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Idioms and Sayings About Money


Idiom/Saying Explanation

A hole in the wall

For example:

1) "We went for a drink at a little hole in the wall near the university last night."

2) "I went to the hole in the wall to get some cash."

1) A small place to live, stay or work in.

2) A cash machine.

Break the bank.

For example:

He broke the bank at the casino and walked away with a lot of money.

Win all the money at a casino gambling table.

To laugh all the way to the bank.

For example:-

If we don't take this opportunity, you can be sure our competitors will and they'll be laughing all the way to the bank.

To make lot of money very easily, often because someone else has been stupid.


To not break the bank.

For example:

Going out for a drink in the pub won't break the bank.

Not be too expensive
To bank on something/someone

For example:

"You can always bank on friends to help you."
Something or someone you can be sure of.

Go for broke.

For example:

"She really wanted to pass her English exam, so she went for broke and revised every day."

To risk everything in order to achieve the result you want.

To be broke

For example:

I can't go out tonight, I'm broke.

To have no money.

A cash cow

For example:

The British newspapers are the group's biggest cash cow, earning nearly 40% of group profits.

A business or a part of a business that always makes a lot of profit.

Hard cash

For example:

They don't accept credit cards, we will need hard cash.

Money in the form of coins or notes paper money

Cash in your chips

For example:

He cashed his chips in shortly after his ninetieth birthday.

To die.

Ready cash

For example:

We have a lot of investments but we need ready cash to pay the bills.

Money that is available to spend.

To be strapped [for cash]

For example:

Could you lend me a fiver? I seem to be a bit strapped.

To be short of money.

A blank cheque

For example:

The project manager seems to think he has a blank cheque.

As much money to spend as is wanted or needed.

The other side of the coin

For example:

Running a web site is fun, but the other side of the coin is that it costs a lot of money.

The opposite view of something.

A bad debt

For example:

The bank expects to lose millions of last year's profits as a result of bad debts.

Money owed that is not likely to be paid.


For example:-

I need to go to the cash point, I've run out of dough.

Slang for money.


For example:

It is easier to pay on the net with e-cash.

Money from a special bank account which is used to buy goods and services over the Internet by sending information from your computer

A fool and his money are soon parted.

For example:

Andrew is always buying the latest gizmos, a fool and his money are soon parted.

Something we say which means that stupid people spend money without thinking about it enough.

Blood money

For example:

The assassin was paid his blood money.

Money that has been gained from the death of another person.

Easy money

For example:

A lot of people think running a web site is easy money.

Money earnt with very little work or effort.

Funny money

For example:

She was caught trying to pay with funny money,

Counterfeit money, or money from dishonest activities.

A licence to print money

For example:

Some people think the TV licence fee is just a licence to print money.

Activity that allows people to become very rich without having to make any effort.

Money doesn't grow on trees.

For example:

We can't afford to buy a house, money doesn't grow on trees.

Money isn't that easy to come by.

Money for old rope

For example:

A lot of people think being a professional footballer is money for for old rope.

A job that is an easy way of earning money.

Money talks

For example:

He seems to get away with murder I guess money talks.

People who are rich have a lot of power and influence.

Money to burn

For example:

They buy a new car every year. They must have money to burn.

To have a lot of money to spend on things that are not necessary

Put your money where your mouth is

For example:

If people are really interested in helping the homeless they should put their money where their mouth is

To follow up on words with action.

Monopoly money

For example:

Whether he sells the house or not, it's all monopoly money to him.

Monopoly is the trademark for a game in which you buy property with pretend money, so monopoly money has little or no value.

More money than sense.

For example:-

Alex Hope spent £125,000 on a 30-litre Midas bottle of champagne. He has got more money than sense.

When someone seems to spend what money they have foolishly.

Pin money

For example:

She teaches English for pin money for extra treats for herself and the family.

A small amount of money that you earn and spend on things for yourself.

Pots of money

For example:

Bill Gates has pots of money.

A lot of money.

Throw money around

For example:

They don't work but they have plenty of money to throw around.

To spend money, especially in an obvious and careless way, on things that are not necessary.

Hit pay dirt

For example:

If a salesperson does not quickly hit pay dirt with a customer they will usually move straight on to someone else.

To discover something very valuable or very useful.

Pay through the nose

For example:

I paid through the nose to get the bathroom done.

To pay too much money for something.

Pay top dollar

For example:

If you want the best, you have to pay to dollar.

To pay a lot of money for something

Pay your way

For example:

I teach English so that I can pay my way.

To pay for yourself rather than allowing someone else to pay

The devil to pay

For example:

If the company catches you making personal calls there'll be the devil to pay!

To get into a lot of trouble.

A penny for your thoughts

For example:

'You're very quiet. A penny for your thoughts.'

To ask someone what they are thinking about.

A pretty penny

For example:

That car must have cost you a pretty penny.

To be very expensive

The penny drops

For example:

She looked confused for a while, but then the penny dropped.

To finally understand something.

Turn up like a bad penny

For example:

Whenever he wants money he turns up like a bad penny.

To arrive at a place or event where you are not wanted.

A penny pincher / To penny pinch

For example:

He left the pub before it was his round. He is such a penny pincher.

A miser /To be a miser.

In for a penny, in for a pound

For example:

He spends hours on his English every day. In for a penny, in for a pound.

To put a lot of money or effort into something.

Dirt poor

Most of the population in this undeveloped area were dirt-poor and jobless.

Extremely poor

As poor as church mice

For example:

When we first got married, we were as poor as church mice.

Very poor

The pink pound

For example:

Brighton is a lively, prosperous city, courtesy of the pink pound.

Money spent by people who are homosexual, especially on entertainment.

To hold the purse strings

For example:

The Financial Director holds the purse strings here.

To control the spending of a family's or an organization's money

To loosen the purse strings

For example:

We shouldn't expect the Chancellor to loosen the purse strings too much in this year's Budget.

To allow more money to be spent.

To tighten the purse strings

For example:

If we want to go on holiday this year we need to tighten the purse strings a bit.

To reduce the amount of money that can be spent

You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear

For example:

I new it wouldn't last, you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

If something is poor quality you can't do much to improve it.

Filthy rich

For example:

Bill Gates is filthy rich.

Extremely rich

Rob Peter to pay Paul

For example:

If you keep robbing Peter to pay Paul, you'll never be out of debt.

To borrow money from one person to pay back money you borrowed from someone else.

Strike it rich

For example:

He struck it rich in the computer business.

To suddenly become rich

Spend money like water

For example:

If you spend money like water, you'll always be broke.

To spend too much.

Spend a penny

For example:

Excuse me, I must go and spend a penny.

To go to the toilet.

Have your fingers in the till

For example:

She had her fingers in the till, that's why she lost her job.

To steal money from the place where you work.

More money slang

More idioms and sayings

English Idioms