Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Bread and honey...

I was interested to find out that Egyptians used to be paid in bread for building the pyramids. I also started thinking that dough means money. I don't like money. It creates problems and separations among societies and continents. I never thought bread and money were so linked together... I found all this on

Current English money.

Bread (bread and honey) - money.
From cockney rhyming slang, bread and honey = money, and which gave rise to the secondary rhyming slang 'poppy', from poppy red = bread. Bread also has associations with money, which in a metaphorical sense can be traced back to the Bible. Bread meaning money is also linked with with the expression 'earning a crust', which alludes to having enough money to pay for one's daily bread.

Dough - money.
Mid-1800s slang obvious alternative for the slang bread. Dough later (1940s) also referred specifically to counterfeit money in underworld and criminal society.

Gingerbread - money, wealth.
From the late 1600s to mid 1800s, deriving by association to the colour of gold and gold coins, and no doubt supported by the inclusion of the word bread, with its own monetary meanings.

Motsa/motsah/motzer - money.
Popular Australian slang for money, now being adopted elsewhere. Variations on the same theme are motser, motzer, motza, all from the Yiddish (Jewish European/Hebrew dialect) word 'matzah', the unleavened bread originally shaped like a large flat disk, but now more commonly square (for easier packaging and shipping), eaten at Passover, which suggests earliest origins could have been where Jewish communities connected with English speakers, eg., New York or London (thanks G Kahl). Popularity is supported (and probably confused also) with 'lingua franca' medza/madza and the many variations around these, which probably originated from a different source, namely the Italian mezzo, meaning half (as in madza poona = half sovereign).

Poppy - money.
Cockney rhyming slang, from 'poppy red' = bread, in turn from 'bread and honey' = money.

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