I'm not sure if it's off topic or not, so apologies if it's irrelevant. Can anyone explain the meaning of a specific slang phrase, "money is like mush not not"? I keep seeing it in random places but couldn't find an explanation for it in almighty Google.
This is not standard Anglo English, even of a slang variety. I find it only in posts from SE Asia (Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong) where it appears to be the sort of catchphrase that merchandisers put on t-shirts and knick-knacks. Its full form is
Money is like mush not not good kcept it espread.
A witty blog called Talk Shirty to Me posts a photograph of a storefront with a dress bearing this phrase and explains the phrase as a quote from Francis Bacon, translated into the local (?Malaysian?) version of English:†
Money is like muck — not good except it be spread. —‘Of Seditions and Troubles’
Bacon is speaking of the manure of farm animals, which was in his day regarded as the most effective fertilizer for crops; in his Apothegmes he attributed the thought to his friend, Jeremy Bettenham, Reader at Gray's Inn:
Mr. Bettenham vsed to say; That Riches were like Mucke: When it lay, vpon an heape, it gaue but a stench, and ill odour; but when it was spread vpon the ground, then it was cause of much fruit.
† There is considerable cogency to user hobbs’ comment that I don't think it was “translated” so much as ”incompetently transcribed“, likely by someone who doesn't read or write any variety of English; and this is supported by user elmer007’s observation that is like is realized as “islke” on this dress. On the other hand, the Talk Shirty to Me blogger observes that not not may be an intensive reduplication characteristic of some languages. Whatever the process, we seem to be dealing with a ‘magical’ use of English rather than a conventional utterance like the Bacon/Bettenham originals.