Author Topic: common names for British coins?  (Read 2415 times)

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Slartibartfast

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common names for British coins?
« on: November 26, 2013, 03:23:00 PM »
Random question, I know, but I need it for a story and I'm stuck - are there common names for British coins, the way we'd say penny/nickel/dime/quarter here in the US instead of one cent/five cents/ten cents/twenty-five cents?  I'm looking online but all I'm finding is "20p" or "50p" which may or may not be "twenty pee" or "50 pence" and I haven't found any colloquial nicknames yet except "quid" for a pound.

Psychopoesie

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2013, 03:35:16 PM »
Not a Brit.

Only ever heard pee or pence from watching UK shows so would love to know too.

Had similar currency in Oz (pre decimal) so used to have some shared slang for money with the Brits - like can you lend us a few bob.

Found this link which looks fun - it has a lot of Cockney rhyming slang for different denominations.

http://www.aldertons.com/money.htm

ETA - added description of link.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 06:37:23 PM by Psychopoesie »

RingTailedLemur

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2013, 03:37:47 PM »
No, sorry, we don't nowadays.

The only thing that comes close to that would be referring to 1p and 2p pieces as "coppers".

We refer to coins by face value, not nicknames (which confuse me no end, I have to keep looking them up as I never remember what a "nickel" or a "dime" is).
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 03:52:03 PM by RingTailedLemur »

Katana_Geldar

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2013, 03:40:10 PM »
There used to be shilling and guineas, but no longer.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shilling
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guinea_(British_coin)

There's also the term "bob", but I'm not sure that's used now either.

Psychopoesie

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2013, 03:48:39 PM »
Used to be some lovely names - farthing, halfpenny, tuppence, sixpence, thruppence and more.

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/units/money.htm

ITSJUSTME

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2013, 03:50:17 PM »
Not a coin but maybe an amount - there used to be "bob" or "quid" which were either slang for a pound or else for a  pound and a shilling (but of course I probably have that wrong).

English1

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2013, 04:15:25 PM »
Not many any more. There were slang terms for some of the pre-metric coins.  Bob was slang for a shilling, for example.

The only two I can think of that's universally used.
'coppers' for 1ps and 2ps (because they are the only copper coloured coins) and it just means a random amount of very small change. You wouldn't say 'I need a copper' if you needed 2p more to buy something. But you might say 'I've only got some coppers' to say you haven't really got any money on you. a 1p might be called a penny.
1 is a quid - and can be used for any amount, so 4 quid, 20 quid, a million quid etc. But never pluralised to quids. And only for round amounts, not if pence are also involved.
The p in pence is normally pronounced pee, not pence. So 5pee, 10pee, 20pee, and sometimes followed by 'piece'. eg 'Have you got a 10p (pronounced 10pee) piece for the vending machine?' It means that precise coin - it's no good offering you 2 x 5ps or 5 x 2ps. You are asking for a single 10p coin. If you didn't care how it came and just wanted a total value of 10p, you'd say 'have you got 10p?'

Edit * I believe the 'have got' construction is a feature of British English rather than American English, if that helps?


5 notes are generally called fivers, and 10 notes tenners, 1000 (not just one note!) can be called a grand. There are a few other slang terms for certain amounts of money but they are pretty regional and not universally used.

Some older people might still use twopence for 2ps (pronounced tuppence). My mum does.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2013, 04:24:13 PM by English1 »

veryfluffy

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #7 on: November 26, 2013, 06:07:13 PM »
A handful of loose coins is sometimes referred to as "shrapnel".

   

lilihob

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2013, 06:19:29 PM »
English more or less covered it, I'm a Londoner, and for me it goes
Penny, (1p) pronounced pee,
Tuppence, (2p)
5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, I would also call it change or shrapnel, as in "I am skint today, all I have is a pocket full of shrapnel."
Then there's a quid/knicker or 2 quid/knicker, 1 or 2. 5, a fiver, 10, a tenner. Then there's there's the cockney,
Score, 20, pony, 25, ton, 100, and a grand, which is a thousand pounds.

DangerousKitten

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2013, 06:35:21 PM »
A handful of loose coins is sometimes referred to as "shrapnel".

Yeah - and this generally has the connotation of 'a lot of low value coins', as in 'all I have in my wallet in a tenner and some shrapnel'.

5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins are often collectively referred to as 'silver' (similar to how 1p and 2p are coppers, this is the colour of the coins). So you could have 'two quid in silver'.

But none of the individual coins have nicknames that I have ever heard.

I believe the notes have/used to have nicknames associated with Cockney slang;

A lady = Lady Godiva = fiver = a five pound note
Bobby Moore = a score = 20 note

... there are more, but Cockney rhyming slang is very rarely used outside of TV shows about criminals these days. In that subculture 25 quid was a pony and 500 a monkey, for reasons I'm sure I don't know. And 2000 was an Archer, after an amount of money Jeffery Archer allegedly paid a prostitute.

Money in general can also be called dosh, readies, bread, moolah, beer tokens, and many more. Paper money can be 'folding money' and quid can also be replaced with 'squid'.

I'm also told that the then-new pound coin in the 80's was sometimes referred to as a 'Maggie' after then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, on account of being small, brassy and 'thinking it's a sovereign' (sovereign being I believe the name for the old pound coin).

Another Sarah

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2013, 05:45:31 AM »
Used to be some lovely names - farthing, halfpenny, tuppence, sixpence, thruppence and more.

http://gwydir.demon.co.uk/jo/units/money.htm

Although all those names are old coin denominations, tuppence and thruppence are still used in lancashire, as well as bob, which migrated from shillings to pounds when the currency changed. Bob's quite old-fashioned though, only an older person would use it.
shrapnel and grand are probably the only slang terms that I can think of

Psychopoesie

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #11 on: November 28, 2013, 06:04:03 AM »
Bob and quid survived here in Oz, too. They are old fashioned here too. More likely to crop up as expressions IME - he isn't short of a few quid (meaning he's well off) or she hasn't got two bob to rub together (poor).

Shrapnel I hear more often.

Teenyweeny

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #12 on: November 28, 2013, 06:49:22 AM »
Shrapnel: change
Coppers: 1p/2p coins
Quid: 1 (also used as synonym for pound, e.g. 3 = 'three quid'. Never 'quids', unless you are saying 'quids in', which means to have won or otherwise suddenly gained a lot of money.)
Fiver: 5
Tenner: 10
Grand: 1000 (also two grand, three grand, a few grand etc.)

When saying coins, most people I know append the word 'piece' if they mean a specific coin. So, you might say "I need a twenty pee/pence piece for the vending machine", unless you need a pound, in which case you "need a pound coin".



cabbageweevil

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #13 on: November 28, 2013, 08:19:38 AM »
... Cockney rhyming slang is very rarely used outside of TV shows about criminals these days. In that subculture 25 quid was a pony and 500 a monkey, for reasons I'm sure I don't know.

Certain British slang terms in reference to money, are attributed by some, to Britain's "Indian connection". (The following are mentioned in the links given by Psychopoesie in posts #1 and #4 -- Psychopoesie, hopefully you won't mind my reiterating here.) Terms allegedly originated by soldiers who had returned home after service in then-British India. The banknotes there, in that era, had on the 25-rupee note a picture of a pony, and on the 500-rupee one, a picture of a monkey: the names of those animals thus attached to 25 and 500, as above.

Also, in British pre-decimal money: the sixpence coin (half of a shilling; a shilling was 1/20th of a pound) was colloquially called a "tanner".  This term allegedly also brought back from India. In pre-decimal times, the Indian rupee -- approximately worth a British shilling -- was divided into sixteen annas. Half a rupee, thus, was eight annas -- which when said rapidly, contracted into " ' tannas": = "tanner" for half the British equivalent of a rupee.

Dawse

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Re: common names for British coins?
« Reply #14 on: November 28, 2013, 02:42:44 PM »
Here's something you might enjoy -

As some people have mentioned upthread, a 'bob' was used to refer to a shilling or pound. Paper currency comes (now) in fives, tens and twenties (and before decimal currency 1 as well).

My dad, when referring to something or someone that's crooked or dodgy, still sometimes says 'bent as a nine bob note.'
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