An idiom is a phrase whose meaning may not be readily apparent from its individual words. In particular, some money idioms leave people scratching their heads in confusion. Here are the meanings of a few of the most puzzling ones.
A Cash Cow
According to the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture, a healthy cow produces six to seven gallons of milk per day. The milk production is steady and abundant. A cash cow is a source of income, such as a business, investment, or product, that reliably generates good profit.
Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees
You might be thinking that this idiom isn’t exactly true. After all, aren’t dollar bills printed on paper, which comes from trees? Actually, the United States prints its currency on a material made from cotton and linen. Linen and cotton do come from plants, but those plants are not trees.
By the way, the idiom means that money isn’t easy to acquire.
Rolling in the Dough
Dough is a slang term for money. If you are rolling in money, you must have a lot of it. In other words, you are very rich.
He Has More Wool Than a Lamb
Lambs, or sheep, are covered in wool. “He has more wool than a lamb” is a Spanish idiom. It means that someone has an abundance of cash.
Money cannot literally talk, but it can be as persuasive as speech. With money, you might be able to make things happen that normally would be impossible. Money talks means money is powerful.
Bet Your Bottom Dollar
Your bottom dollar is your last dollar. You would only gamble with it if you are extremely confident in a positive result. If you bet your bottom dollar, you are confirming something for a certainty.
In for a Penny, in for a Pound
This proverb’s meaning has evolved. Originally, it meant that people would choose to do the action that brings the greatest profit if it carried no greater risk than another act. Now, it means that you may as well finish what you start, even if you have to invest more time and effort than you anticipated.
Money talks, but it might not be able to explain these idioms. Though the meaning may not be obvious from the individual word meanings, most of these money idioms make sense when you think about them.
Can you find which idiom applies to these situations?
a) cash cow
b) money doesn’t grow on trees
c) rolling in the dough
d) he has more wool than a lamb
e) money talks
f) bet your bottom dollar
g) in for a penny, in for a pound
1. You can ____________________ I’m going to see Star Wars. I’m going on opening night!
2. Yeah baby, since I started my new position, I have been ____________________.
3. I have been trying to save up for a new car, but it has been hard. ____________________.
4. I can’t compete against rich old Mr. Anderson. He’ll get his way because ____________________.
5. Okay, I’ll drive you all the way home. ____________________.
6. I’m sure Senor Vasquez will be able to help you with fundraising. ____________________.
7. The movie studio thought the actress was a real ____________________.
Key: 1-f, 2-c, 3-b, 4-e, 5-g, 6-d, 7-a