covered in dirt, so to say filthy rich means that somebody is covered in money. They have too much. You can also say “she is stinking rich” which means the same thing. It’s like she is so rich that she even smells of money.
To summarize there are so many words to do with money, but I think you will do well in a conversation if you can remember Cash, quid, “I am broke”, “She is loaded”. These words seem to come up so often in conversations about money and people.
I hope this helps you. You can view this podcast again at our website www.proofessor.co.uk. We also have this podcast in written form on our website in case you didn’t understand anything that I said. If you have any questions or suggestions regarding any of our podcasts then please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We want to reach out to as many students as possible, so please remember to tell your friends to listen. Take it easy!
SLANG WORDS MEANING MONEY
Cash, dough, moola, dosh, wonga, bread.
Green ( Green is only used in America as their money is green).
“Can I borrow a few bob” = can I borrow a little bit of money