Finance is an important part of our life. We engage in daily monetary transactions, learn how to manage our personal finances, and are always on the lookout for the ups and downs in the global and domestic financial markets. Thus, having the know-how of financial expressions, terms, and idioms becomes an indispensable part of your English vocabulary, because it makes you more acquainted with the topic being discussed.
Here are 20 financial idioms that you should definitely be aware of:
- Pretty penny
Meaning: A large or considerable sum of money
Usage: I paid a pretty penny for the rare Armani coat on display.
- Pay through the nose
Meaning: Pay a high price; pay dearly for something
Usage: We paid through the nose to get our damaged house fixed.
- Nest egg
Meaning: A large amount of money saved for the future
Usage: If you want to build a solid nest egg, you need to invest long-term in mutual funds and fixed deposits.
- Money for old rope
Meaning: Gaining money for almost nothing. Being rewarded for very little effort
Usage: Rental money is like money for old rope. You don’t have to make any effort and you get a lot of passive income.
- Make a mint/mint money
Meaning: Make a lot of money quickly and efficiently
Usage: Despite not having an MBA degree, Sahil had a knack of minting money through his marketing skills.
- Living on the breadline
Meaning: Barely scraping by; surviving on minimal income
Usage: Due to the extreme poverty prevailing in the country, most people were living on the breadline.
- If you pay peanuts, you only get monkeys
Meaning: Poor pay will only get you poor workers
Usage: Most corporates have a habit of exploiting freshers by paying them very low salary. As a result, they pay peanuts and only get monkeys.
- Have a whip-round
Meaning: An impromptu collection of money from a group, often for an informal purpose like a birthday gift
Usage: The team leader organized a whip-round to get a farewell present for the senior manager.
- Grease someone’s palm
Meaning: Offer bribe or an incentive
Usage: The politician greased the palms of all the bureaucrats in the ministry so that he could have his way.
- Gravy train
Meaning: A situation where a lot of money can be made with minimal effort
Usage: It takes a modest investment to create a YouTube video, which can act as a gravy train for the rest of your life.
- Going Dutch
Meaning: Split evenly. Used mostly when one has to share a bill
Usage: When a couple starts dating, it is advisable to go dutch in order to avoid any ego tussles later on.
- Give your two cents
Meaning: Give an opinion or advice that usually is deemed as unwelcome or excess
Usage: Politicians have a habit of giving their two cents on every topic, no matter how insensitive it might be.
- Fool’s gold
Meaning: Something that seems more promising that it really is.
Usage: Bitcoin turned out to be fool’s ’old as it promised big returns to people but actually resulted in massive losses for them.
- Feeling flush
Meaning: Be in possession of a lot of money
Usage: The couple was flush with funds on the kickstarter site after they reported their kid was critically ill.
- Feel the pinch
Meaning: Be under financial hardship
Usage: Indians felt the pinch of the economy after demonetization.
- Coin it in
Meaning: Make a large profit, earn a big pay
Usage: After completing his certifications, Gopal landed a good job and was able to coin it easily.
- Cash cow
Meaning: Something that will continuously and consistently earn
Usage: Superhero movies are a cash cow for the Disney universe.
- Ballpark figure
Meaning: An educated figure, a calculated estimate
Usage: The ballpark figure quoted by the manager was way too less for the services being provided.
- Born with a silver spoon in your mouth
Meaning: Someone born into a life of luxury or has a great amount of inherited wealth
Usage: Many rich brats who are kids of big-time industrialists are born with a silver spoon in their mouth.
- Break the bank
Meaning: Spend all your money
Usage: One should avoid casinos and gambling because it can urge you to break the bank.