51 MONEY – podcast episode 51 – transcript

This time our episode is about MONEY.

“to HAVE AN ITCHY PALM” , “to GO BROKE” , “to BE DOWN-AND-OUT”, “MONEY TALKS”… learn a lot of expressions about money by listening to this new episode on iTunes or on podomatic :

Here’s the transcript.
All the best,   


M :  This episode is about MONEY !

M :  First of all :  Money is UNCOUNTABLE.

C :  Exactly- because I have none. I can’t count what I don’t have!

M: That’s not what I meant!

C: Alright, MONEY is UNCOUNTABLE. We can’t say one money, two moneys…, we can count Dollars, one Dollar, two Dollars…or Euros: one Euro, two Euros… but money is an abstract notion and it’s an uncountable noun.  That’s why we say:  money IS, not money are.

M :  Now let’s talk about CASH money,  for example, here’s my wallet.

C: You have money in your wallet??

M: A bit.

C: I have spider webs in mine.  Ok, Marta, that’s paper money.  BILLS.  We call them bills.  For example: a 10 dollar bill or a 20 Euro bill.   Ok.  That’s metal currency instead.  We call those small metal pieces COINS.

M :  Ok, bills and coins.   The one dollar bill can be called a BUCK, right?

C :  yes,  that’s why we can say “bucks”  whenever we mean dollars.  It’s informal but for example.. “Marta, I’m running out of cash, could you lend me 10 bucks please?”

M :  Sure!  10 bucks for you Cindy, here you are.

C :  Can you lend me a BENJAMIN ?

M :  …a Benjamin?

C :  that’s a nickname for the $100 bill, because Benjamin Franklin is pictured on the bill.

M :   ok,  so if you mention “Benjamins”  you are referring to hundred dollar bills.  And the answer to your question is: no, I’m not giving you a Benjamin, sorry.

C :   alright, I was just kidding.  Now let’s talk about coins.  They have nicknames too.  A 1 cent coin is a PENNY.   A 5 cent coin is a NICKEL, a 10 cent coin is a DIME and a 25 cent coin is a QUARTER.

M :  Right.   1 cent  Penny,  5 cent  Nickel,  10 cent  Dime,  25 cent  Quarter.

C :   For example, imagine I’m a poor person approaching you at the station.  I would say:  “Madam, can you spare a dime please?”

M :  ….a dime… 10 cents.  Yes, sure!

C :  Madam can you spare a Benjamin please?   J

M :  yes,…hmmm…wait a minute….a Benjamin is a hundred dollar bill… I’m afraid that’s a little too much !  Nice try, though!  J

C : I tried! Talking about coins, sometimes we toss a coin to make a decision in a neutral way.   That’s what happens in sports, for example, the referee tosses a coin at the beginning of a match to see which team is going to start first.

M :  Ok,  let’s toss a coin to decide who is going to talk about idioms regarding money.

C :  Heads or tails, Marta?   That means the face, the head, of the coin or the other side of the coin?  Heads or tails?

M :  hmmm…heads.

C :  Ok, tails for me.   Let’s see.   Tails.

M :  Ok, you won.   So go ahead, give us an idiom about money.

C :   All right.  I know 3 idioms about money mentioning body parts.   TO COST AN ARM AND A LEG.   That means to cost a lot!  For example: My new laptop computer cost me an arm & a leg.

M :  To cost an arm and a leg.  Ok.

C :   Another one is:  TO HAVE AN ITCHY PALM.   That means to ask for tips.  For example: That valet has an itchy palm. His hand is always out, asking for money.

M :   To have an itchy palm,  got it.

C :   Third one: TO HAVE STICKY FINGERS, to be a thief.   For example: The new shop assistant has sticky fingers and many items in the store have disappeared. They’ve stolen many items from the shop. The shop assistant has “sticky fingers”.

M :   to have sticky fingers…  hmmm…

C :   Marta? … hey…  a penny for your thoughts.

M :   …oh, yes, the Rolling Stones,  that’s where I heard Sticky Fingers before. Now I remember.

C :   yes, you’re right.

M :   by the way,  what did you mean when you told me  “A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS” ?

C :   that’s another idiom.  It’s a nice way of asking someone what they are thinking.  Penny for your thoughts, what are you thinking about?

M :  a penny for your thoughts.  Nice one.  I like it.

C :   ok, Marta,  let’s move on,  we have to hurry up.  C’mon,  TIME IS MONEY.

M :   yeah,  that’s another idiom I’ve heard many times,  time is money.

C :   Time is valuable,  so don’t waste it.   Time is money.

M :   Another idiom I’ve heard is  MONEY DOESN’T GROW ON TREES.

C :   yeah,  it doesn’t,  so be careful,  do not spend your money like there’s no tomorrow,  because you only have a limited amount of money.  Money doesn’t grow on trees.  If you’re not careful, you can end up BROKE.  You can GO BROKE.

M :  That means to lose all of your money.  To become bankrupt.  To go broke.

C :  Exactly.   When you have no money left you are DOWN-AND-OUT.

M :  that reminds me of a song… “Nobody knows you when you’re down-and-out”.  Eric Clapton’s acoustic version is just wonderful.

C :   it’s sad but true,  when you’re down-and-out -when you have no money left- only a few good friends stick around to help you,  the other people kind of disappear.
On the contrary, if you have a lot of money you have the power and the influence to get things done. That’s what we mean when we say MONEY TALKS.  Wealth helps to get one’s own way.

M :  Money talks.

C :   Marta,  how do you feel about money?

M :  well,  as long as I earn enough money to live  I’m ok.

C:  you mean:  TO MAKE A LIVING.   We all have to work hard to make a living nowadays, because the cost of living is getting higher and higher.  Sometimes it’s hard to MAKE ENDS MEET.


C :  yeah,  to pay for your monthly expenses, the rent, the telephone bill, pet food and so on. Well, I hope our listeners are not struggling to make ends meet, I hope they have enough money to make a living and make their dreams come true.

M :  Yeah, everybody thank you for listening to this episode!    Hey, don’t forget to visit our website at www.myamericanfriendblog.com where you can read the transcript and the money-related expressions we’ve used, like:


M :  Thank you again for your support.  Keep listening to our podcast on iTunes or on Podomatic.

C :  Also stop by our Facebook page and say “hi”!  Or follow us on Twitter, or browse our videos on Youtube.  Thanks for listening everyone!    Now, Marta, let’s go and have lunch.

M :  Ok, let’s go,  I’m buying.

C :  No, you don’t need to.  Let’s go Dutch.  Let’s share the cost of the meal.  Let’s go Dutch.

M :  No, really, I’m buying.  I have a Benjamin.

C :   you have $100 ?  Did you break your piggy bank or something?? Ok, “Miss Moneybags” then you can pay for dinner too!

M :  uh! C’mon, let’s go.  Bye everybody, see you soon!



1. BILLS paper money

EXAMPLE: He kept a stack of $100 bills in his bank vault.

2. COINS metal money.

EXAMPLE: Do you have any coins for the parking meter? It doesn’t take paper money, only coins.

3. BUCKS- informal word for dollars.

EXAMPLE: John is making big bucks in his new job! He’s bought himself a new car and a whole new wardrobe with his new salary.

4. BENJAMINS– slang word meaning hundred dollar bills.

EXAMPLE: He walked into the club with a stack of benjamins and paid for everyone’s drinks.

5. PENNY 1 Cent coin.

6. NICKEL– 5 Cent coin

7. DIME– 10 Cent coin

8. QUARTER– 25 Cent coin

9. HEADS OR TAILS?- a neutral way to make a decision, leaving the decision to be decided by the toss of a coin.

10. TO COST AN ARM AND LEG- expensive.

EXAMPLE: My high credit card bills are costing me an arm and a leg every month.

11. TO HAVE AN ITCHY PALM– to always have a hand out, asking for money/tips.

EXAMPLE: That valet is annoying, he has an itchy palm. He’s always looking for a tip.

12. TO HAVE STICKY FINGERS-to steal, to be a thief

EXAMPLE: The new shop assistant was fired for having sticky fingers. She stole nearly $500 bucks worth of merchandise during her first week of work. When the owner realized this she was immediately fired.

13. A PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS– what are you thinking right now?

EXAMPLE: You look worried. A penny for your thoughts? What’s the problem?

14. TIME IS MONEY– Don’t waste time because it is valuable.

EXAMPLE: Let’s go! Time is money! We must finish this job as soon as possible because we have another job waiting for us. If we are late, we may lose our next client.

15. MONEY DOESN’T GROW ON TREES money is not plentiful, not easy to earn. We must work hard to earn money.

EXAMPLE: No, I can’t buy you BOTH a new computer AND an iPhone. Money doesn’t grow on trees. I will have to save 2 months’ salary just to afford a new laptop. I’m sorry, but the iPhone is not possible right now.

16. TO GO BROKE– to lose all your money

EXAMPLE: If you keep gambling every night at the casino you’re going to go broke by the end of the month.

17. TO BE DOWN-AND-OUT– to be out of money, depressed, broke, in a desperate financial situation.

EXAMPLE: John has been down & out ever since he lost all his money in the stock market 5 years ago.

18. MONEY TALKS– money can influence, persuade people.

EXAMPLE: After 10 years, the building project was accepted because huge money bribes were paid to local politicians and officials. Unfortunately, money talks in this day and age.

19. TO MAKE A LIVING to earn enough money to pay bills and sustain yourself on your wage.

EXAMPLE: With a Law degree, Susan will make enough money after university to make a good living for her and her family.

20. TO MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE– to make your dreams a reality, to achieve your goals.

EXAMPLE: With a good job, John will make his mother’s dreams come true. His mother has always dreamed of owning a house. If he earns a good wage, he can one day buy his mother a small house.

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