British slang and its classification — страница 9

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extremely cosmopolitan, both as a travel hub and a place for foreign people to live and work and start their own businesses. This contributed to the development of some 'lingua franca' expressions, i.e., mixtures of Italian, Greek, Arabic, Yiddish (Jewish European/Hebrew dialect), Spanish and English which developed to enable understanding between people of different nationalities, rather like a pidgin or hybrid English. Certain lingua franca blended with 'parlyaree' or 'polari', which is basically underworld slang. Backslang also contributes several slang money words. Backslang reverses the phonetic (sound of the) word, not the spelling, which can produce some strange interpretations, and was popular among market traders, butchers and greengrocers. Here are the most common

and/or interesting British slang money words and expressions, with meanings, and origins where known. Many are now obsolete; typically words which relate to pre-decimalisation coins, although some have re-emerged and continue to do so. Some non-slang words are included where their origins are particularly interesting, as are some interesting slang money expressions which originated in other parts of the world, and which are now entering the English language.0 Here are some examples of money slang words: archer = two thousand pounds (£2,000), late 20th century, from the Jeffrey Archer court case in which he was alleged to have bribed call-girl Monica Coughlan with this amount. ayrton senna/ayrton = tenner (ten pounds, £10) - cockney rhyming slang created in the 1980s or early

90s, from the name of the peerless Brazilian world champion Formula One racing driver, Ayrton Senna (1960-94), who won world titles in 1988, 90 and 91, before his tragic death at San Marino in 1994. bag/bag of sand = grand = one thousand pounds (£1,000), seemingly recent cockney rhyming slang, in use from around the mid-1990s in Greater London; perhaps more widely too. bar = a pound, from the late 1800s, and earlier a sovereign, probably from Romany gypsy 'bauro' meaning heavy or big, and also influenced by allusion to the iron bars use as trading currency used with Africans, plus a possible reference to the custom of casting of precious metal in bars. bender = sixpence (6d) Another slang term with origins in the 1800s when the coins were actually solid silver, from the practice

of testing authenticity by biting and bending the coin, which would being made of near-pure silver have been softer than the fakes. bees (bees and honey) = money. Cockney rhyming slang from the late 1800s. Also shortened to beesum (from bees and, bees 'n', to beesum). big ben - ten pounds (£10) the sum, and a ten pound note - cockney rhyming slang. boodle = money. bunce = money, usually unexpected gain and extra to an agreed or predicted payment, typically not realised by the payer. cabbage = money in banknotes, carpet = three pounds (£3) or three hundred pounds (£300), or sometimes thirty pounds (£30). This has confusing and convoluted origins, from as early as the late 1800s: It seems originally to have been a slang term for a three month prison sentence, based on the

following: that 'carpet bag' was cockney rhyming slang for a 'drag', which was generally used to describe a three month sentence; also that in the prison workshops it supposedly took ninety days to produce a certain regulation-size piece of carpet; and there is also a belief that prisoners used to be awarded the luxury of a piece of carpet for their cell after three year's incarceration. The term has since the early 1900s been used by bookmakers and horse-racing, where carpet refers to odds of three-to-one, and in car dealing, where it refers to an amount of £300. chip = a shilling (1/-) and earlier, mid-late 1800s a pound or a sovereign. According to Cassells chip meaning a shilling is from horse-racing and betting. The association with a gambling chip is logical. Chip and

chipping also have more general associations with money and particularly money-related crime, where the derivations become blurred with other underworld meanings of chip relating to sex and women (perhaps from the French 'chipie' meaning a vivacious woman) and narcotics (in which chip refers to diluting or skimming from a consignment, as in chipping off a small piece - of the drug or the profit). clod = a penny (1d). Clod was also used for other old copper coins. From cockney rhyming slang clodhopper (= copper). coal = a penny (1d). Also referred to money generally, from the late 1600s, when the slang was based simply on a metaphor of coal being an essential commodity for life. The spelling cole was also used. cock and hen = ten pounds. The ten pound meaning of cock and hen is