bob = unit of currency


Senior Member
English, USA
One of the definitions of bob on is "a shilling". I don't think shillings are used as currency anymore, but is bob still used to refer to any units of currency in British (or other) English?
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No, I don't think so. The decimal currency was introduced in 1971 and we haven't used shillings since.

    Incidentally the plural of bob was bob; we talked of ten bob (ten shillings, i.e. half a pound) and two bob (two shillings, i.e. a tenth of a pound).

    The expression a bob or two, meaning quite a lot of money, isn't entirely out of the question on the lips of old people.

    croix du sud

    New Member
    English - Australian

    The term 'bob' describing money is still used as a slang term in Australia, as Thomas has alluded to. It's not just from the old and bolds either. Although it is not as common as it used to be it is still used frequently and if you were to use it would be understood.

    mr cat

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I still refer to .50p as ''ten bob'' and use such phrases as ''can you lend me a few bob''. However I am in my mid forties and only those of my generation or older usually understand the term.

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    I have always found this a bit strange that the use of bob seems to have fallen away. The shilling and the five pence piece are both 1/20th of a pound. For many of us it was still a bob and it still is for me. Unfortunately it isn't worth much any more, unless it is in mint condition.


    In those good old days you could by a half pint for a shilling.....


    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I have come across English people referring to the Kenyan shilling as a bob. I don't know whether Kenyans, Ugandans or Tanzanians would say bob - but the shilling is certainly the official currencies there. I'm pretty sure that the Austrian schilling is not call a bob, though. ;)
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