This week while working on a copy assignment for a bank, I looked up other words that mean money. I was surprised by what Google returned. In addition to a few formal words, five or so, there were a large number of slang words – probably more than 80.
As I a scrolled through the list I found a veritable salad of money words with the leafy varieties of cabbage, kale and lettuce playing a part.
Cabbage and kale were named for the green colour of the US dollar and used widely in America in the 1900s. ‘Lettuce’ however, has more of a story to it.
Lettuce is used to refer to money because it is green just like money,” says Hipwiki.com. “This slang gained tone of attention when Hip Hop artist DBB released the song Lettuce Ft. Famous Dex in which he rapped “Pockets be lettuce like green — Blue hunnids, stuffed it all in my jeans.”
Poor cousin cabbage and kale inspired no such lyrics (none that were publishable on this wholesome language site at least) but still make it to the list of slang terms to describe money.
Smoke the leaves
Needless to say, I was not able to use any of these words in the copy assignment. My client would have thought I was smoking the leaves. While this sometimes assists the creative process, I decided against it.
What I learnt though, is that money has many pet names – and has inspired many songs, second only to the subject of love.
Other money terms taken from food are bacon, dough (see#@b4online), bread, cheese, clams ‘CREAM acronym for ‘cash rules everything around me’ and guac (for guacamole). I’m sure that’s enough for you to ‘intellectually’ snack on.
Meanwhile, do not use these words in any formal writing – you may find that you will not get paid and that could lead to a money disaster.
For now, stick with currency, cash, legal tender and bank notes.