Commonly pounds are called quid,

but I've come across references to pounds as


Is that a typo or actually a common usage?

Example from Football forums:

It is believed they have offered them over a million squid to take on the role and gave them till this morning to give them there decision. Allardyce or O'niell ???.

  • let's have a google fight
    – sehe
    May 31, 2011 at 14:19
  • 1
    It's less common but I prefer reverting to the usual plural form: a million squids etc.
    – z7sg Ѫ
    May 31, 2011 at 16:26
  • It's sometimes used but not very common. The example text's spelling mistakes, bad capitalisation punctuation give an idea of usage.
    – Hugo
    Feb 10, 2013 at 9:02

5 Answers 5


This is quite common in the North East, but only among the common (or, let's say the 'down-to-earth', or street-smart, whichever you prefer) - particularly the youth. There are others, too, such as:

  • bin lid
  • nicker
  • cherry

Money-slang also extends to multiples:

  • score = £20
  • pony = £25
  • ton = £100
  • monkey = £500

And so on; I'd put my money on what you saw being intentional, rather than accidental.

  • 1
    I like this explanation, don't know if West Ham fans fall in this category :)
    – JoseK
    May 31, 2011 at 14:41
  • 1
    Pony, you say? That is very interesting! According to the OED this word was already used for £25 in 1797. Could it be that pony up came from this? May 31, 2011 at 14:55
  • 1
    And is or was pony used to mean $25 as well? May 31, 2011 at 15:05
  • Don't forget Archer = £2000
    – mgb
    May 31, 2011 at 16:04
  • @Cerberus "Pony up" for pay (probably) comes from "legem pone" the start of the psalm on the first quarter-day of the year when rents were due.
    – mgb
    May 31, 2011 at 16:12

I've heard it occasionally as a joke. I don't think it is (currently) any more than that - though it might become so, in the way that "guesstimate" seems to be overtaking "estimate".


I don't consider it common, but it's certainly becoming more so. Robert Peston, Sunday City Editor of the Daily Telegraph, has used it in print at least a couple of times:

...various bits of a broken-up plane that could be yours or mine for just a few thousand squid. (source)

If there is a few thousand squid to be reclaimed, I should be able to remember that no one at the bank ever warned me that market interest rates might actually fall. (source)


I've always thought this was a reference to jokes based on 'sick squid' vs 'six quid' as in 'Here's that sick squid I owe yer' etc


Squid is becoming more popular than quid. Even sites like fivesquid use squid instead of quid.


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