"made of money"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Apr 16 22:25:24 UTC 2008

My grandmother used to say, "You must think I'm made of money!" Or "They must be made of money!"

  An earlier example:

  1869 "George Ellington" _Women of New York_ 236: It requires to be "made of money" - as the expressive phrase runs - to visit these resorts.

  In 1849 the English writer Douglas Jerrold published a novel entitled _A Man Made of Money_ (London: Punch Office, 1849), which earned an enthusiastic review from  _Tait's Edinburgh Magazine_  XVI (1849), p.291:

   "We all talk of men made of money, by which a very recondite and fabulous thing is, of course, meant; but Douglas Jerrold presents us with a gentleman who realises our figure of speech, and peels off into banknotes until there is nothing left of him. But the mode in which he gets transformed into a generator of bank paper, the record of what he loses, and what he gains, the new relation in which he finds himself standing towards his fellow-creatures, his selfiehness, his misanthropy, his profound and absorbing worship of money, the hideous group of idolaters by whom he gets surrounded, and the amazing contrast which he and they present to a little knot of natural men and women—these things are, if possible, still more original than the primary idea itself."

  A film version is overdue.  Observe that the title derives from the saying rather than vice versa.

  Breaking News: Jeez!  OED has just added an entry for "made of money," going back to 1786.  So forget this message.


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