WOW ~ Words of the Week ~ Show Me the Money!

one pound note bank of england

One Pound Note for the Bank of England, 16 July 1813







This week, there were just too many words from which to choose, so I decided to list them all! For your delectation, the generally vulgar terms for money.


Bit (“He grappled the cull’s bit” i.e., he stole the gent’s money)

Blunt (cant)


Bustle (cant)

Chink (for the noise it makes in one’s pocket)

Cly (cant, specifically money in a pocket; “he filed the cly” i.e., he picked the man’s pocket)

Cole (“post the cole” means pay down the money)

Coriander/Coriander Seeds

Crap/Crop (to “nim the crap” means to steal the money; to “wheedle the crap” means to coax money from someone)


Dues (money that is owed; “come, tip us the dues” means to pay up what’s owed)


Gelt (German origin)


Goree (specifically gold)



King’s Pictures

The "King's Pictures" of George IIII [IV] 1821

The “King’s Pictures” of George IIII [IV] 1821








Lurries (moveable money such as rings or watches)



Plate (prize money)

Poney (chiefly for gambling; “post the poney” means to lay down the money)


Quids/Quidds (ready money, available to loan)


Recruits (money that is expected; “have you raised the recruits” means have you collected the money)



Ribbin (noun describing one who is wealthy; “the Ribbin runs schick/thick” means the gent has well-lined pockets; “the Ribbin runs thin” means the gent has little money on him)

Bank-notes,__paper-money,__French-alarmists,__o, the devil, the devil!__ah! poor John Bull!!! by James Gillray, 1797

Bank-notes,__paper-money,__French-alarmists,__o, the devil, the devil!__ah! poor John Bull!!! by James Gillray, 1797









Rouleau (guineas for the gaming tables, wrapped and rolled in paper in packs of 20-50, or sometimes in ivory boxes)

Round Sum



Stake (booty won by gambling or acquired by robbery)


Weeding Dues


So this week I plan to “Raise the Recruits” by “Wheedling the crap” from my husband, but as it’s the middle of the month and the “Ginger-Bread” has likely gone toward bills, I suspect the “Ribbin runs thin.”  Good Fortune as you pursue your own “Coriander Seeds.”


All definitions and/or examples taken from Online Etymological DictionaryCant: A Gentleman’s Guide, and/or 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.


2 thoughts on “WOW ~ Words of the Week ~ Show Me the Money!

  1. I wonder, Renee, how prevalent some of the slang was for the upper class gentlemen? I know that there were those well-bred young men (Like in the Tom & Jerry story) who liked to adopt the cant of the lower classes, but do you suppose they used such a wide range of it? Just curious! In any case, really enjoy reading these. Language is endlessly fascinating!


    • I’ve wondered the same thing. I can picture them trying it out in their youth – possibly at University, or when they came to Town to earn some bronze and picked up new and seemingly illicit phrases in dockside taverns or brothels, or at cockfights. I can see them maybe even earning points (with each other or with underclassmen/younger siblings) if they could spout off a new phrase or two. I can even picture older gentlemen getting together privately over a glass of port and “talking trash,” to appropriate some contemporary slang. I doubt it would ever be overheard at a ball or around the family supper table, however.

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