You Can Bet Your Bottom Dollar That We Love Idioms!

In the United States, April 15 is Tax Day, the Internal Revenue Service’s tax filing deadline. While filing taxes can cause stress and frustration, language lovers can find some solace in these creative idioms about money. Here are three of our favorites:

Bet one’s bottom dollar Your “bottom dollar” is the last dollar you have. If you’re betting your bottom dollar, you’re probably very sure that what you’re betting on will turn out the way you think it will. Use of this phrase dates back to the mid-1800s.

Cost an arm and a leg It might seem like a simple explanation, but this phrase likely became popular because arms and legs are very precious. You would think twice about purchasing something if it cost you your arm or your leg! According to Mentalfloss, use of the related phrase, “I’d give my right arm” began as early as the 1600s.

Pay the piper This idiom supposedly originates with the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Germany. According to the tale, the townspeople of Hamelin paid a piper with a magic flute to lure an infestation of rats out of the town with his song. They promised to pay him for his services, but after he rid the town of rats they took back their promise and refused to pay him. In retaliation, the piper used his magic flute to lure the children of the town away from their parents. Nearly all the children in the town were drawn away by the magical song and were never seen again. To “pay the piper” means to make good on your promise or face the consequences.

Squirrel away money This idiom means to store away money with the same intensity as a squirrel preparing for winter. You can squirrel away pretty much anything, but most often this idiom is used with money.

What are your favorite idioms about money? Share them in the comments!


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