British slang words for "money"

Discussion in 'English Only' started by AngelEyes, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    I'm looking for British slang words for money.

    I always thought blunt was one, but mostly I find it's slang for a gutted cigar filled with pot. Is it not used for money/cash?

    My context is this sentence where a London lawyer is warning his client.

    "She may be after nothing but your _________."

    I specifically want British words for money.

    Thanks,

    AngelEyes
     
  2. Jamis Senior Member

    England
    English
    Hi,

    Here are 2 to be going on with.

    Cash

    Dosh

    Jamis.
     
  3. Trisia

    Trisia mod de viață

    București
    Romanian
    Erm...

    I've heard "quid" for pounds, but that's not really "money."

    "notes" means money.

    A dictionary search suggests "bread," "pictures of the Queen," "nicker" and even "sponds."

    I'm very curious to see what the natives really use :D
     
  4. Tacherie

    Tacherie Senior Member

    Spanish - Argentina
  5. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Thanks, Jamis.

    Thing is, I just used dosh before this part.

    "I received those other bills for that shopping excursion you took to all of those ladies’ boutiques and such. I’ve never known you to spend anywhere near this kind of dosh on a woman.”

    And cash sounds much too American. I need more contrast in this additional dialogue.

    That's why I thought of blunt, but it seems this usage isn't common now.

    If you're afraid a woman is only with you because you're rich, what British word would apply?

    "She might only be interested in your ________."
    The word blunt wouldn't work here?

    AngelEyes
     
  6. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Thanks, Tacherie. I'd already found that link.

    My problem is that, to my ear, I just can't hear an educated London lawyer say, "She might be only after your lolly." :)

    Would he???

    But that is my problem. I don't know for sure. I wouldn't mind an earthy word if it sounds like something any British bloke might say.

    AngelEyes
     
  7. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Why do you assume, or ask us to believe, that a British lawyer is apt to use a slang word, rather than simply saying assets or money?

    Is background and context repugnant or useful?
     
  8. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    What's wrong with using "money"?
     
  9. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    You must be telepathic, Packard!

    That's what I was going to suggest:D
    _______
    Oops, I see the telepathy's three-way: cuchu, too;)
     
  10. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    I've been giving you background. Well, maybe it's just been immediate context. Okay, let me explain a little more.

    Since I'm writing his words, it's my call to make him sound British to my ears. It's not a judgment or a slam against British sensibilities. I'm creating a mood here using words. I want to create a British conversation and I know there's a British term out there that would slip right into my sentence and make it work.

    I'm not trying to make him sound like Eliza Doolittle. And actually, up to this point, he's been using nice, proper words like expenditures, monetary assets and capital gains, and he's even laughed at a joke about a margins call.

    But it's just this one sentence. He's speaking plainly and directly to his client.

    Maybe lolly wouldn't be so bad...

    AngelEyes
     
  11. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    I agree with the last three posters. I suppose it would depend on the relationship between the lawyer and the client; a lawyer would have to be unusually familiar with their client to use slang words in this way. And I speak from quite a bit of experience.

    Blunt would almost certainly be taken as referring to a marijuana cigarette, or at least the reference would distract from the intended meaning (even if the listener is familiar with "blunt" meaning cash, and I don't think many would be).
     
  12. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I'm sorry, Angel Eyes, but I think 'lolly' would sound completely false in a conversation between a lawyer and a client. I'm not keen on 'dosh' either.

    Unless of course your lawyer is a cockney?
     
  13. moo bottle Junior Member

    England, English
    I've never ever heard "lolly" being used to denote money...
     
  14. El escoces Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    English - UK
    I agree. I didn't practise in London, but nevertheless - for what it's worth - I can't imagine using either "lolly" or "dosh" (in any circumstances, let alone with a client).

    It seems to me you are creating a problem by rejecting, as overly American and un-British, the word "cash", which I think is a mistake. That's exactly the word I would use.
     
  15. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    This whole chapter is centered around the lawyer and his conversation with his client, who is an old friend from university days. They go way back and are very close. They know much about each other and speak frankly and plainly all the time.

    Up to this point in the conversation, it's been very proper, serious, and geared toward money, investments - even discussing opening a private account at Coutts & Company. I don't want to repeat the word money or cash because they've been used more than once right before this.

    And this sentence is now more personal and between friends. It's descended into a buddy sort of exchange now.

    Please tell me this: is blunt ever used to mean money? Or is that a horribly old-fashioned term that's extinct?

    AngelEyes
     
  16. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    The last quotation of usage of the word blunt to mean money in the OED is from 1845. This is not a definitive indication, but it's highly suggestive of the usage being rather dated.

    Given the background (which would have been handy from the beginning) the lawyer may well use a slang word, although there is absolutely nothing inherently US about "cash".
     
  17. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    First of all, I can't believe I didn't give a fuller background to my question from the beginning, either! I'm guilty of just the thing I've thought of other posters here in the past! I'm so sorry.

    And thanks, Matching Mole. I guess blunt would only be fitting then if this were more of an historical piece.

    I also agree with you about using the word cash. I did use this word - and money, too. More than once before this particular sentence I'm asking about.

    That's why I want to avoid repetition, plus give a flavor of more intimacy with a slang word.

    AngelEyes
     
  18. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I know that our teachers said not to use the same words over and over in a paragraph, but I am of the opinion that sometimes you really should use the single most appropriate word where needed even if you have used it before.

    (Notice how often I used the word "word" in this post. What good would it have done to search for another word to use in its place?)
     
  19. Lis48

    Lis48 Senior Member

    York, England
    English - British
    I would suggest loot. I´ve even had a lawyer use that word with me!
     
  20. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Thanks, Packard.

    You make a good point. And it seems unanimous among the British members.

    I still think there's another word out there that would work, but I'm not going to belabor that here.

    Thanks, everyone.

    AngelEyes
     
  21. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Lis,

    Now you're talking. An American might also use that, too, but it sounds just unexpected enough that it could work.

    Thanks!

    AngelEyes
     
  22. moo bottle Junior Member

    England, English
    AngelEyes, I think the fact of the matter is simple - we simply don't have many words for money! :) The only real alternatives to cash, dosh and dough (the only ones I can think of) are obscure regional terms that are not used widely enough to warrant their use

    Hope that helps :)
     
  23. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Thanks, moo bottle.

    Do you ever use the word fortune in England for a big sum of money?

    "She might only be after your fortune."

    AngelEyes
     
  24. moo bottle Junior Member

    England, English
    Yes! That's a good idea actually, I think that would work quite well! Good idea :)
     
  25. Redshade Senior Member

    UK
    English.
    As the sentence is constructed the word "money" is the only one that sounds correct to my ears.
    If the lawyer was dropping into a more informal mode perhaps another phrase such as " she's going to take you to the cleaners" would work better ?
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2008
  26. Jamis Senior Member

    England
    English
    Hi Angel Eyes,

    "Blunt" is a No in this situation.

    There is nothing wrong with "Money"

    Also...She might only be after your "Wealth"

    Jamis.
     
  27. El escoces Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    English - UK
    I don't like "loot" or "fortune" - at all - but I think this suggestion of Redshade's is absolutely spot on. It's perfect for the situation AngelEyes has described, and wholly believable that the lawyer in that scenario would use it.
     
  28. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    Since this lawyer is talking to an old friend, I think "She may be after nothing but your hard-earned" is within the realms of possibility.
     
  29. Aardvark01

    Aardvark01 Senior Member

    Midlands, England
    British English (Midlands)
    Why use this structure? Why not use one of the terms for people who seduce others or marry for money?:

    She may be nothing but a gold digger.

    He may be nothing but an antique dealer.
     
  30. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    I've been thinking that as I reviewed the thread. Rather than seeking a word, why not
    go for an entire idea? Suggest money without saying the word.
    Have you considered that she may be after something other than your fine body and brilliant mind?

    If you are stubborn about maintaining the original sentence,

    "She may be after nothing but your _________."

    you might consider a word that points to money, rather than being a synonym for it.

    Gilt is an especially BE term. No American would think of using it.

    Would this sound at all idiomatic to BE speakers? I have no idea!

    She may be [may just be] after your gilts.


    It is sometimes spelled guilt, which allows for all sorts of word play.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  31. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    These are all excellent suggestions!

    Cuchu, yours caught my eye because you're right, gilts is totally foreign to American eyes. What is the British opinion on this word? What exactly does it mean? Has it to do with his attributes or his assets in general?

    Still, the others are so good, too.

    One item:
    This guy is money-driven - it really is one of the main themes of his salvation in this story. And she's totally the opposite. She doesn't even know what her bank balance is because she's totally apathetic about money. So it's been his issue in his past and also the main issue his lawyer and best friend zeroes in on. The line has to refer to money in some way - not his sexy body.

    Where are a guy's gilts anyway? Maybe I could make this one work.

    And I have to admit, I thought "taking someone to the cleaners" was strictly American. It's a surprise to learn differently!

    AngelEyes
     
  32. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Hi AE-

    Gilts are...dictionaries are wonderful things, aren't they?


    Compact OED:

    An AE equivalent, more or less, is "treasuries". Government bonds.



    gilt

    A bond issued through the United Kingdom Treasury and guaranteed by the British government. The market for gilt-edged securities is similar to the market for U.S. Treasury securities, with a high degree of safety, liquidity, and maturity selection.
    Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott.
     
  33. Aardvark01

    Aardvark01 Senior Member

    Midlands, England
    British English (Midlands)
    Gilt is not a term I've used or heard used outside of picture framing. I would have taken it for a typo of 'guilt' - some inference to blackmail - in this context had the definition not been provided.

    I would have thought ISA's or 'bonds' were better known forms of savings accounts.
     
  34. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    I think it depends on the era in which this tale is set. Though I wouldn't recognise a gilt if one slapped me in the face, I have been vaguely aware of its existence as some sort of financial instrument much longer than I have been hearing about ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) which, if I remember rightly, came in in the 1990s.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  35. johndot Senior Member

    English - England
    “She’s only interested in (the size of) your bank account,” is a common enough expression when speaking of gold-diggers or money-grabbers.
     
  36. Lis48

    Lis48 Senior Member

    York, England
    English - British
    Or... She may just be after your wallet. Or...she may be just after your lucre.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2008
  37. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    I want to thank you all for your input. It was very enlightening to see that, once again, I can't predict English sensibilities and word choices.

    I'm most surprised of all at the rejection of the term, dosh.

    I found numerous mentions of it online after I really started to dig deeper.

    For instance:
    a. This play on words using it with one of the Spice Girls.
    posh spreads dosh

    b. Discussing it here along with the history of other British words for money:
    history of dosh

    c. And I wonder if it's not more of an Irish term because it was used in this interview by this popular actor:
    I wanted the dosh

    Thank you all for your great opinions.

    AngelEyes
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2009
  38. moo bottle Junior Member

    England, English
    I don't think there's anything wrong with the word 'dosh', except I think I've only ever really used it in jest, i.e. not as a serious alternative to money...
     
  39. Dmitry_86

    Dmitry_86 Senior Member

    Although you all have left a lot of commentaries here already (and for me, to tell the truth, it was really riveting to read all this since I am a foreigner, an english learner and I need to know these slang words) I think there are some fresh ideas I can suggest which have not been mentioned so far.

    1) gold, silver - this synonym for money is frequently used in different films (of course, I mean the ones which are originally British). These wordsare most often encountered in the films connected somehow with treasure hunt. They are sometimes used as an exclamation as well in the very moment of discovering treasure. In addition,....., the word treasure itself!!! What prevents it from denoting "money"?

    2) 2 words I recently found in my dictionary. In fact, I am not sure that they are not dead however no such comment follows them: the necessary (something you constantly need to supply your living, i.e. money), the wherewithall. Looking forward to your commentaries regarding the last 2 words.
     
  40. Lis48

    Lis48 Senior Member

    York, England
    English - British
    Well if a woman tells me she is after a man´s treasure, his wherewithall or his necessary I would suspect another meaning and think she is after sex with him. :)
    But you are right, they are alternatives for money but use the words carefully!
     
  41. George French Senior Member

    English - UK
    Why not consider using shekel(s)? It works in UK-EN and US-EN (I believe). Even gentiles use this word for dosh!

    GF..
     
  42. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English

    Quite so. If I learned that a woman was after my "treasure", I'd think my money market accounts were safe; it would be my virtue that I would worry about.
     
  43. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    What virtue, Mr P?

    AngelEyes, you're in a minefield here. As is anyone who tries to navigate the choppy waters of BrE slang (what an excellent mixed metaphor, Loob).

    I do like Redshade's "she's going to take you to the cleaners":)
     
  44. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    If the lawyer has any suspicion or knowledge that some of the money was obtained via means not totally legal, they sound close enough that he might jovially refer to it as "filthy lucre" - but that may not fit with the plot so far!
     
  45. parap Senior Member

    Mainly US English
    Would something like "coins" work? "She's only after your coins"? It probably doesn't sound rich enough, but could it work figuratively? Or maybe a little more sophisticated, French "sou" -- "She may be after nothing but your sou"?

    Good luck!
     
  46. AngelEyes Senior Member

    English - United States
    Loob,

    I just sit and shake my head when I see that you and others really like "She's going to take you to the cleaners." :rolleyes:

    I'd never in a million years think that's BrE.

    While this lawyer is a very proper gent, he's an average guy, too. This rich client of his is his best friend, so even though he's professional in his work, he's earthy and frank when expressing his opinions to him.

    I'm still playing around with different scenarios. Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions!

    AngelEyes
     

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