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I've heard mash me a fin used before and understood it to mean "loan me five dollars"; however, I don't understand why mash me a fin means loan me five dollars. The only example I could find of it was here in the Jive Dictionary: http://www.cabcalloway.cc/jive_dictionary.htm.

Does anyone know why mash me a fin means loan me five dollars?

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    This seems like an obvious slang expression—you can’t always expect those to make sense or stand up to much scrutiny. Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 0:22
  • I've only heard the expression used to describe high-fives, which makes sense b/c slapping hands and mashing fins are relatively similar actions. Perhaps there is some connection between "Give me five" as in a high-five and "mash me a fin" as in give me five dollars?
    – pavja2
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 0:31
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    I'm voting to close this as General Reference because "fin" is just slang for a five-dollar bill. Thus "mash me a fin" is pretty obvious. Etymonline states that in the US "fin" is attested from 1925 and in the UK it's attested since the 1860s. Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 1:00
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    @Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 what if there's an actual time and place where somebody remarkable just popped this out into the word? Just sayin'
    – Mitch
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 1:05

1 Answer 1

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Fin is a sailor term for hand:

FINUF, a five-pound note. Double FINUF, a ten-pound note. — German, fung, five -The slang dictionary; . [Hotten, John Camden], 1832-1873. [from old catalog]

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  • I assume you mean fünf, not fung?
    – Erik Kowal
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 2:36
  • @ErikKowal In another edition of The slang dictionary; . [Hotten, John Camden], 1832-1873. it is clearly 'funf' but the edition I quoted from (original text , not OCR) appears to be the letter 'g' -perhaps a typo
    – Third News
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 4:09
  • As I already posted in a comment on the answer, "fin" is a slang term for $5. That seems like a much more likely matching definition for the OP's question, no? Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 12:53
  • @Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, congrats -I gave you a a +
    – Third News
    Commented Jun 5, 2014 at 15:40

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