May 29, 2015

Slang Terms to Refer to Money in the US: Friday Phrases

Paper money in the US can be referred to by a lot of words that don't sound anything like money. Below are a few words or phrases used to refer to money, specifically paper money in different parts of the US. 

Feel free to add more of your ideas to the end of this post in the comments section. Thank you. 

Word or Phrase
Example Sentence, Question, or Conversation
1
Bacon
“He brings home a lot of bacon!”
Bacon doesn’t refer to an amount. For instance, I have never heard someone say, “I have 20 bacons.” (Instead of twenty dollars.)
2
Benjamins
“I’ve got 20 Benjamins.”
(This is a guess. I have not heard this term being used where I am from in the US.)
3
Big Ones
Synonym for Dollars – “I’ve got 20 big ones.” Means I have $20.
4
Bread
Bread is used like bacon.
“I bring home a lot of bread!”
5
Bucks
Synonym for dollars – “I have 20 bucks.” Means “I have 20 dollars.”
6
Cold, hard cash
Usually this is said when someone wants to be paid in cash – not credit or check. Or to denote they actually have paper money on their person.
“I have cold, hard cash.”  “I have $1,000 in cold, hard cash.”
7
Clams
Refer to an amount of money, either general or specific. Similar to smackeroos.
“That’ll be 5 clams.” “He’s got a lotta clams!”
8
Gs /Grand
G or Grand stands for 1,000 increments.
“He wants 5 Gs for the car.” “That house is 100 grand!”
9
Greenbacks
Used like “Benjamins.” “I’ve got 20 greenbacks.” Maybe we know the amount from this, maybe we don’t.
10
Loot
Synonym for money, not a specific amount.
“Where’s the loot?”
11
Moolah
Money in general. We don’t know the amount from this word.
“I need some moolah.” “He has a lot of moolah.”
12
Scratch
Used in place of money (similar to moolah). We don’t know the amount from this.
“Wow, he’s got alotta scratch!”
13
Singles
Dollar bills  $1
“Could I have 10 singles for this 10-spot?” “Can I have a five spot, a ten spot and ten singles for this 20 spot?”
14
Smackaroos or Smackers
Refer to an amount of money, either general or specific. Similar to clams.
“That’ll be 5 smackeroos.” “He’s got a lotta smackeroos!”
15
Wad
A bundle or bunch of paper money It could be a large or small amount.
‘That’s quite a wad of money you have!”
16
XX- spot
Replace XX with the number on the bill. One spot, five spot, ten spot, etc.
“Do you have change for a 10-spot?”

Jennifer Kumar consults with international assignees to the US to prepare them for the realities of cross-cultural business with Americans. Contact us to learn more. 

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Common Abbreviations in the US

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