Today I’m going to talk about money idioms and expressions related to it. Money is an integral part of our life, it is so deeply ingrained in human psyche that we cannot imagine a moneyless world.  It is the most powerful motivator, a privilege, a drive, a symbol of power. But there is also a dark side to it. It causes competitiveness, jealousy, corruption, not to mention its detrimental  effects on relationships. Some say money brings out the darkest  side of human nature, for money is a measure of one’s life value.

Do you like money? Are you a spend-thrift or a penny-pincher? What is your attitude to money? Do the quiz and find out 🙂

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Here is a list of most common money idioms and expressions, most of which have figurative meaning.

Foot the bill-pay for the bill/zapłacić za rachunek

Who is going to foot the bill tonight? Mike, it’s your turn.

A penny for your thoughts?-What are you thinking about?/O czym myślisz?

Spend a penny-go to the toilet/pójść do toalety (a colloquial phrase)

A: Where is Ann? B: She’s gone to spend a penny.

In for a penny, in for a pond-once you have started something or are involved in it, you should complete the work although it has become more difficult than you had expected/ Jeśli powiedziało się A, trzeba powiedzieć i B.; Raz kozie śmierć.

We should have stopped at that point, but we had already invested so much, and as they say, in for a penny, in for a pound.

A daylight robbery/highway robbery-when you are charged for something more money that it is worth/rozbój w biały dzień- kiedy płacimy za coś o wiele więcej niż to jest warte

Have you seen the price of that dress! It’s a daylight robbery!

A fiver- a five pound note/banknot pięciofuntowy

Could you lend me a fiver? I’m broke.

A quid- 1 pound/ 1 funt

A: How much is a cappuccino? B: Two quids.

Hush money-a bribe/łapówka

She claims the boss offered her hush money to keep quiet about the deal.

Have sticky fingers-to have a tendency or inclination to steal things/mieć lepkie ręce- być złodziejem

You’d better watch out. People here have stcky fingers.

A pretty penny-a large amount of money/bardzo drogo

This car cost a pretty penny. Far too much.

A man with a jingle in his pocket- a poor man/biedny mężczyzna

He isn’t rich, he is just showing off. He is a man with a jingle in his pocket.

Rolling in money-having a lot of money/być bogatym

He is loaded! He is rolling in money.

Spend money like water-spend money easily/wydawać pieniądze szybko

I’m sure he’ll get into debt one of these days. He spends money like water.

Be flat broke- have no money/nie mieć pieniędzy

 I’m flat broke once again and don’t know how I’m going to pay my rent.

Dirt cheap-extremely cheap/bardzo tanie

If you buy something that is dirt cheap, the quality is very low.

Tighten your belt- spend less money than usual/zacisnąć pasa

We’ll have to tighten our belts if we want to save money for a winter holiday in the Alps.

Make ends meet-have  just enough money to buy what you need/wiązać koniec  końcem

Since I lost my job, I’m finding it difficult to make ends meet.

Save for a rainy day- save money for a time when you really need it/odkładać pieniądze na czarną godzinę

I regularly save for a rainy day so I’m not worried about emergencies.

Rip somebody off – charge too much for services or goods/zedrzeć z kogoś

The agency really ripped us off. Never again will I take out an insurance policy with them.

Ponzi Scheme- a form of fraud which lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors by using funds obtained from more recent investors/piramida finansowa

Having invested all his money in a new venture, he found out it was a Ponzi scheme, a fraudulent investment scam.

Cost an arm and a leg– very expensive/bardzo drogie

We want to redecorate the living room, but I’m afraid it’s going to cost us an arm and a leg.

From rags to riches-refers to any situation in which a person rises from poverty to wealth, and in some cases from absolute obscurity to heights of fame—sometimes instantly/od pucybuta do milionera, wzbogadzić się w bardzo krótkim czasie

His financial success is a typical rags to riches story.

Live from hand to mouth-have only enough money to survive/klepać biedę

There’s no way we can even think about travelling to the USA this summer, as we are literally living from hand to mouth. 

Live on a shoestring– using very little money/ledwo wiązać koniec z końcem

We work on a shoestring budget.

Hit the Jackpot-to be very successful, especially by winning or earning a lot of money/trafić w dziesiatkę w finansach

Rat race– is a term used to describe a frustrating, hard-to-break financial lifestyle, your sole objective is money gain/wyścig szczurów

 

The phenomenon of a rat race is superbly depicted in a short animated film by Steve Cutts. I recommend watching it: RAT RACE