100 Slang Words for Money and How They Were Coined
“It’s all about the Benjamins,” sang Puff Daddy. But despite what you may have mistakenly thought, the legendary American rapper wasn’t singing about a good friend named Ben. Nope. Sean John Combs, a.k.a P. Diddy, was kindly explaining a simple truth about our capitalist society: It’s all about the money.
Actually, money is so important that people came up with dozens of ways to talk about it throughout the ages. Emerging in the US, the UK or elsewhere, slang words for money became a huge part of the language we use. But how well do you know them?
Well, luckily for you, we’ve listed the most common nicknames for money to add a playful element to your conversation, your eCommerce website, your news article, the dialogues of your novels—and of course, your next rap hit. Here are 100 slang words and terms for money:
Perhaps because it is so beloved, money is often referred to as this breakfast treat. Most commonly used as part of the phrase “bring[ing] home the bacon”.
The connection between bank and money needs no explanation. Use it to gossip about your friend’s salary increase: “Since he started working at the bank, Benjamin’s been making bank.”
Meant literally to supply money, it can also be used to refer to money itself, like: “I need some bankroll to get my bread business off the ground.”
An archaic term for a dollar; it’s not commonly used any more.
This one we covered above. The name references the appearance of founding father Benjamin Franklin on the one-hundred-dollar bill.
A nickname for our dear friend whose mug appears on the $100 bill.
07. Big ones
Like “grand” and “large”, which you’ll see below, each “big one” means $1,000. So if you’re buying a car for 10 big ones, you’re paying $10,000.
Another term with an obvious connection to money, this is most commonly used to refer to one-hundred-dollar bills.
Can be used in exchange for “dollars”, as in: “These grills cost 100 bones.”
A term for shady cash, like counterfeit, stolen or bribe money.
11. Brass (UK)
This is a Northern British slang term for money, believed to have originated from the region’s scrap dealers scrounging for materials that were valuable, like brass. It’s related to the phrase “Where there's muck, there's brass.”
A synonym for food in general, this has meant money since at least the 19th century. Like bacon, it’s something you “bring in”: “She’s selling bread online in order to bring in the bread.”
Perhaps the most commonly used slang term for dollars, it is believed to originate from early American colonists who would often trade deerskins, or buckskins.
14. C note
C equals 100 in the Roman numeral system and stands for the latin word centum, which means “a hundred” (and which also originated the word cent). Thus, a C note is a $100 bill.
When all those green bills are packed together, don’t they resemble cabbage? Ludacris thinks so: “Hustle real hard, gotta stack that cabbage / I'm addicted to money.”
Even better than bread or dough is a food that has icing and is served at parties.
17. Cash (or cash money)
Perhaps an obvious one, but still useful.
Not necessarily a slang term when employed in a business context, but can also be used as slang to refer to any kind of money, not just capital. Does that make cents? (See what I did there?)
Like cabbage and lettuce, this green veggie also means money. If you don’t believe me, take it from Jeezy, who boasts about a “pocket full of celery” in his 2009 hit “Put On” featuring Kanye West.
It’s the best sound in the world to some—the cash register completing a sale. It’s also been used as a replacement term for money.
This mostly means a deliciously spicy Mexican taco, but is also slang for money.
If someone has the cheddar, it means they must be making bank.
A nickname for money because Americans used to receive cheese as a welfare benefit.
A reference to poker chips, it now just means money.
25. Chump change
This refers to a small amount of money, like the amount of cash a chump would have.
Means “dollars”, as in: “Karen raised my rent by 100 clams.”
This is an acronym of “Cash Rules Everything Around Me” and was popularized by the Wu-Tang Clan in the 90s: “Cash rules everything around me / C.R.E.A.M. / Get the money / Dollar, dollar bill y'all.” The song encouraged listeners to not make the mistake of chasing money by selling drugs.
Looking to borrow money from a friend? Ask her: “Can I borrow some coin?”
29. Dead presidents
American currency acts as a who’s who of dead presidents. (Plus Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin, who were never presidents but appear on the $10 and $100 bills, respectively.) Use this term to let people know you’re no sell out, like Eminem.
In the US, a dime is the coin worth ten cents, but the term can be used to mean money or an expense in general. For example, if your employee is sitting on social media instead of working, you can dramatically exclaim: “Not on my dime!”
Because who doesn’t love the sound of Spanish? Dinero is the Spanish word for “money” and was first popularized in the Old West as early as the mid-19th century.
32. Dollar dollar bill y’all
Okay, this one is mostly an excuse to link to this rap classic from 2009. You’re welcome.
33. Dosh (UK)
A British slang term for money.
Another very commonly used term for money, it’s been around for a while. It likely became common as a branch off from “bread”, but the Oxford Dictionary found the term used as early as 1851, in a Yale publication: “He thinks he will pick his way out of the Society’s embarrassments, provided he can get sufficient dough.”
35. Dubs (or doubles or double sawbuck)
This term means a twenty-dollar bill, so two dubs refers to 40 bucks.
A gold or silver coin that was used in Europe, mostly in Venice, starting from the Middle Ages.
The very American pronunciation of the previous word is used to refer to poker chips—but also money.
A gross mispronunciation of the Spanish word feria, which in Mexico is used to mean coins. But maybe the term is also the result of the confetti-like image of money pouring from the sky when someone “makes it rain”.
A hip-hop term to describe the number of figures in an amount of money.
A slang term for five-dollar bills. The source is likely from the German/Yiddish word for five: German—Funf, Yiddish—Finnif.
41. Five spot
A five-dollar bill.
Another term for the five-dollar bill, as in: “I make about a fiver on each t-shirt I sell.”
43. Folding stuff
This refers to the stuff that folds, i.e. paper money. “I can’t believe you spent so much folding stuff on that lemon of a car.”
And once again, we are back to our friend Benjamin, who appears on that much-beloved one-hundred-dollar bill.
An archaic term for dollar bills, perhaps related to the term “greenback”.
“I’d plan a trip to Hawaii, but I got no funds.”
Short for “grand”, this refers to $1,000 dollars. Having five G in the bank shouldn’t cause you to worry about cellphone towers, but should result in a celebration for having “dollar dollar bill y’all”. (Not to confuse with G, which is also short for “gangster”, as in “Benjamin Franklin was a real G”.)
A Yiddish term meaning “gold” and is most commonly used to refer to the money (chocolate or real) given by parents on the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
Does this need any explanation?
Rapper E-40 coined this term for money in his hit “Gouda”. The slang king then goes on to explain the meaning by using many of the other terms listed here: “The definition of Gouda, what's the definition? / Chalupa, scrilla, scratch, paper, yaper, capital…”
Refers to $1,000 since the mob coined the term (no pun intended) in the early 1900s. Back then $1,000 was a “grand” amount of money, and they wanted to be discreet.
A $50 bill, in reference to President Ulysses S. Grant, whose face is featured. (Speaking of Uly, did you know that the S doesn’t stand for anything?)
If you grease someone’s palm or someone’s pockets, it means you gave them some money, usually as a bribe.
A reference to the color of American money. Can be used like in: “I’m all out of green, so I’ll pay you back next week.”
A form of American currency printed in the Civil War. The front of the bill was printed in black while the back was printed in green.
Same pronunciation as gwop, this refers to a large amount of money.
Another related term to guap and gwop that means a stack of cash, as in: “Grease his pockets with a little gwala.”
This slang term for money is actually an acronym of “George Washington On Paper”—referring to the first US president, who appears on the one-dollar bill.
Even though he wasn’t a president, the Founding Father without a father got a lot farther by being on the ten-dollar bill.
Not as expensive as a Franklin or a Benjamin, this refers to President Andrew Jackson who appears on the twenty-dollar bill.
Refers to the prefix kilo, i.e. one thousand. So 500K means $500,000.
Similar to grand, this term also refers to $1,000.
Like cabbage and celery, this is an old slang term that means “money” or “currency”.
64. Long green
Another slang term for “cash” that references the color and shape of that dollar dollar bill y’all.
Referring to money, you can tell your customer to “Hand over the loot”—but you probably shouldn’t.
An Italian sounding word that rappers like to use to talk about money, but it’s not Italian for anything so it’s unclear why. (Some people believe it’s slang for lucre.)
Often used in the phrase filthy lucre to refer to a “shameful gain”, according to Merriam-Webster. While the term has taken on a slang-like connotation, it’s a legit word and is related to lucrative.
This one can actually be confusing. While M is the Roman numeral for a thousand, when used with money, it usually means a million. So $3M equals $3,000,000.
69. MM (or MN)
Many banks will use this to refer to millions of dollars.
This is another popular abbreviation of million, when talking dollars.
71. Moola (or moolah)
This is another age-old slang term for money, but nobody seems to really know where it originated. Merriam-Webster says the word was first used to mean money in 1936.
The metal that makes up a crucial element of the Earth’s core is also used to make five-cent coins. Used as slang, this term can mean $5 or $500 worth of something—particularly when talking about gambling or drugs.
A term for money that probably refers to gold nuggets, but may as well refer to the many other valuable things that come in the form of nuggets: chicken, wisdom, truth, Denver’s basketball team, etc.
Means one-dollar bills. If you’re all out of ones, you’ll need to ask for change to buy a can of coke from the machine.
The material used to print that dollar dollar bill y’all. Chasin’ that paper is just a part of “living your life”, according to this 2008 classic by Rihanna and T.I.
The official currency of Mexico can be used in American slang to refer to dollars as well.
78. Quid (UK)
The origin of this slang term for the British pound (or sterling) is uncertain, but it’s been around since the late 1600s, according to Merriam-Webster.
$1,000 or more in cash.
Use it to sound fancy but also street: “Ain’t got the resources to pay for that activity at the moment.”
An especially useful word to refer to money when you’re trying to sound like you have lots of it. Technically speaking, a gorgeous example of a synecdoche.
If lettuce, cabbage, celery and beans all mean money, you might as well put it all together and dress it.
A ten-dollar bill. The source of this term comes from the sawhorse that resembles the Roman numeral X (for “10”) that was found on the back of the 10-dollar bill. The word then evolved to sawbuck because “buck” means “dollar”.
This word has been used to mean money since the beginning of the 20th century, but we don’t seem to know why. Some believe it’s a reference to the phrase “starting from scratch” to imply that everything starts with money.
A biblical currency that is also used presently in Israel. The word shekel is rooted in the Hebrew term for “weight”.
Slang for “dollar” associated with old-timey American gangsters.
86. Skrilla (or scrilla or scrill)
The origin of this term to mean money or cash is also unknown, but it was used in rap music starting in the 1990s.
An East Coast way of saying dollars, especially if you’re a 60+ year-old man betting on a football game: “I’ll bet ya 100 smackers that the Jets find a way to lose this one.” It usually refers to enough cash to smack someone in the face with.
A 19th-century term for money, you can also spell it spondulicks, spondoolicks, spondulacks, spondulics, and spondoolics. Be really hip and refer to it as spondoolies.
Similar to racks, this term also means $1,000. “I had to get my car fixed and it cost me 3 stacks.”
Refers mostly to money you have hidden away.
Nobody really uses this term anymore, but it was a common term to mean dollars.
92. Ten spot
A ten-dollar bill.
From the longer (and more boring sounding) term legal tender.
Ten-dollar bills, as in: “Can I get two tenners for one of these dubs?”
This is an especially useful term for money if you’re a pirate.
A bunch of cash, enough that you can roll it up into a wad.
Polished shells worn by Native Americans and sometimes used as a form of currency. The term was popular as slang for money for a while, but now is mostly used to refer to marijuana.
98. Wonga (UK)
A Romani word that means “coal”, which was another term used by Brits to refer to money.
Usually refers to drug money.
Usually refers to $100, but apparently can also be used to mean $1 billion—just in case that’s an amount of money you and your friends chat about.
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Mendy Shlomo, eCommerce Blogger at Wix
Mendy is the manager of Wix's eCommerce Blog. A journalism survivor, he's transitioned into the rich world of online selling, content marketing and SEO. His parents are thrilled.