currency of a country (informal)

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by tinlizzy, Aug 18, 2007.

  1. tinlizzy

    tinlizzy Senior Member

    USA - English
    In the US a dollar is also called a buck.
    China=quay or kwai

    Do all countries have nicknames for their currencies, and if there is a nickname how did the nickname get started?
  2. alexacohen

    alexacohen Banned

    Santiago de Compostela
    Spanish. Spain
    In Spain money is "pasta".
    We haven't yet a nick for the euro. At least I haven't heard of it.
  3. PocketCathy

    PocketCathy Junior Member

    U.S., English
    In the U.S. we often say "bucks" or if one is feeling particularly silly and old-fashioned, "smackaroos". If we're talking in the thousands, people will say "grand" or "G's".

    I heard U.S. dollars referred to as "divisa" when I was in Cuba. The merchants didn't want Cuban currency and would always ask if we had "divisa" instead.
  4. tinlizzy

    tinlizzy Senior Member

    USA - English
    Is divisa derived from a spanish word or has a Visa charge card become synonymous with the dollar, I wonder?
  5. fsabroso

    fsabroso Moderadiólogo

    South Texas
    Perú / Castellano
    No. "divisa" is a Spanish word for any country currency
  6. Horazio Senior Member

    italian / spanish (bilingual)
    Here in Veneto (north east) I often use "schei" (money) it's dialect.
  7. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    In Russia, the national currency has a bunch of nicknames, the most popular being бабки (babki; the word is oddly similar to the one meaning old women, but I don't know if there's a close connection).

    And we, too, call dollars 'bucks'.:) Interestingly, in Russian the word has acquired second plural ending - this must sound pretty funny to Russian-speaking Americans, I guess.
  8. ernest_

    ernest_ Senior Member

    Catalan, Spain
    Since the euro is relatively new, nobody has devised a nickname for it yet. We used to call our former currency, the pesseta (literally "little piece") "pela" or "peles" in plural, which means "peel".
  9. Antpax

    Antpax Ex-Moderador

    Spanish Spain

    In Madrid we have adopted the old expression for 5 pessetas "pavo" (also called "duro) to call euros.


  10. Woland

    Woland Senior Member

    we usually call it ''bani''. It has various nicknames anyway. Some call it ''bănet'',others ''gologani'' .
  11. ernest_

    ernest_ Senior Member

    Catalan, Spain
    Interesting. We don't use "pavo" round here. In fact, I've only heard this word in American movies dubbed into Spanish. It sounds very American to me. It was always "peles" and "duros" here.
  12. ukuca

    ukuca Senior Member

    Istanbul - Turkey
    Turkish - Turkey
    In Turkish we say:
    "kağıt" (originally means: paper)
    "kafa" (originally means: head)
    and also: "mangır", "papel"
  13. The Scrivener Banned

    On the "naughty step".
    England. English
    In the UK, as well as being called a quid, the pound is also a nicker.

    1,000 pounds = a grand or "bag of sand" (London Cockney rhyming slang).

    Loose change of low value is sometimes referred to as shrapnel.
  14. mgwls Senior Member

    Buenos Aires
    Spanish (Argentina)
    In Argentina (well, at least in Buenos Aires) we call the national currency (pesos) "guita". Guita also used to mean cents, but this usage is now only used by the older people.

    In addition fixed amounts of money have their own names:
    $100 = "una gamba"
    $1,000 = "una luca" (2000 dos lucas, 3000 tres lucas, etc)
    $1,000,000 = "un palo" (for 2M, 3M, etc it's same as the previous)

    Regarding this, it's worth mention that when we talk about US dollars, U$S 1,000 and U$S 1,000,000 are often called "una luca verde" and "un palo verde" respectively ('a green "luca"' and 'a green "palo"')
  15. irene.acler Senior Member

    Trento - Italy
    Here in Trentino we use "schei" as well :)
  16. tinlizzy

    tinlizzy Senior Member

    USA - English
    We says bucks, plural, also. :)
  17. fsabroso

    fsabroso Moderadiólogo

    South Texas
    Perú / Castellano

    In Peru we call to the money "plata": Do you have money? "¿tienes plata?
    and this is our "Peruvian money glossary"

    In Mexico they call it "feria", Do you have money? ¿tienes feria?
  18. DrWatson

    DrWatson Senior Member

    Finland (North)
    In Finland some people call the euro ege. A colloquial example sentence might go something like: "Mullon viis egee" = I've got five euros. There are a lot more nicknames for the euro, and you can probably coin one yourself if you like. It just has to resemble the original word, if by nothing more than by the first letter being E. You'll be understood from the context.

    The previous currency (Finnish Mark) is sometimes being referred to as mummonmarkka or mummo, meaning granny's Mark or granny respectively. I guess the name comes from the fact that a part of the elderly, being used to the Mark, still convert the prices to understand the value of a product, for example.
  19. Incassable New Member

    France, french ;-)
    We use to write it kuai in PinYin, the official phonetic writing system in China ;-), but it sounds the same as yours

    In france we had so many names for the Franc, i am sad we don"t have nicknames for euro yet !

    A franc was said balles, only plural "T'as pas 100 balles?"
    And we had a lot of names for 10 000 francs (1 500 €) : brique (brick), patate (potato) ...
  20. remi6180 New Member

    UK, French and English
    We have a similar situation in France with the euro. As incassable was saying we had slang words for the francs but people haven't come up with slang words for the euro. Words that were used for francs don't (yet?) apply to the euros. That's also due to the fact that people up to the age of about 25 still use francs regularly when talking about large sums of money (house, car prices etc...) and therefore need to distinguish clearly when they are talking in francs or euros.
  21. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    1 KČ = kačka (a little duckie)
    5 KČ = bůro/búro (from Boer/peanut or who-knows-what)
    10 KČ = pětka (It means The five!)
    100 KČ = kilo (from Greece 1000!)
    1000 KČ = tác...((serving) tray)
  22. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    There were a few colloquial terms for Portugal's former currency, the escudo. The most common was paus ("sticks", only used in the plural). A thousand escudos were colloquially called one conto ("thousand").

    As in other countries, these words have not been extended to the euro, no doubt to avoid confusion between the old currency and the new. There are no colloquial terms for the euro.
  23. PABLO DE SOTO Senior Member

    Spain Spanish

    Divisa in Spanish means "foreign currency".
  24. Captain-Cook New Member

    The Netherlands

    What would it mean if would say "Dos Chores para buscar"?

    Hope to hear from someone

  25. Woland

    Woland Senior Member

    It's very funny,indeed. I believe it's a slang,since I don't remind to have studied this word at school Do you guys write it буксы or бaксы since you said it has the second plural ending?
  26. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    In Lithuanian USD also has second ending: Nom. sg.: baksas pl.: baksai :)
  27. ronanpoirier

    ronanpoirier Senior Member

    Porto Alegre
    Brazil - Portuguese
    Here in Rio Grande do Sul, we also say "conto" but it's to any value. We also say here "pila" and people usually use it without its plural form, even if the number is bigger than 1. If in the value we have cents (which we call "centavos") then we use our currency regular name.
  28. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Now, this is a funny coincidence. In Brazil, as you know, the word "pau" has a certain obscene meaning. Well, in Portugal it's "pila" that has the same obscene meaning. :D
  29. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    Sure, it's slang. And it's pronounced as баксы.:)

    It's not the only example of an English word acquiring second plural ending in Russian. Рельсы are originally rails, and клипсы were clips.
  30. albondiga Senior Member

    When I was in India, I was surprised to find that they use "bucks" for rupees too! I had to adjust to hearing "fifty bucks" and interpreting it as "fifty rupees" (instead of "fifty dollars")!
  31. Jeedade Junior Member

    Dutch, the Netherlands
    It seems the Euro-countries have not really been very creative yet inventing nicknames for the Euro. The Germans sometimes refer to it as “Teuro” which is formed out of the words “teuer” (expensive) and “Euro”, when they are complaining that prices have gone up. Here are some Dutch pre-Euro ones:

    Fl 2,50 = “Rijksdaalder” or “Riks” or “Knaak”
    Fl 1,- = “Piek” (peak)
    Fl 0,25 = “Kwartje” (little quarter)
    Fl 0,10 = “Dubbeltje” (little double, because it’s worth 2 “Stuivers”)
    Fl 0,05 = “Stuiver”

    Fl 1000,- “Rooie rug” (red backside)
    Fl 100,- “Meijer”
    Fl 25,- “Geeltje” (little yellow one)
    Fl 10,- “Joet”
  32. macta123 Senior Member

    In Hindi Rupees is called : Rupayya (Rupaiha)
    In Bengali the same is called : Taka
  33. alex.raf Junior Member

    Though Iranian currency is Rial, here we use Toman.
    Ten rials is equal to one toman.
  34. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    文 (man4 -> man1) (Usually written as 蚊 except in academic contexts because 蚊 is pronounced man1 in Cantonese. However, 文 and 蚊 are homophones in Putonghua. 文 was standard in Classical Chinese.)

    The Hong Kong Dollar is also known as a buck.
  35. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    In China the ten yuan banknote is (or was until recently) called "mao". (Guess whose picture is on it).
  36. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French, with the franc, we were not really imaginative:

    10 balles = 10 francs (balles = balls, bullets, generally not used in the singular)

    Then, for big figures, we had
    bâtons (sticks), briques(bricks), patates(potatoes), sacs (bags)
    All represent 1,000,000 anciens francs = 10,000 francs
    We generally used them when we talked about houses:
    "Cette maison coûte 100 briques." (people of the older generation may still use "ancien francs" for houses)

    But nothing since the euros. We just call them euros :(
  37. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    There's a similar thread here:

    In Greek (generic terms):
    (drachma era):
    /'fraŋgo/ [neut. nominative sing.] /'fraŋga/ [neut. nom. pl.]
    It derives from the French franc.
    /le'fta/ [neut. nom. pl.] (appears only in pl.), from the name for the 1/100 denomination of the Greek drachma, the «λεπτό(ν)/λεπτά» /le'pto(n)/ [neut/ nom. sing.] /le'pta/ [neut. nom. pl.] and colloquially, «λεφτά» /le'fta/
    (€ era):
    «Λεφτά» (see above), and
    /e'vropulo/ [neut. nominative sing.] /e'vropula/ [neut. nom. pl.]
    Compound, «Ευρώ» /ev'ro/ which is the Greek name for the € + productive suffix «-πουλος» /pulos/ meaning descendant of, originated from the Peloponnese in the 10th century, but has become very widespread throughout the whole Greece as a patronymic suffix
  38. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    I've never drawn the connection between Mao and mao, but doesn't mao refer to ten cents? (10 yuan = 10 kuai...)
  39. sumonchy New Member

    Here in Bangladesh we called "Taka". Money is called "Taka".
  40. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    French (lower Normandy)
    Hi sumonchy :)

    "taka" is the official name of the currency in Bangladesh. But do you have an informal name for it?
    If no, I am afraid this is off-topic ;)


    Forer@ & Moderator
  41. Pedro y La Torre

    Pedro y La Torre Senior Member

    Paris, France
    English (Ireland)
    Canadians use ''balles'' for the dollar too, as well as ''sous'' (t'as cinq sous là ?) and ''piastre'' (though I hear this one less regularly).
  42. HUMBERT0

    HUMBERT0 Senior Member

    Our currency is the Peso

    In my neck of the woods:
    Moneda nacional = national currency
    Oro (gold)= Dólar; Plata (silver)=Peso

    Also: varos, bolas (balls), billullo, lana (wool)
  43. Gavril Senior Member

    English, USA
    Besides "bucks", a few more terms for the US dollar are


    The first three are similar to "bucks", but more idiomatic/contextually restricted (e.g., a cab driver once told me that I owed him "18 beans"). The word "smackers" (like the variant "smackeroos" mentioned above) sounds a little silly nowadays, but as with a lot of words/phrases, you can use it in some contexts if it seems as though you're aware of its silliness.

    For thousands of US dollars, you can also say

    big ones
    (e.g., "15 large" = $15,000)

    Canadian dollars:

    loonie : a Canadian $1 coin with a picture of a loon (bird) on one of its faces ; sometimes (commonly?) used for C$1 in general
    twoonie / toonie : a Canadian $2 coin ; may also be commonly used for the general quantity C$2 (again, not sure about how commonly)
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2012
  44. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    In Venezuelan Spanish the thing goes like this:

    Bolívares= bolo

    Money in general= plata (silver) or billullo, or real. (pronounced as riál)

    When you're talking about thousands you say 'lucas'. example: can you give me 3 thousands? ¿me prestas 3 lucas? (note: 3 thousands bolívares are like 1 dollar or something)

    When you're talking about 100 thousands until 999 999 you say 'tablas'. Example: Este celular me costó 6 tablas. This cellphone cost me 600 thousands.

    When you're talking about millions you say 'palos' (sticks). Ese carro cuesta 45 palos. That car costs 45 millions.

    I'm using the old currency as a reference, the new one has 3 less zeros. So, 100 000 = 100. But everyone still uses lucas, tablas and palos.

    I don't know their etymology, I'd love to know it because I find very curious such names.
  45. e2-e4 X Senior Member

    In my experience, "бабки" is money in general. :) I can't remember any special name for roubles (except "тугрики", but this is more ironic than slangy), but we can call a thousand roubles as "штука" (a thing, but the meaning is less wide and more narrow), and we can call a million roubles as "лимон" (because of the similar sound; the word means "lemon", and the stress is on the second syllable). The two can be used for reference to a thousand or a million of other things, too (for example, a thousand bucks — "штука баксов", the word "баксы" can be omitted if understood from context).

    Interesting enough, we have a lot of slang terms for dollars:
    - баксы (already mentioned);
    - грины ("greens"), зелёные (the translation of the word "green ones");
    - капуста ("cabbage", this is a collective noun, it can also be used to refer to money in general).
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2012
  46. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    The old nick деревянные /derevyannye/ (wooden ones) indicated that the rouble was not convertible into major currencies.
  47. Perseas Senior Member

    Athens - GR
    I 'd like to add that especially for the older generations there was also another term to denote money in general; "παράδες" [sing. "παράς"] with obvious turkish origin (maybe a persian loan).

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