Click on a Theme below to go to a summary of the four posts about that Theme.

Money, Additional Subthemes

Subthemes: Miscellaneous, Records, Expressions

The subthemes of Money discussed above arise from a a poem about poverty and true friends, a painting from a town market, the lament of a poor boy in love, and a movie about raw greed and financial chicanery. We have a few more subthemes to present that don’t link so directly to any of the four works of art.

Miscellaneous Subthemes: Among the subsidiary topics we could have addressed regarding money, here are several: (i) allowances for children; (ii) Savings Bonds, 529 education accounts, 401(k)-3 accounts, and pensions; (iii) parts or all of the financial system writ large; (iv) crypto-currencies such as BitCoin and Ethereum; (v) the national debt, as the United States has borrowed nearly $30 trillion dollars by issuing Treasury bonds; and (vi) clothing accessories for money, including wallets, purses, money clips, and money belts.

Records: Superlatives about money surround us. The few collected here give a sense of what could be compiled.

  • Wealthiest man – Jeff Bezos is the founder of both Amazon, the world’s largest retailer, worth an estimated $177 billion Investopedia

  • Wealthiest woman – L’Oreal heiress Françoise Bettencourt Meyers, with an estimated net worth of $92.9 billion Style

  • Wealthiest country – tiny Luxembourg (GDP per capita of $118,001). The United States is 7th at approximately sixty-thousand dollars per capita GDP [World Population Review[(https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/richest-countries-in-the-world)

  • Poorest country – South Sudan, with a poverty rate of 82.3% in 2021 Story Maps

  • Most wealth gained in a year – Elon Musk, with a gain of $142 billion in 2020, which is the highest in history Insider Monkey

  • Highest monthly inflation rate – The Post-World War II hyperinflation of Hungary reached 41.9 quadrillion percent in July 1946, amounting to prices doubling every 15.3 hours Wikipedia

  • Highest US tax bracket – For tax years 1952 and 1953, the highest marginal tax rate for individuals was 92%, but dropping to only 91% for tax years 1954 through 1963 Wikipedia

Expressions: Below are a wealth of figurative sayings that relate to money. For a master list of online sources that have contributed idioms to the various Themes, see Work Additional Subthemes. For this collection of 198, aside from identifying candidate expressions myself, I drew heavily on OppU as well as PrepEng.

a gusher (sudden inflow of lots of money)
ante up (pay to play in a gambling game)
as sound as a dollar (very secure and dependable like a dollar bill)
at the drop of a dime (quickly; instantaneously)
bang for your buck (get back something worth what you invested for it)
bet dollars to doughnuts (quite certain about something)
bet on the wrong horse (base your plans on a wrong guess about the results of something)
bet your bottom dollar (put everything into your expected return)
beyond your means (more than you can afford)
big bucks (large amounts of money)
blank check (no constraints and complete freedom of control for another to act)
born with a silver spoon in his mouth (started life in a wealthy family)
bread and butter (a job that provides someone with the money they need to live)
breadwinner (someone who works hard to earn money for their family)
break the bank (something costs too much money)
bring home the bacon (work to support a family)
burn a hole in your pocket (the money someone has is aching to be spent)
buy someone off (bribe a person)
call someone’s bluff (test the reality of another person’s position)
cash cow (a business that generates a continuous, easy flow of income)
cash in the chips (end the effort, withdraw with what you have)
cash on the barrelhead (paid for in cash)
cash-and-carry (sell with no delivery and for cash)
caught short (not having enough money to pay)
cheapskate (miser, stingy person)
chicken feed (a small amount of money)
close-fisted (stingy)
coin an expression (create a new aphorism or term)
coin of the realm (what is valued commonly in a situation, e.g., patronage, information, cigarettes)
cold hard cash (money in its physical form)
color of their money (available money)
control the purse strings (whoever in a family or business is in charge of the money)
cook the books (illegally account for a business’ revenue or expenses)
cost a pretty penny (expensive)
cost an arm and a leg (very expensive)
cut a check (write a check)
cut off (when someone stops giving another person a regular amount of money)
cut your losses (abandon a plan before more money is lost or circumstances worsen)
cut-rate (on sale at an unusually low price)
daylight robbery (an exorbitant fee for a product or service)
deadbeat (someone who doesn’t pay the money they owe someone else)
dime a dozen (high supply and low demand)
dime or dollar store (a vendor of cheap products)
dirt cheap (unbelievably inexpensive)
dollar for dollar (a good deal based on their cost)
drop a dime on someone (turn someone into the police)
easy money (gains that don’t require a lot of effort to acquire)
empty pockets (poor)
fake as a three-dollar bill (completely counterfeit)
fast buck/quick buck (money made easily or quickly)
feel the pinch (experiencing financial hardship)
flat broke (you don’t have any money at all)
flip a coin (make a decision at random)
float a loan (arrange a loan to get through a hard time)
follow the Benjamin’s (go where the big money and earnings are)
follow the money (find the cause of something in a person’s desire to make money)
fool’s gold (something that is mistakenly believed to be full of potential)
foot the bill (when someone pays for everyone’s expenses or a bill)
for peanuts (work for very little money, below the cost of labor)
fork out/fork over (pay by putting forward money)
free and clear (own something outright)
from rags to riches (going from poverty to prosperity)
front money (money paid in advance)
get along on a shoestring (live on a little bit of money)
get off scot-free (escape a fee or punishment for a crime)
get what you pay for (low cost may be low quality, and the reverse)
get your money’s worth (get everything you paid for, sometimes more than its value)
get/give a run for your money (take on a challenge or get what is rightfully deserved)
go all in (put all your assets and time toward a goal)
go bust (fail, go bankrupt)
going rate (current rate of what something is worth)
gold standard (the best to compare against)
golden goose (source of wealth or earnings)
golden handcuffs (compensation so rich that executives can’t leave a company)
got a windfall (a bonanza arrived unexpectedly)
gravy train (a job that pays more than it’s worth)
grease their palm (pay for a special favor, typically an illegal bribe)
hard up (without enough money)
have sticky fingers (be a shoplifter, pickpocket, or a thief)
have the Midas touch (make money easily)
have the penny drop (when someone finally realizes or understands something)
he who pays the piper calls the tune (who provides the money decides how it is spent)
head over heels in debt (deeply burdened with debt)
heavy money (have a lot of money)
highway robbery (charge a very high price when you control the supply)
hit it big (make a lot of money)
hit the jackpot (make a lot of money very suddenly)
hush money (an illegal bribe given to someone to keep them quiet)
ill-gotten gains (money acquired in a dishonest or illegal way)
in for a dime, in for a dollar (don’t commit partway to a goal)
in for a penny, in for a pound (committed to finishing an undertaking no matter what)
in kind (paying for something in goods or services instead of money, like barter)
in the black (profitable)
in the hole (in serious debt)
in the money (suddenly become wealthy)
in the red (lose money or be in debt)
it’s a steal (a bargain that is priced lower than its true value)
jack up the price (raise the price of something above its actual value)
keep our heads above water (survive financially—but just barely)
keep the wolf from the door (have enough money for basic needs, but no more)
kickback (money paid illegally in exchange for favorable treatment)
live from hand to mouth (just enough money to live on, to have no money to spare)
live within your means (live on what you can afford, no unnecessary spending)
loaded (wealthy with metaphorical bags of money)
look like a million bucks (gorgeous)
lose money hand over fist (lose a lot of money quickly)
make a killing (make a large amount of money)
make a/an honest buck (make money)
make ends meet (have enough money to pay bills and other expenses)
mint condition (perfect condition)
money doesn’t grow on trees (you have to earn money, you don’t just happen upon it)
money grubber (stingy and doesn’t like to spend money)
money in the bank (a certainty)
money is no object (cost is irrelevant because a person has enough money to pay)
money talks (people with wealth can influence the world around them)
money to burn/burn a hole in your pocket (have money that you are eager to spend)
monopoly money (money that has little to no value)
morally bankrupt (immoral)
nest egg (money carefully saved over time, often for a retirement)
nickel and dime someone (be chintzy and cheap to someone)
no free lunch (if it’s too good to be true, it isn’t true)
not for love nor money (not for anything)
not have two nickels/pennies to rub together (no money right now or are very poor)
not made of money (someone, often working class, who doesn’t have a lot of money)
off the books (not accounting revenue or reporting income to the tax authorities)
on the house (paid for by the owner of a business so that it is free for the buyer)
on the money (be right about something)
other side of the coin (the opposite of the situation or subject)
out-of-pocket expenses (not on a credit card of a company, but paid by the person)
pass the buck (don’t take responsibility for your actions, but blame another person)
pass the buck (force another person to make a decision)
pass the hat (collect and funds for a cause)
pass the hat (collect money from a congregation or group)
pay a king’s ransom (pay dearly for something)
pay the freight (bear the full costs of an activity)
pay the piper (endure the consequences of what someone has enjoyed)
pay through the nose (pay a very high price–most likely too much)
pay top dollar (pay a lot of money for something that is worth it)
pay up (money due immediately to pay for something that was purchased earlier)
pay your own way (be financially independent)
paycheck to paycheck (unable to meet financial obligations outside of regular income)
pennies from heaven (unexpected good luck or good fortune)
penny for your thoughts (asking what someone is thinking)
penny pincher (a frugal person)
penny-ante (two-bit, low standards)
penny-wise and pound foolish (careful with small amounts of money, but careless with large amounts)
pick up the tab (pay for something someone else has used or bought)
pony up (pay someone the money they are owed)
pot of gold at the end of the rainbow (illusory big gain, never achieved)
pour money down the drain (misuses or waste money without thought)
put in your two cents (give your comments or opinion)
put your money where your mouth is (don’t just talk, make a commitment)
rain check (reschedule an event to a later date, often due to bad weather)
rake in the money (make a lot of money)
red cent (a small amount of money)
rolling in money (have a metaphorically large pile of money)
save for a rainy day (put money aside for a time when it might be needed)
sawbuck (old-fashioned slang for a $10 bill)
settle up (pay each other what is owed)
shake them down (blackmail or extort money from someone)
shell out (pay money for something)
shortchange someone (fail to pay a person the full amount they are owed)
show me the money (tell me whether something is worth doing)
side hustle (work for pay that is not a person’s main job)
silver tongue (skillful at persuading others)
sitting on a goldmine (own something very valuable, but not realize that it is)
smart money (best option in an investment)
sock away (save or store money)
spend a fortune (spend a large amount of money)
spend a penny (use the bathroom)
spends like a drunken sailor (profligate, wasteful)
square accounts (settle financial debts and credits with someone)
squirrel away (save some money by tucking it away)
stinking rich (so excessively rich they smell like money)
stone broke (having absolutely no money)
strapped for cash (have little or no money available)
strike gold (to find or do something that makes you suddenly rich)
strike it rich (become rich suddenly, basically overnight)
struggle to make ends meet (have a hard time surviving on current income)
take a beating (lose a lot of money)
take the money and run (collect on an offer before the situation changes and the offer ends)
take them to the cleaners (cheat someone out of their money)
that’s money (some event is certain to happen, very confident)
throw good money after bad (not only wasting money, but spending more on the same thing)
throw money around (waste money, be profligate)
throw money at (spend a ton of money on a project, recklessly without thinking about how the money could be better spent)
tidy sum of money (a large amount of money)
tighten your belt (live frugally with less money than normal)
turn up like a bad penny (show up someplace where you’re not wanted)
two cents (an opinion of a non-expert)
two sides of the same coin (see two people or things with opposing views)
two-bit operation (low quality, shoddy)
under the table (secret and dishonest transaction)
up the ante (increase demands or the amount spent for something)
welsh on someone (cheat them out of money)
worth its weight in gold (extremely valuable)
worth your salt (worth the value you are paid in a job or profession)
you can’t take it with you (money and wealth has no benefit to a dead person)

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