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    Welcome to Authentic Journeys - ഓതെന്റിക് ജെർനീയ്സ് - US-India Cross-Cultural Training

May 29, 2015

Slang or Idiomatic Terms to Refer to Money in the US

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

Word list of Slang or Idioms Meaning Money in the USA


Bacon
Sample Sentence: “He brings home a lot of bacon!”
Meaning 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.)


Benjamins
Sample Sentence: “I’ve got 20 Benjamins.”
Meaning of Benjamins:  Dollar bills (This is a guess. I have not heard this term being used where I am from in the US.)

Big Ones
Sample Sentence: "I've got 20 big ones!"
Meaning of Big Ones: Synonym for Dollars – “I’ve got 20 big ones.” Means I have $20.

Bread
Sample Sentence: “I bring home a lot of bread!”
Meaning of Bread: Bread is used like bacon. 

Bucks
Sample Sentence: "I have 20 bucks." 
Meaning of Bucks: Synonym for dollars – “I have 20 bucks.” Means “I have 20 dollars.”

Cold, hard cash
Sample Sentence: “I have cold, hard cash.”  “I have $1,000 in cold, hard cash.”
Meaning of Cold, hard cashUsually 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.

Clams
Sample Sentence: “That’ll be 5 clams.” “He’s got a lotta clams!”
Meaning of ClamsRefer to an amount of money, either general or specific. Similar to smackeroos.

Gs/Grand
Sample Sentence: “He wants 5 Gs for the car.” “That house is 100 grand!”
Meaning of Gs/GrandG or Grand stands for 1,000 increments.

Greenbacks
Sample Sentence:  “I’ve got 20 greenbacks.” 
Meaning of GreenbacksUsed like “Benjamins. Maybe we know the amount from this, maybe we don’t.

Loot
Sample Questions: “Where’s the loot?”
Meaning of LootSynonym for money, not a specific amount.

Moolah
Sample Sentence: “I need some moolah.” “He has a lot of moolah.”
Meaning of MoolahMoney in general. We don’t know the amount from this word.

Scratch
Sample Sentence: “Wow, he’s got alotta scratch!”
Meaning of ScratchUsed in place of money (similar to moolah). We don’t know the amount from this.

Singles
Sample Sentence: “Could I have 10 singles for this 10-spot?” “Can I have a five spot, a ten spot and five singles for this 20 spot?”
Meaning of SinglesMeaning of singles: Dollar bills  $1

Smackaroos or Smackers
Sample Sentence: “That’ll be 5 smackeroos.” “He’s got a lotta smackeroos!”
Meaning of smackaroos
Refer to an amount of money, either general or specific. Similar to clams.

Spot
Sample Sentence: “Could I have 10 singles for this 10-spot?” “Can I have a five spot, a ten spot and five singles for this 20 spot?”
Meaning of spot: Refer to any specific denomination that has a paper bill (note) ($1, $5, $10, $20, $50, so forth)

Wad
Sample Sentence: “
That’s quite a wad of money you have!”
Meaning of wad: A bundle or bunch of paper money It could be a large or small amount.


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. 


Related Posts: 

Paycheck deductions in the US 
Ordering in Restaurants in the US 
Learn about US Coins

Original post date: 5/29/15, Edited 7/3/2020
Image credit: Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

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We help build effective, culturally competent global teams with focus on the cultures of the USA and India. Jennifer Kumar, Managing Director, an American citizen, has almost 10 years experience living, studying and working (owning a business) in India. Authentic Journeys Consultancy is registered as a Private Limited in India (Kerala) and an LLC in the USA (Salt Lake City, Utah). We provide onsite and live-online instructor-led courses, facilitation and corporate coaching.