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English Money - Ways of Describing the British Pound

Updated on April 24, 2012

Pound, Quid or ?...

There are so many ways to describe the British pound that you could be mistaken for not knowing what on earth people are talking about if you are not from the UK. The currency for Great Britain is the pound and although Scotland have their own notes (which are legal currency in England) they are not separate from the British system of currency. The international wording for the British pound is Pounds Sterling, or just Sterling.

So, what else is the pound called?

Well, the most obvious is quid - as in, if you are unfamiliar with the term - "lend us 50 quid will you?". Quid is more of a slang saying for pounds but is frequently heard from the masses.

You may also hear pounds being referred to as notes or sheets - a bit more colloquial but still in frequent usage.

20 pounds or 20 quid?
20 pounds or 20 quid?

Colloquial Phrases for Specific Amounts

There are also a bunch of words that are used for specific amounts of money as follows:

  • Bob - A pound
  • A score - 20 pounds
  • A pony - 25 pounds
  • A ton - 100 pounds
  • A monkey - 500 pounds
  • A grand - 1000 pounds

There are a bunch more that could be added here but these are the ones that are in most common usage. Add to these the pretty obviously nicknamed fiver and tenner.

Although there are a huge number of other colloquial phrases for English money, for example 'Ayrton Senna' for £10 (rhyming slang for a tenner) - a lot of them would not be in general usage and you may not come across them in everyday life.

General Words for Money

There are also a whole bunch of general words for money including:

  • Dosh
  • Cash
  • Wedge
  • Spondoolies
  • Brass
  • Moolah
  • Wonga
  • Readies
  • Sheets


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    • Glenn Stok profile image

      Glenn Stok 17 months ago from Long Island, NY

      Short but very informative hub. I learned a lot from you that I had not known about the British Pound. The Colloquial Phrases were interesting. The only one I knew was "score" for 20, because it's famously used in the Gettysburg Address.

    • profile image

      Reginald M. X. Heath III 6 years ago

      Or, as the Emperor might say: "I have a Yen for a Kroner."

    • profile image

      Roderick Monroe FitzGiboon 6 years ago

      As someone once proclaimed: "I have a Yen for a Kroner!"

    • Azure11 profile image

      Marian L 6 years ago from UK

      Well that is a good point A BritAm - I didn't include it because the Guinea was an actual amount of money rather than a slang term but on further investigation, you are right, after the Guinea was no longer produced, it was used as a colloquial term for the pound, so good spot!

    • profile image

      A BritAm 6 years ago

      Veddy interrrrrrrrrrrrresting, I dare say. But why did you avoid mentioning the politically incorrect "Guinea"?

    • Azure11 profile image

      Marian L 6 years ago from UK

      LOL aad, I'd be happy with a ton a this point in time!

    • Alladream74 profile image

      Victor Mavedzenge 6 years ago from Oakland, California

      Cool,can't wait till I score a monkey on hubpages

    • Cogerson profile image

      Cogerson 6 years ago from Virginia

      A very interesting hub. Thanks for sharing all these names for the money. Voted up and useful.