New technology changing words used for money, research suggests

Three in 10 people think new technology and the evolving way people pay for goods is changing the language they use to talk about money, a survey suggests.

Some 30% of people surveyed believe changes to payments in the past 10 years, such as the growth of contactless and mobile payments, are having an impact on the words they use – for example talking about “tapping” to make card payments without entering a Pin or “pinging over” money.

Two in five (41%) people believe there will be different words for money and payments in 20 years’ time as technology continues to evolve.

The research, from Barclays’ money-sharing app Pingit, found seven in 10 (70%) of people say they get confused by slang words for money, admitting they do not know what each term refers to.

“Notes” and “dosh” were found to be the most popular slang terms people use for money, with 51% and 48% of people respectively using these terms.

The research also found regional variations in the popularity of some words for money, with “bob” being particularly popular in Yorkshire, “tuppence” a favourite in the South West of England, “wedge” often being used in London, “bucks” a popular term in Scotland and “copper” being a term used particularly in East Anglia.

Commenting on the findings, Susie Dent, known for hosting dictionary corner on Channel 4’s Countdown, said: “New technology has certainly accelerated the speed at which slang moves on – and slang was already the fastest-moving area of language.

“Slang has different functions: many of the words we use are playful and a lot are tribal; we speak the same way as the groups we are part of.”

Darren Foulds, managing director of Pingit, said: “From the moment it was introduced, money created social relationships – from bartering with one another in ancient times to transferring funds amongst friends and businesses in modern day.

“It’s no surprise, then, that we’ve developed a rich vocabulary to make our conversations more light-hearted and fun.

“Whether we discuss the ‘dosh’, nag about the ‘notes’ or ask a pal to ‘ping it over’, one thing is clear: as long as money and payments evolve, the language we use around it will continue to develop in weird and wonderful ways.”

Some 2,000 people were surveyed across the UK.

Here are the most popular terms people use when talking informally about money, according to Pingit, with the percentages of people using them:

1. Notes (51%)
2. Dosh (48%)
3. Coin (47%)
4. Dough (38%)
5. Bob (38%)
6. Wad (28%)
7. Bucks (28%)
8. Lolly (22%)
9. Score (18%)
10. Smackers (17%)