What phrases and quotations does the word “money” conjure up?
Apparently plenty, based on the response I received from readers after my recent column about the origins of “keeping up with the Joneses” and other expressions with money messages.
Readers shared many familiar favorites. They dusted off obscure quotes too.
Scott Colebank submitted this one: “Buy the best and cry once.”
Colebank said he first saw the phrase in a 1970s advertisement for a now-defunct Kansas City audio store.
“The phrase is as relevant as ever to today’s consumer,” Colebank wrote in a note. “I always chant (it) before making a big purchase.”
Margaret Hogan, a self-described lover of words and ideas, provided two relevant messages: “Too much sugar for a nickel” and “Take the cash and let the credit go.”
I had never heard either one, but Hogan enlightened me.
“Too much sugar for a nickel means the deal isn’t good enough, that you’re paying too much for what you’re getting out of it,” the retired high school math teacher said.
The second statement, she said, pushes the notion of practicality and “being happy with a reasonable result.”
LaFawn Davis suggested two old sayings: “He’ll pinch a penny until the eagle squeals.” What does it mean? That someone is cheap.
Her other favorite: “I’m not fattening frogs for snakes.”
As Davis explained: “ If a wealthy guy doesn’t think his daughter’s boyfriend or fiance is of good character, he might write her temporarily out of his will. The message to the daughter — drop the boyfriend and profit.”
Jerry Haake’s piece of financial advice, largely attributed to Ben Franklin: “Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.”
Other favorite on-the-money phrases shared by readers:
“If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” — Lee Wykoff.
“I am more concerned about the return of my money than the return on my money.” — Jerry Foulds, with a tip of the pen to Mark Twain.
“No deposit, no return.” — Barbara Young. “A bank is using it in their commercials to explain to a child that it means if you don’t put money in, you won’t have any to take out,” Young wrote in a note.
“The grass is not always greener on the other side. Sometimes it is better to make your own grass greener.” — Tom Kern’s twist on a familiar phrase.
“Luxury, once sampled, becomes a necessity.” — Brad Nowlin. “That is why it is so difficult for me to discern between a want and a need,” he wrote.
“It is far better to have and not need than to need and not have.” — Rose Abel.
Finally, Dixie Fuller reminds us all that no matter how good the deal, “there is no such thing as a free lunch.” That and all the others, what great philosophies on life.