Thursday, April 19, 2012

Q is for Quid

A Quirky subject for Q in the A to Z Challenge.

I love to read and once in a while will pick up something that has an English setting. You know, UK as for United Kingdom.

But I am always puzzled by their slang term of "Quid" for money.

Way back in 1968, I spent three weeks in London. I was supposed to be relocating there for six months after my year's stay in Toulouse, France. When the company realized that I would have a rather large bonus coming due if I spent more than 18 months in Europe, they sent me back to the states rapidly. *sigh*

London felt more foreign to me than France did. I don't speak French, but I found out that I couldn't understand the English taxi drivers with their cockney accents any better than I could French drivers with their french accents.

And, I was driving a French rental car on the wrong side of the road in London. When walking, I looked the wrong way for traffic. Dangerous place.

While there, I didn't learn what the hell a quid was though.

I am somewhat familiar with quid pro quo, a Latin phrase meaning this for that, but that doesn't relate to money.

When all else fails, go to wikipedia, right?

Finally, I now know that a quid is slang for a pound sterling. At the current exchange rate a quid equals $1.59.

Wait! There's more. Wikipedia says that a quid is also Irish slang for the Euro or the Irish punt (what ever the hell that is!).

Also, a quid is a piece of chewing tobacco. Never heard of that. I thought it was a "chaw" of tobaccy. Makes you wonder what the English term for spit is, doesn't it?


  1. Spit is 'gob'. hehe. I moved to London from Australia and married one of those Cockneys. I understand him okay. If you'd stayed longer, you would have too. Blog on!

  2. Your post encourages me. Whenever anyone with a British accent speaks on TV, I'm sure that I'm listening to a foreign language. Should I have a hearing test? I ask myself. I enjoyed your Q post.