Macquarie Dictionary


Counting our blue swimmers

This blog was inspired by the blue swimmer, which as well as being a kind of crab turns out to be a slang name for a ten-dollar note. You might have been tapping your card more than handling notes lately, so here is a reminder of what it’s like to handle cold hard cash.

Australia’s colourful bank notes are known by many colloquial names. The twenty-dollar note is referred to as a lobster, while the fifty-dollar note is called a pineapple, and don’t we all want to get our hands on a few jolly green giants, that is, hundred-dollar notes?

And what about the dozens of other slang terms relating to money. Well, are you cashed-up and spending your chaff like it’s water? Perhaps your dosh is running low and you’ve been left counting chickenfeed? Are you a soft touch, that is, a generous soul who readily lends money, or are you a stingy miser? Hopefully you aren’t broke to the wide: bankrupt, or spending funny money, that is, money made by dubious or dishonest means.

In fact, there are so many slang words relating to money that we can’t possibly recount them all here. See you on pay day.

Each week, we have a look at a slang word from Australian English. You can see other Aussie Word of the Week posts from the Macquarie Dictionary here.

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