piggy bank vs money box

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reka39

Banned
Italian
Hi!
Is there any difference between the piggy bank and the money box? I mean, can I define a container in the shape of a pig *money box*? Thank you!
 
  • bibliolept

    Senior Member
    AE, Español
    A "piggy bank" is either an item in which a child will store his savings, usually with a slot for coins or bills and normally has a fanciful or funny shape. Figuratively, it could be used in an informal manner to refer to a person's savings.

    "Money box" would, in my experience, be used almost entirely in a literal manner: a box in which money is stored.

    Is there any context? Are you interested in an AE or BE take on the question?
     

    MJRupeJM

    Senior Member
    USA
    English- U.S.
    I think in AE, money box is synonymous with cash box.

    I imagine a cash box as a rectangular metal box with a tray inside to sort cash bills, used where a cash register is not available (at flea markets, roadside stands, ticket booths, school plays, etc.)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    A "piggy bank" is either an item in which a child will store his savings, usually with a slot for coins or bills and normally has a fanciful or funny shape. Figuratively, it could be used in an informal manner to refer to a person's savings.

    "Money box" would, in my experience, be used almost entirely in a literal manner: a box in which money is stored.

    Is there any context? Are you interested in an AE or BE take on the question?
    Biblio's answer seems to me precisely to represent BrE usage as well...
     

    foxfirebrand

    Senior Member
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    I think in AE, money box is synonymous with cash box.

    I imagine a cash box as a rectangular metal box with a tray inside to sort cash bills, used where a cash register is not available (at flea markets, roadside stands, ticket booths, school plays, etc.)
    I agree, and would add that piggy banks are designed to keep money relatively inaccessible, and cash boxes, as MJRupeJM explains, are added to and taken from in the course of transactions.

    I would call a metal container designed to hold money like a piggy bank a lockbox or a safe.
     

    MJRupeJM

    Senior Member
    USA
    English- U.S.
    Hi!
    I mean, can I define a container in the shape of a pig *money box*?
    I would think a "container in the shape of a pig" would almost always be called a "piggy bank."

    It you must call it something else, I would say coin bank, or the less elegant but more literal money container. "Box" means, to me, something cube-shaped.
     

    Johnny519

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    A container like a pig is called piggy bank, but what about a bear, or a cat? just coin bank?
     
    Last edited:

    JustKate

    Senior Member
    Informally, you can call any of those things a piggy bank. Piggy bank refers to a bank shaped like a pig, but it is often used more generally, as described by bibliolept in post #2. It becomes more complicated if for some reason you need to differentiate between, say, a bank shaped like a teddy bear and one shaped like a pig. In that case, you could just call it what it is: "I put quarters in my piggy bank and dimes and nickles in my teddy bear bank." That's what I'd do, anyway (the wording, I mean - not putting quarters in the piggy bank and dimes and nickles in a teddy bear bank ;)).

    Coin bank is OK, too, but it's not very common, at least not in my experience.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    A container like a pig is called piggy bank, but what about a bear, or a cat? just coin bank?
    Yes, I think so. These little banks in fanciful shapes are strictly for children, to encourage them to save small amounts of money.
     

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    Biblio's answer seems to me precisely to represent BrE usage as well...
    But not to me! I take "money box" to mean any receptacle with a slot into which coins are deposited - of which a piggy bank is one example. A cash box being a (usually rectangular) box with a hinged lid and lockable with a key.

    Google images seem to confirm this.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    My usage is the same as Franco-filly's. I've never had a piggy bank.

    As a kid, my 'savings' (leftover pocket money, occasional small gifts from favourite uncles or grandparents: "Here's sixpence, and don't spend it all at once"; etc) were kept in a metal box in the form of a public phone-box, with a slot in the top. My brother's was like a pillar box (post box, mail box, collection box, ...). We always talked about "my money box".

    I now have a rectangular metal box with a hinged lid and a key, and an inner tray divided into sections, in which we keep spare coins and notes of the various currencies we use from time to time (less varied since the introduction of the euro). We always call this "the cash box".

    The use of the term "piggy bank" that I hear the most is the figurative sense that biblio mentioned in #2, referring to savings or a cash reserve in general: "We'll have to crack open the piggy bank" (We need to use money from our savings); "The company couldn't get financing for that project; they had to raid the piggy bank" (They had to resort to their cash reserves).

    Ws:)
     
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