5 dollar bill

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Midland, Sep 18, 2006.

  1. Midland Senior Member

    Japanese and Japan
    Hello, friends!

    Is Franklin an informal name for a 5 dollar bill? I've never heard of it, though.

  2. NealMc Senior Member


    Do you have my Benjamins, sir?
    ...would mean, do you have my money?

    Benjamins as in Benjamin Franklin

    Rather like Puff Daddy - my job is also all about the Benjamins.

    Neal Mc
  3. konungursvia Banned

    Canada (English)
    I've never heard the "Franklin" = fiver slang before either.
  4. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    Benjamin Franklin is on the hundred dollar bill, not the 5.
  5. Midland Senior Member

    Japanese and Japan
    Thanks, NealMc.

    Thanks, mgarizona.

    I know Benjamin is another name for a 100 dollar bill because his (Benjamin Franklin) portrait is on the 100 dollar bill.

    But my concern is Franklin. Is it another slangy name for a 5-dollar bill? Or is there no such fact?

  6. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    It isn't. No there's not. Abraham Lincoln is on the $5 bill, and it's called "a five" 99% of the time.

    "Can you give me four fives for a twenty?"

    I'm not sure I've ever heard any slang for paper money, now that I think of it. The word "dollar" has a lot of synonyms, and you hear about drug-trade slang like "that'll cost you a hundred large," meaning $100,000 as far as I know.

    When I was in the life, a nickel and a dime meant $5 and $10, respectively. You heard "forty cents" in reference to a bag of Columbian "commercial," and "a buck" for a gram of whatever. That was only my location, but I mention them because they were examples of real slang.

    Which brings us to the...uh, stuff you read in books and hear in the movies. Nobody calls a five-dollar bill a "fin," and that's been true my whole life. A "fiver" maybe, like any English-speaking person would call a note worth five of anything, clams let's say.

    Anyway, the "Franklin" stuff is purely the result of confusion, and the other "movie" terms for paper money are not in any general conversational vocabularies that I've ever heard.

    When you think about it, most talk about paper money comes during transactions with cashiers, and those are not generally conversational or even chatty situations. Swipe your card and sign the little pad with electronic stylus, and have a nice day .
  7. languageGuy Senior Member

    Kansas City, MO
    USA and English
    Franklin is on the $5 dollar COIN. Perhaps that's what you were hearing.
  8. mgarizona

    mgarizona Senior Member

    Phoenix, AZ
    US - American English
    Interesting. Didn't even know there was one.

    I was thinking "a fin" was an old slang term for a five dollar bill.

    In an old gangster movie you might hear "He's into me for a fin" to mean "He owes me five dollars."

    Perhaps that's what you heard.
  9. Midland Senior Member

    Japanese and Japan
    Thank you all for your input.

    I'm certain that "Franklin is a slang word for the 5 dollar bill" is the wrong information. One of my friends asked me about this, and he heard it from someone he knows. He said the information came from a dictionary (Japanese-English).

    It seems the dictionary gave that person the wrong information... or the person got it all wrong.

    By the way, how did "grand" come to represent 1000? Does someone know its origin?

  10. Baxter_MacBeth New Member

    I've been around for a long time and I've never heard of a $5 bill refered to as a "Franklin." And to correct an earlier post, Ben Franklin has never been on a U.S. $5 coin. The U.S. minted Franklin 50-cent pieces, or half-dollars, from 1948 to 1963, when Congress authorized the JF Kennedy half-dollar after that president's assassination. If anything, a "Franklin" has been used to refer to a $100 bill because Franklin's image graces that denomination, which is currently the highest value bill the U.S. now prints. As another poster said, we do not currently use the slang "fin" for a $5 bill, but it was quite common in the 1920s and 30s, along with "saw buck" for a $10 bill. That slang dates back to the late 19th Century when banks printed bills instead of the government. There used to be a $10 bill with large "X's" for the Roman numeral for 10. For some reason they related the "X's" to a saw, perhaps a circular saw, if you can imagine the blade shape. If you have read or seen a reference to a "Franklin" representing a $5 bill, tell us where to find it so that we could possibly help you understand the meaning. With just a little time on the web, you can verify everything I've just typed. But, nevertheless, good luch with slang: it's everywhere and often incomprehensible from one generation or age to the next because we keep coming up with new words to describe the same old things.
  11. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  12. Fabulist Banned

    Annandale, Virginia, USA
    American English
    A "sawbuck" was a cross-shaped or X-shaped device made of two timbers, to hold one or (in pairs) both ends of a piece of wood off the ground or floor so that it could be sawn. It was shaped just like the "X" on 10-dollar bills. It could have been used with an electrically-powered circular saw, but much antedates the development of electricity as a power source. No relation to the shape of the blade of a circular saw (found only in water-, wind-, or animal-powered sawmills before electricity).

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