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HERE'S THAT DODGY OCTOPUS I OWE YOU; Treasure trove of slang we use for cash.

Byline: By Craig McQueen

MONEY talks - and now it even has its own language.

A guide to modern jargon lists new slang terms for cash that have slipped into everyday vocabulary.

Of course, some money slang, such as a monkey (pounds 500) or a pony (pounds 25), have been around for donkey's.

But if you don't know what a Bernie or a dodgy octopus is, it could be time to clue up.

If someone has won a Bernie, it could pay you to become their next best friend. The term denotes pounds 1million - the amount Formula 1 chief Bernie Ecclestone donated to the Labour Party.

As for the octopus, that refers to the old joke - "Here's that sick squid (six quid) I owe you".

A Lady is a fiver, from Cockney rhyming slang for Lady Godiva. Likewise, an Ayrton, as in racing driver Ayrton Senna, is a tenner.

For the uninitiated, a Commodore is pounds 15 - as in the Commodores' chart-topper Three Times A Lady.

The term Archer - pounds 2000 - was coined by Rik Mayall's character Alan B'stard in TV comedy The New Statesman.

It refers to the amount disgraced Tory peer Jeffrey Archer allegedly used to pay off a prostitute in 1986.

A Hawaii is pounds 50 - as in the classic TV show Hawaii 5-0.

As well as expressions for individual amounts of cash, there are numerous terms for money in general.

Fundage, smackers, ducks, rhino, spondoolics and moolah all mean one thing. Not to mention pelf, bollers, lettuce, cabbage, squirt, beer tokens, smash, quidlets, crinkle, folding, womba and wonga.

Writer Tony Thorne has included a money section in Shoot The Puppy - his book about modern jargon.

The title itself is a relatively new phrase, mainly used by executives in the corporate world, meaning to dare to do the unthinkable.

The book includes 5000 words and expressions used in today's jargon.

Thorne said there are good reasons why there are so many terms for cash.

He added: "We are not only obsessed by money, but we also try and domesticise it and make it our friend by giving it affectionate or funny nicknames.

"Money has always been a popular source of slang because whether you are rich or a criminal, beggar or chav, it is, like drink and sex - the other two top slang categories - an everyday obsession."

Shoot The Puppy: A Survival Guide To The Curious Jargon Of Modern Life by Tony Thorne, published by Penguin, pounds 12.99 from August 31.


pounds 1 - Nicker

A US nickel was slang for a $5 note, worth about pounds 1 in the 1900s

pounds 15 - Commodore

From the hit Three Times A Lady

pounds 20 - Score

From farming, where every 20 sheep were marked or "scored" as a notch on a stick

pounds 25 - Pony

Possibly from animals used on Indian banknotes

pounds 50 - Hawaii

From TV show Hawaii 5-0

pounds 100 - Ton

Originally 100 cubic feet of capacity

pounds 300 (or pounds 3) - Carpet

In the 18th century, prisoners got a carpet in their cell after serving three years.

pounds 1000 - Grand

From the US when $1000 was considered a large a mount


DODGY OCTOPUS Six quid' LADY GODIVA Afiver' COMMODORE 3Times A Lady (Godiva) - pounds 15' HAWAII 5-0 pounds 50 REUTERS/ALEXANDRAWINKLER
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Aug 29, 2006
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