Nicknames for US Dollars – What Do Grand, and Buck Mean?

Petr Novák

What do Americans call individual bills in everyday language? There are numerous names for USA dollars that may initially appear nonsensical. What do Suzie B., Hamilton, a twamp, or a C-note mean in terms of dollar amounts? This article provides a rundown of nicknames for USA notes and coins.

USA dollars | © Pixabay, ©

Table of Contents
  1. Slang Terms for American Money
  2. American Coin Nicknames
  3. Nicknames for USA Banknotes

Slang Terms for American Money

One of the most prevalent names for the dollar is buck. The term originated in the 18th century and stemmed from buckskin, which means deerskin. It was commonly used as a form of payment in markets at the time. When Abraham Lincoln introduced new greenbacks in the 19th century, the moniker greenback also emerged.

To represent a sum of thousands of dollars, grand or simply G is used. Alternatively, the lowercase letter k can be used as an abbreviation for the prefix kilo-. Therefore, ten thousand dollars can be referred to as $10k or 10 Grand. Money in general can be referred to as beans, bones, dough, duckets, simoleons, smackers, or spondulicks.

American Coin Nicknames

Nicknames for cent and dollar coins usually derive from their value or the material they’re made of:

One-Cent Coin (1¢)

It’s most commonly referred to as a cent. A frequent name is penny, which references the British penny. Old one-cent coins from 1909-1958 were known as wheat pennies, named after the wheat ear on the reverse side.

Five-Cent Coin (5¢)

A full quarter of this coin consists of nickel metal, hence the common name nickel.

Dime Coin (10¢)

This coin is widely known as a dime.

Twenty-Five-Cent Coin (25¢)

A coin worth $0.25 is known as a quarter.

Fifty-Cent Coin (50¢)

The half-dollar coin is informally called a half.

One-Dollar Coin ($1)

This coin is sometimes referred to as a gold dollar due to its gold color. You may also encounter the terms SBA or Suzie B., as some coins bear the portrait of activist Susan Brownell Anthony.

Nicknames for USA Banknotes

Slang terms for dollar bills typically relate to their value, color, or the portrait they display:

One-Dollar Bill ($1)

In slang, the one-dollar bill is often called a single or a buck.

Two-Dollar Bill ($2)

Though it’s not widely circulated, nicknames for it include deuce, Tom, or Jefferson. The note features a portrait of Thomas Jefferson, the founder of the United States and former President.

Five-Dollar Bill ($5)

Common nicknames for the five-dollar bill include fin, fiver, or five-spot.

Ten-Dollar Bill ($10)

The ten-dollar bill is known as a ten-spot or a sawbuck. The term Hamilton may also appear, referring to the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Alexander Hamilton.

Twenty-Dollar Bill ($20)

Slang terms for this bill include double sawbuck, dub, or Jackson. The note features a portrait of President Andrew Jackson.

Fifty-Dollar Bill ($50)

The bill is nicknamed Grant, after the portrait of President Ulysses S. Grant.

Hundred-Dollar Bill ($100)

The hundred-dollar bill has arguably the most slang names. Terms like Benjamin, Benjie, or Frank refer to the portrait of statesman Benjamin Franklin. The names C-Note or simply C are derived from the Roman numeral for one hundred (C).

Are you familiar with any other names for dollar coins or bills? Share your thoughts in the discussion.

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