Cash in Advance


I am looking for an English idiom which can be used for the translation of one Russian phrase. That phrase can't be translated directly because no foreigner will understand it.

I found some English equivalents:

money ahead
cash in advance
money first!
you pay first!

but as I see them they bear no idiomaticity. Are there any more "colorful" phrases equal to these ones in their sense?
  • Iglemos

    No pay, no play? It's hard to say what would work without some idea of how you want to use the idiom.
    The original phrase being explained sounds like this:

    "You give me money this evening and next morning you get the chairs you want to buy from me; if you give money this morning then you get the chairs this evening."

    It is a quote from an old well-known Russian novel and now it became a comic way to require money in advance.


    Senior Member
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    If the general tone and register is as straightforward as is suggested in post #3, I suggest "prepayment".


    Senior Member
    USA, English
    First pay, then eat.

    (Most restaurants serve you first, then bill you after eating--except McDonalds, etc.).
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