Updated on: February 8, 2023

19+ Slang for Money

By the Digital Lemonade team

Did you know that there is more than one slang for money? Money is one of the most important element in our everyday lives, and it's no surprise that over time language has developed to give us a way to talk about money casually.

Slang for money is an ever-evolving concept, with different terms being used as each generation puts its own spin on financial conversations.

Money is an essential part of our daily lives, and it's no surprise that there are many terms used to refer to it.

Slang for money can vary from culture to culture and region to region. It can be used to express different scenarios, from serious conversations about finances to more lighthearted ones.

In this article, we'll explore some of the slang terms used for money around the world by looking at their meaning and origins.

  1. QUID

This word originally came from the United Kingdom. The word "quid" refers to a pound and derives from the well-known Latin phrase "quid pro quo" ("something for something"). It illustrates the fundamental nature of exchanging money for goods and may be our list's most well-known British example.


Since the start of the 20th century, this word has been used to refer to money, but the origin of this usage has yet to be discovered. Some people think it implies that everything starts with money because it refers to the phrase "beginning from scratch."

  1. DOUGH

Interestingly, the slang dough for money has been used in this sense from at least the 1830s, predating the slang bread. However, it is generally believed that utilizing dough as payment is connected to the 1700s recorded practice of employing bread as a "livelihood" - to earn one's bread.


Although this phrase has been used to refer to various types of money in recent years, it was initially intended to refer primarily to illicit gains and counterfeit notes. The word "boodle," frequently shortened to "caboodle," is used in both the U.K. and the U.S. and is thought to have originated from the Dutch word "bodel," which means "property."

  1. BREAD

Since the 1930s, Americans have referred to money as "bread" in slang. One of the main reasons people need money is for food, and the slang term "bread" likely alludes to the fact that bread is one of the most popular items to consume and buy.

  1. BUCKS

The phrase "bucks" is perhaps the most widely used slang term, and it is thought to have been created by early American colonists who frequently traded buckskins or deerskins.


Native Americans used polished shells as jewelry and occasionally as money. Initially, Wampum was used as slang for money; the phrase is now primarily associated with marijuana.

  1. C.R.E.A.M.

The hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan coined the abbreviation C.R.E.A.M. in their 1994 song "C.R.E.A.M.," which stands for "Cash Rules Everything Around Me." Raekwon the Chef revealed in an interview that the slang term "cream for money" was created by kids in his neighborhood and was influenced by Tom and Jerry cartoons.


The slang term "Benjamins" for $100 bills alludes to the fact that Benjamin Franklin has appeared on the $100 bill since 1914. Less frequently, the names of the people who appear on other dollar bills, such as the ones featuring Washington, Lincoln, Hamilton, and Jackson, may also be used to allude to them.

  1. F.E.T.T.I.

According to a widely accepted belief, the word "fetti" is derived from the Spanish slang word for money, "feria," and is thought to have originated from Black slang in the Bay Area.

  1. BACON

No, this isn't about food, bacon. Bringing "home the bacon" means bringing home the cash. 

  1. BUCK

A "buck" is slang for one dollar, and it originated in 18th-century pioneer America when buck (deer) skins were used as cash. It has persisted into the modern age and is still one of the most often used expressions to describe money in the U.S.A.


Despite being wholly British, this London-specific slang has its roots in India from the 19th century. The British empire's rule over India resulted in a variety of expressions reaching our shores, with "monkey" being arguably the most well-known. This phrase, which is used to refer to £500, originated from the 500 Rupee note from that time period in India, which had a monkey on one side. The expression is still used even though the ape has since been replaced.

  1. ONES

Refers to $1 bills in the U.S.A. To purchase a can of coke from the machine, if you run out of one, you will need to ask for change.


Although it has lost favor recently, in the 19th century, Americans frequently used this phrase to describe money. Similar to the American "buck", "spondoolicks" is a term for an antiquated form of money. Spondulys, or shells, were used for bartering in ancient Greece, which is how this particular phrase came to be employed on the other side of the English Channel.

  1. WONGA

The word "wonga" is a distortion of the British Romani word for coal, "wongar" is so widely used in Britain that the most infamous loan company in the nation even adopted it.

The fact that the word "coal" was originally a slang term for money in the 18th and 19th centuries highlights the long history of this strange term!


$5 banknotes are called five spots.


Who doesn't enjoy the sound of Spanish, after all? The Spanish word dinero, which means "money," initially gained popularity in the Old West in the middle of the 19th century. It is worldwide used till these days. 

  1. T.U.D.S.E.

This expression, which is used in Denmark to refer to a 1,000 Kr note, comes from the similarities between the words "tusind," which means "thousand," and "tudse," which means "toad." Indeed, the Danes refer to their currency as a toad.


This is an East Coast expression for money. Typically, it alludes to having enough money to smack someone in the face.

Slang for money frequently derives from the design and characteristics of banknotes or coins, their face value, historical associations, or the relevant currency unit.

Some slang expressions within a language group have differences in social, ethnic, economic, and geographic strata.

In contrast, others have emerged as the preeminent method to refer to money and are viewed as mainstream, acceptable speech in various countries.

Many slang terms and phrases relating to money are used so frequently that individuals aren't even aware they are slang.

It is interesting to see how slang has affected the English language overtime.