Why Do We Use “Bacon” And “Dough” When We Talk About Money?

From a TRowePrice newsletter I found the other day, pretty interesting facts:

Bacon – Meat was expensive in the early 1900’s, and it was common, should a family want to impress its guests, to buy a bit of pork and show it off by hanging the bacon in the kitchen. The inference was a sign of wealth because one “could bring home the bacon”, an expression which first emerged in 1908.

Beans – Referenced in 1297 as a metaphor for something of small value, the slang term “beans” continued to be used through several centuries. Historical accounts beginning in 1805 refer to annual “bean-fest dinners”, low cost gatherings provided by employers for their laborers. By 1887, an inexpensive restaurant had become known as a “beanery”.

Bread – Using the common word “bread” to reference money dates back to 1040. By 1732, the idiom “bread and butter” came to mean basic needs, and in 1818 one who earned money became known as a “breadwinner”.

Dough – Originating in 1851 as a term for making money, today “dough” is a slang word for money itself. In the 1920’s, counterfeit money came to be known as “sourdough”.

Greens – In 1902, “cabbage” became a common word for money in Scotland. During the Great Depression, when bartering for goods was commonplace, the term “greens” was slang for money, referencing the color of U.S. bills.

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Comments (4)

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  1. Great tidbits. I love the idea of hanging up bacon in the kitchen to show off!

  2. […] Why Do We Use “Bacon” And “Dough” When We Talk About Money? -I love stuffing my head with odd trivia so this post caught my eye. Why do we refer to money as various types of food? Rate this: 2.5 Leave a comment! […]

  3. Richard says:

    According to Snopes, the hanging the bacon may be false:

  4. david says:

    I suppose it could be, but I dont believe everything Snopes comes up with either. Thanks Richard!