Terms: sorry / for money (cash, bricks, bands, bag, dough, etc.)
I sure like counting all this money.
Charles had his hands full of dollars of the U.S. variety. Not because he was rich, no! Are you crazy?
—It must be fun to work in the financial department. You get to take that money home and count it? Touch all on it. Dang, sounds like heaven to me!
Jonah was watching him with a hunger.
—Can I just touch one … well, a couple of them?
—No, Sir-ee! This is not my money, bro. If it was I wouldn’t let you touch it, either, but my life is on the line if I get fired. Sorry, can’t do it.
—Well! I don’t know why you work at that sorry theater on the side. If I was you, I’d be happy to sit here and count money all day.
Charles looked around at the blank white walls, felt the absence of an air conditioner, heard the BLUGUG of a bubble descend from their giant jug of nasty water.
—I would die if I worked here all the time. The theater is a good distraction. Plus, I like drama.
—Heck, there’s plenty of drama right here on campus.
They both laughed at that fact.
—Hey, what did you mean by “sorry?” I didn’t get why you would apologize for me working with plays.
Jonah scratched his chin.
—No, bro. Sorry, as an adjective. It just means that something sucks, basically. It’s low quality, not good. Like if you buy a car that’s old and raggedy and is halfway falling apart. That’s a “sorry” car. Look at me, sounding all smart!
—Uh-huh. Thanks for the clarification, said Charles.
—Fasho. Yeah, man. I was you, I would stay here and count stacks all day. Maybe slip a wad into my pocket.
Charles’s fingers stopped moving. His eyes tilted up. What did that guy just say?
—Guy, what did you just say? Stack? Wad? What in the world?
Jonah jumped up eagerly.
—Oh man, I’m about to learn you! I mean, teach you, of course. Look, Charlie; stacks and wad are both money. You ever seen a stack of something? Pancakes, maybe? Well, replace the pancakes with bills and that’s how you get “stacks.” As for wad, you just need to picture a handful of cash. Wad can be a small bundle of anything, though. Cash, you probably know, is money too. Hehe.
—Yeah, Charles said, —I knew cash. That’s the only one I knew, actually. What other words do you all have for money?
His fingers went to counting the dollars again. Jonah continued to rant excitedly about his favorite topic.
—Oh, that’s easy! I said stacks, so you got racks and bricks if you’re really making money. “Racks” are like shelves, so I guess if you made racks, you could just stack them on a big shelf. “Bricks” are like those red things you use to build a house, but they’re thick like a stack of money. What else? You got bands, figures, green. “Green” is obvious, ‘cus of the color. “Figures” mean digits. If you make 5 figures, that’s making a five-digit salary. Anywhere between 10,000 and 99,999. Same for 6 figures, 10 figures, and so on. A band is a thousand bucks, and bucks are money. You have to hold a thousand together with a rubber band, which is probably why they call it that. Same with a grand, or a G for short. That means a thousand bucks too. You probably have a few “G’s” in your hands right now!
Charles bulged his eyes.
—Wow, that is a lot. Any more?
Jonah continued, —Let’s see. You got loot, dough… “Loot” used to be treasure for pirates in the old days. “Dough” is what you make bread out of. Oh, and bread is another one. Hmm, guap and cheese are money, and bank is if you make a bunch of money. Like, “I made bank today.” “Cheese” like cheese slices at the grocery store. Some people say cheddar to be more specific. “Guap,” I don’t know. It sounds like guapo, or “handsome” in Spanish. Maybe like a handsome sum of money? Who knows. And don’t forget the bag. If you get “the bag,” you’re making good money. And … that’s all I got.*
Charles’s face fell stunned.
—Wow, you are an expert in something. I just can’t believe there are so many words for… and he waved a fistful of cash.
—Never thought about it. I blame rap music. So, how many bands you got?
—Let me see… There are about 5 G’s right here. I only got through this one stack.
—Well, you better start counting!
—I would if someone didn’t keep distracting me! And you’re right; all this money does make my other job look sorry.
Jonah chuckled and put his baseball cap on.
—That’s okay. I hear actors and playwrights get bank too.
- With so many ways to talk about money, it can be hard to choose which word to use! Some words like cash are more common overall. Other words are used in more specific situations. For example, bag or bank are more common when talking about making money, while G’s and bands are for talking about quantities of money. When in doubt, use the words you hear being used most around you. I sure don’t use all of these on a daily basis! What is your favorite money slang?
*The language used in this dialogue is meant to reflect how different Americans might express themselves. Significant incorrect grammar or sensitive words will be underlined for reference.