Tuesday, December 17, 2013

21 British Slang Words for Money


We Brits have a slang expression for seemingly all aspects of daily life; food, drink, sex, work, education etc. And the concept of money is by no means an exception to this rule, with various money-themed slang terms being used across the entire country. Here are 21 such terms.

1. Big one (one thousand pounds sterling).
2. Bread (general term for money).
3. Bronze (term to describe the one and two pound coins)
4. Bullseye (fifty pounds sterling).
5. Century (one hundred pounds sterling).
6. Copper (term to describe the one and two pence coins).
7. Darwin (ten pound note, which features the face of Charles Darwin).
8. Dosh (general term for money).
9. Dough (general term for money).
10. Fiver (five pounds sterling).
11. Grand (one thousand pounds sterling).
12. Lady Godiva (Cockney rhyming slang to describe five pounds. In BrE, Godiva rhymes with fiver).
13. Loot (general term for money).
14. Monkey (five hundred pounds sterling).
15. Pony (twenty-five pounds sterling).
16. Quid (one pound sterling. Possibly derived from the Latin phrase quid pro quo).
17. Score (twenty pounds sterling).
18. Shrapnel (loose change).
19. Silver (term to describe the five, ten, twenty and fifty pence coins)
20. Tenner (ten pounds sterling).
21. Tuppence (older term; sometimes used in modern usage to refer to the two pence coin).


Laurence is a British expat living in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is a contributor for BBC America and writes a weekly column for Anglotopia. Having graduated from Lancaster University with a degree in English Language and Creative Writing, Laurence runs this blog, Lost In The Pond, charting the endless cultural and linguistic differences between Britain and The United States. 

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5 comments:

canal street said...

Wrong.a two pence piece is a NEW coin, since the bastardisation of the Pound Sterling Fiduciary System...before the introduction of the new money, tuppence...as referred to in many literary works , was actually two HUGE. individual coins...do your homework young man, before spouting inaccuracies....!!!

Laurence Brown said...

Thank you for your comment, Canal Street.

I am fully aware that a two pence coin is, as you say, a new coin. Indeed, from 1981 to 2008, this coin was a big part of my life, such was my appreciation for the arcade machines on Cleethorpes seafront.

I am also aware that "tuppence" is an older term, hence my using "older term" to describe it in the article above.

Finally, and you may need to know this going forward, there are Brits - mainly young folk - who use "tuppence" to refer to the modern day 2 pence coin. That's why I included that definition.

And so, I must politely point your final sentence right back at you.

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

All the money terms you'll ever need: The Money Song by Monty Python: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sor9GzivGbk

Anonymous said...

Further to the discussions, there used to be (from medieval times) a small silver two-pence coin, still used in the Maundy ceremony, and in 1797 we had a copper two-pence which weighed TWO OUNCES. Ron H-W

Przemek z AngielskiFluent said...

Money, money, money - ABBA

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