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A Vocabulary Guide to British Money

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If you are learning English to work in the UK then knowing the vocabulary around money is very useful. As with most countries, there are a number of slang terms used to describe different amounts of money. Not knowing these terms may just mean you are a bit confused but in some cases, it could mean you end up paying more for something than you thought you would be and this could lead to other problems.

Here are some very commonly used words that describe different amounts of money in the UK. The currency is called Sterling or Pounds but also GBP.

British Money Terms

All of the British money terms below are used in casual situations with family, friends, and in some workplaces, shops, and markets. They are not suitable in a formal business setting or job interview. It is also worth noting that while these are British terms they are also English money terms, Scotland and Northern Ireland do have some more local slang terms.



A note is a word that describes paper money. In America, this is known as a bill. It is common for someone to say “do you have a ten pound note?” However, as bank cards and mobile payment apps are becoming more and more popular this type of money is not as common.


Connected with the term “note” cash is a term used to describe any physical money. So coins or notes are cash. We are moving towards a cashless society in many developed countires.

P or Pence

The smallest amount of currency in the UK is 1 penny. There are 100 pence in every pound. It is very common in almost all situations to shorten the term “pence” to just “p”. For example, a coffee in a vending machine at work might be 50p. This is the sort of money people may ask to borrow quite often for very small things.

A Quid

This strange little word is used to describe 1 pound. Someone may ask to borrow a quid for a snack or a bus ticket. While it is often used on its own, the word quid can be used against any number of pounds. If something cost £60, someone might say it cost 60 quid.

A Fiver

The smallest value note in the UK is a 5 pound note. This is commonly called a fiver. However, people can also use this term to describe 5 pounds as an amount.  It is a fairly small amount of money and someone may ask to borrow a fiver for something though it is an amount of money that should not be given away without some thought.

A Tenner

A tenner is a term used to describe a 10 pound note or 10 pounds. 10 pounds is not a small amount of money and a very common note to use.

A Grand

A grand is 1000 pounds. This is a much larger amount of money and not an amount you would ever really lend to anyone. As with the term quid it can be used to describe any number of 1000s so 6000 pounds would be 6 grand.


K is a letter used to also describe 1000 pounds but normally only used for more than 1000. So a car might be worth 8000 pounds and someone might say “the car costs 8K”. Or perhaps the deposit to buy a house is 60k.

If you are not sure when it is right to use these terms then be safe and use pounds. These terms can be quite casual and may give the wrong impression in a job interview for example.

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