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From MSABC TV show 'community' season 1

Hi, Senor Chang.
What, a community college Spanish teacher can't use 80 bucks?

'Use' here seems should mean 'earn', Because the teacher here is a model and He will be paid 80 bucks.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

"can/could(n't) use" is an idiomatic expression effectively meaning "(doesn't) need". You could say, for example:

I could use some help round here.

I can use a bit of extra cash from time to time now I have the baby.

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Here, it is synonymous with spend. Its general meaning is that of “make use of” or “employ”.

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