I have heard of similar idioms in the past. Not necessarily for money.

I have found myself using it many times. For example:

Is truth is truth is truth?

I think I know what it means. I am not sure, though. I have tried looking this up online, but to no avail. Except for: Origin and meaning of “money isn't money isn't money”. Unfortunately, they too do not explain the phrase, but only what it means in that context.

So what does it mean? Also, where does it come from? When you attempt to translate this phrase to another language it sounds really odd, or even a typo or slip of the tongue. I guess that's what makes it phrase though.

Here is another example, from: How to Shift Into an Entrepreneurial Money Mindset.

At some point in the articles it reads:

The point is money is money is money, no matter the amount.

Is it used correctly here?

And another one here: Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

Edit: I get that it's used for emphasis. But how do you explain it's meaning?

Is money is money is money

As in, is money money, or is money money?

  • Well, apparently, I think I almost answered it myself...
    – user352103
    Aug 21, 2020 at 12:52
  • No need for the stacks
    – user352103
    Aug 21, 2020 at 12:52

1 Answer 1


You are making some slight errors in your parsing of sentences.

Looking first at the Gertrude Stein quote. In the original:

"Rose is a rose is a rose"

"Rose" in its first occurrence was a proper name. The more usually quoted version is:

A rose is a rose is a rose

and its meaning is explained in the header of the Wikipedia article you referenced:

Things are what they are.

In the article you are looking at, the sentence is:

The point is money is money is money, no matter the amount.

This sentence is badly punctuated. The first "is" belongs with "the point", not with "money". Better punctuation would be:

The point is: money is money is money, no matter the amount.

The part after the comma is irrelevant to us, so you are left with the statement

money is money is money

This essentially means the same as "a rose is a rose is a rose", and means that all kinds of money are equal.

If you are switching to other nouns you would write

truth is truth is truth

(not "is truth is truth is truth", which doesn't make grammatical sense). This would imply that all kinds of truth are equal.

  • Ok, I get it. But, it still sounds very weird to me. A "rose is a rose is a rose" is just plain odd. I get that that's the point and that it is to emphasize that all things are equal but for me it feels very odd.
    – user352103
    Aug 21, 2020 at 14:23
  • 1
    Sometimes English is just weird. Aug 21, 2020 at 14:36
  • 1
    It should perhaps be emphasised that this is a rhetorical device that can be effective only if used very sparingly and judiciously; it is not something that one would say in run-of-the-mill, everyday communication.
    – jsw29
    Aug 21, 2020 at 15:47
  • 1
    is you sure is you sure is you sure?
    – user352103
    Aug 21, 2020 at 15:49

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