What up cool cats? We think the word ‘Money’ is such a snoozer. Let’s switch it up and bring you some dope jive for the next time you have to dole out the benjamins—or at least talk about it. Okay, okay so maybe we’re not ready for the hip lingo ourselves, but check out our favorite slang terms for cash.
It is difficult to trace exactly where any slang word comes from, but some say smack originated from the word smaken (Old English or Dutch) meaning to taste or savor. It was later adapted into the english language in the 1600s as smack—or the sound made with your lips. About 300 years later it was adapted as the noise your hand made when you hit something.
We are no experts, but we believe the money-relation comes into play when smack was used to describe the sound made when money was slammed onto the table.
4. Dead Presidents
Dead Presidents is definitely one of the lengthier replacements for money. Clearly, this term originates from the fact that former, deceased, presidents are typically featured on the face of U.S. currency. This term is not typically used in everyday conversation and is featured mainly in rap songs, so be careful before adopting it into your typical vernacular. Using this phrase will either bump up your street cred or make you look quite silly.
You probably have not come across this one often unless your bubby is fan of using Yiddish slang. Originally it was derived from the medieval Hebrew word, məzummān, meaning fixed currency. This term was then picked up and adapted into the Yiddish language to mazume, or cash. Mazuma may not be the most popular slang for money but we thought it sounded funny!
This is a more traditional American slang for cash. Mainly used in the mid-1900s because having money provided sustenance and bread was a popular item to have on the dinner table — obviously before the low-carb no-carb diet trends of today. Bread’s metaphorical association with money can be traced as far back as the bible. A number of different sources also cite an old Cockney Rhyme, “Bread + Honey = Money” as the factor behind the popularization of the slang. Of course, bread is made from dough and so by the transitive property, dough can also be utilized interchangeably.
1. Scrilla and Cheddar
Our number one favorite slang term for money is actually a tie between Scrilla and Cheddar. Quite honestly, we have no clue as to where either of these terms originally came from, various online sources attribute “the streets” as the origin for both these terms. All we know is that they make plenty cameos in popular rap songs including; After my Cheddar by 50 Cent, Public Service Announcement (Interlude) by Jay-Z, Cheddar by WC and 4 Tha Scrilla by E-40.
We need your help! Do you know how Skrilla or Cheddar became a popular word meaning money? Let us know in the comments.
Marina is a staff writer for MyBankTracker.com. She is an expert in college finances, consumer spending and banking.