Having travelled the Globe courtesy of HM Government; I, like so many others reading this post have become accustomed to hearing nicknames for various denominations of currency, each country unique in its terms, slang, and reference.
During a visit to the USA (Key West was the start point), I offered a 100 Dollar bill to pay for a round of beers, only to be told “Oh Man! I can’t bust a Benjamin this early in the day”! And so a term was created for the use of the Royal Marine detachment, which later spread through the Ships company; any bar that gave change for a ‘Benjamin’ was hence known as a “Benjamin Buster”, which in turn reasoned that the bar must be popular to carry the (shrapnel) change? Even better was to ask the Bar tender in Sloppy Joe’s bar if we could “leave a ‘Benjamin’ behind the bar until it run dry”, I don’t recall them ever saying no…
Not a sign of arrogance but necessity; at the time we were fortunate that the £Sterling was strong against the $Dollar (2 to 1). The Ships supply officer initially carried large denominations only, which made his life easier, and the Ships crew more difficult shore-side.
Just as NavyOne loves to tune in his linguistic ear to foreign squarks & babble, I like to listen and pick up certain military pieces of terminology, which filter into the system for eternity. To listen to such makes me chuckle as the true definition is lost on most outside of the bubble. Back in the days when the world was flat; the Royal Navy as well as the Royal Marines picked up foreign language and introduced most of the terms back into the English language, this as well as its use of military jargon, which was, and still is, used within the UK and elsewhere.
A square meal; wooden plates were square for ease of stacking, and used less space. Red & Green watch; ‘port & starboard’ still used within the fire service as well as emergency services, due to the fact that ex-service ‘jolly jack tars’ formulated the first ever fire service into watches shore side and took the term along with them.
And so it goes on…
*Yesterday I met up with an oppo who was a bubblehead bootneck, we went for big eats and a few wets, though I decided to settle for a can of ice’rs goffa. We both opted for huge baked Irish apples with mousetrap and skinheads; my oppo used up all of the slide before I had chance to dive in, a typical wind up! I had to ask the split looking after us if she could please prof some more slide, and put some wind behind it as my big eats was going ice’rs. We had a good craic and spun a few dits about our past life in a green lid, though my oppo swung the lamp a little too much, which, true to form, meant his big eats went harry icer’s.
*Yesterday I met up with a good friend who was Special Boat Service, Royal Marines. We went to a bar for a few beer’s, though I decided to settle for a cold can of fizzy drink. We both chose to have a huge baked potato, with cheese and baked beans. My friend used up the butter before I had chance to take some. I asked the busy waitress who was looking after us if she could please provide some more butter pretty quick as my meal was going cold. We had a good laugh as we talked of past times whilst wearing a green beret, though my mate as usual couldn’t stop speaking and his meal went very cold.
Here in the UK we have ‘oodles’ of currency slang, though terms can vary from North to South.
A Maggie = £1- coin. Margaret Thatcher was the Prime Minister at the time of introduction; it was small & brassy, and thought it was a sovereign.
A Pony = £25- Denomination. In the days of the Raj in India a twenty five Rupee note had a pony pictured on it, the troops brought back the term to the UK.
A Monkey = £500- Denomination. In the same way as above, an Indian 500 Rupee note had a monkey’s picture on it.
A Gorilla = £1000- (two monkey’s). Denomination.
A Churchill = £5- note. One of the proposed nicknames for this new ‘fiver’. It will be *’minted’ and printed in early 2016 ( the Bank of England has given approval and permission to the *Royal Mint to start producing the note for distribution there after).
The new issue ‘fiver’ with Churchill’s features will be a collectors piece for those of us who care about our Sceptered Isles. So far the name being muted is a ‘Winnie’ a ‘Bulldog’ as well as a ‘Churchill’, the later of which I prefer.
Blowing ten Churchill’s on a night out now appeals to me! It’s the least I can do for this great man…