What the Buck?

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Fri Dec 19 18:15:38 UTC 2008

On Fri, Dec 19, 2008 at 01:10:54PM -0500, Doug Harris wrote:
> A NY Times business story today ("On Wall Street, Bonuses, Not Profits, Were Real ") included a
> new-to-me escalation of the amount of money that might be referred to as "a buck":
> _On Wall Street, the first goal was to make “a buck” — a million dollars. More than 100 people in
> Merrill’s bond unit alone broke the million-dollar mark in 2006._
> --
> The second sentence suggests how widespread that understanding of 'buck' apparently is in the
> rightfully-endangered fast-buck community around Wall Street.
> It seems like only yesterday, or so, that a 'buck' was a dollar. Then it became five dollars, then
> a hundred, and I seem to recall hearing it used to represent a thousand dollars a time or two.
> Maybe, if you hang in the right circles, the 'buck' moniker has been attached to assorted other
> specific amounts -- say, $100,000, or $100,000,000. Or is Wall Street's (recent?) usage unique,
> escalation wise?

HDAS has examples of _buck_ as $100, $1000, and $100,000....

_buck_ '$1,000,000' has been common for some years on Wall

Jesse Sheidlower

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list