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  #1  
Old 08-09-2006, 07:33 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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"Money talks, bullshit walks."

What does this actually mean?
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  #2  
Old 08-09-2006, 07:38 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is offline
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I would interpret it to mean that someone who is seriously interested in something ultimately commits to it (i.e. gets out their wallet and buys it), whereas someone who merely appears interested ultimately walks away.
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  #3  
Old 08-09-2006, 08:00 AM
Tomcat Tomcat is offline
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Also used in the "OK, pay me to help you, or piss off." sense.

-Tcat
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  #4  
Old 08-09-2006, 08:02 AM
FormerMarineGuy FormerMarineGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
What does this actually mean?
I think this is going to be full of opinions, but I take it the same as "put your money on the table", meaning if you are for real and believe what you are saying, put your money to back up your talk. If you are full of shit, get the hell out of here.

Here is something on it.

Quote:
MONEY TALKS ? "An offer of money is often the most persuasive argument in getting someone to do what you want. The saying can be traced back to G. Torriano?s 'Italian Proverbs' (1666)?.First attested in the United States in the 'Saturday Evening Post' (September 3, 1903)?Anoter common modern variant is 'money talks, bullsh*t walks'?" From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).
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  #5  
Old 08-09-2006, 08:02 AM
psychloan psychloan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mangetout
I would interpret it to mean that someone who is seriously interested in something ultimately commits to it (i.e. gets out their wallet and buys it), whereas someone who merely appears interested ultimately walks away.
I agree.

In my area, if you bid on a house, it is customary to attach a thousand dollar check to the offer. This shows that you are serious and not just screwing around.
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2006, 08:38 AM
Hampshire Hampshire is offline
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We used the term as salesmen selling audio equipment all the time.

The customer who had the money and was really interested in buying something today got me to talk to them. I would spend a lot of time answering all their questions, explaining the equipment, and treat them right.

The customer who just wanted to jerk me around for information, piece togther his "dream" system which he never intended to buy, and tell me all about how great his past systems were or how great his buddys system is (basic bullshit) can take a walk.
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  #7  
Old 08-09-2006, 08:44 AM
Alessan Alessan is offline
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It means, "actions speak louder than words."
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  #8  
Old 08-09-2006, 08:56 AM
Hampshire Hampshire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alessan
It means, "actions speak louder than words."
Also see "put up or shut up"

and "put your money where your mouth is".
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  #9  
Old 08-09-2006, 10:02 AM
Contrapuntal Contrapuntal is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hampshire
Also see "put up or shut up"

and "put your money where your mouth is".
Exactly.
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  #10  
Old 08-09-2006, 10:28 AM
gotpasswords gotpasswords is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychloan
In my area, if you bid on a house, it is customary to attach a thousand dollar check to the offer. This shows that you are serious and not just screwing around.
Around here, you'd be told to take a hike with such a small amount of earnest money. When I was house-shopping last year, the requisite amount was $10,000 to even be considered as anything other than a looky-loo.
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  #11  
Old 08-09-2006, 10:35 AM
twickster twickster is offline
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Hi -- forgot I'd started this.

I'm familiar with "money talks," and understand what that means. (Though will point out that if you think too hard about it, the concept starts getting very weird.)

The parallel construction is kind of weird, though --

money:bullshit :: talking:walking
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  #12  
Old 08-09-2006, 10:42 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twickster
Hi -- forgot I'd started this.

I'm familiar with "money talks," and understand what that means. (Though will point out that if you think too hard about it, the concept starts getting very weird.)

The parallel construction is kind of weird, though --

money:bullshit :: talking:walking
Maybe making the expression a bit more prolix might help:

"If you will show me some money, I'll be glad to have a conversation with you about this item you've show interest in. If, on the other hand, all you have to offer is exaggeration and hyperbole and obviously fictitious stories about your status and financial health, I prefer to show you my back or to see yours."
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  #13  
Old 08-09-2006, 10:44 AM
Mithrander Mithrander is offline
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To me it means that if you have enough money, you can just walk away from all the bullshit you're pulling. If you've got a large bankroll in your pocket, you can get away with a lot more crap than if you don't.
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  #14  
Old 08-09-2006, 10:56 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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Car dealerships used to have a tagline that said, "money talks, nobody walks." The substitution of bullshit was an obvious cynical rephrasing of the line. "Bullshit walks" by itself makes no sense, I agree, but it works in context.
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  #15  
Old 08-09-2006, 12:22 PM
Khadaji Khadaji is offline
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I believe it to mean that people who "do something" such as "put their money on the table", or "put up or shutup" will get more results than people who merely talk. Making this statement indicates that the talking up to this time has been bullshit and that it is now time to do something or the speaker will walk away from the proposed deal.
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  #16  
Old 08-09-2006, 12:25 PM
Eonwe Eonwe is offline
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I always think of Spinal Tap when I hear that expression. The Fran Drescher character says this at one point, as a kind of non sequitur. Miles gives this expression that basically says, "what the fuck did you just say, that makes no sense at all."

Comic gold.
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  #17  
Old 08-09-2006, 04:21 PM
Kozmik Kozmik is offline
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It has to do with what's backing up your idea, proposal, suggestion. Money or bullshit. If you got the money, keep talking. If you don't, get out of here!
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  #18  
Old 08-09-2006, 07:01 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gotpasswords
Around here, you'd be told to take a hike with such a small amount of earnest money. When I was house-shopping last year, the requisite amount was $10,000 to even be considered as anything other than a looky-loo.
Since those deposits are non-refundable, I'm rather surprised that it has to be so high. Around here, very few people would put down a grand on a house and then walk away.

If you *really* want out of the contract, it's not too hard to have the inspector find a problem that wasn't disclosed.
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  #19  
Old 08-09-2006, 07:57 PM
danceswithcats danceswithcats is offline
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Also see J. D. Salinger's use of money talks in Catcher in the Rye (1950): "In New York, boy, money really talks--I'm not kidding."

Courtesy of Word and Phrase Origins by Robert Hendrickson
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  #20  
Old 08-09-2006, 09:12 PM
psychloan psychloan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychloan
I agree.

In my area, if you bid on a house, it is customary to attach a thousand dollar check to the offer. This shows that you are serious and not just screwing around.
Just to clarify, once the the offer is accepted, you have to come up with more money pronto. The thousand dollars just shows that the initial offer is a serious one.

Even if it's not explicity required, it's a good idea to put money on the table to show people you're serious.

When I leased new space for my business a few months back, I asked my prospective landlord for a deal. He hemmed and hawed. So I came by the guy's office with a check in my hand. He offered me a deal and I wrote him a check right on the spot.
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  #21  
Old 08-10-2006, 02:16 PM
Gary Robson Gary Robson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psychloan
Just to clarify, once the the offer is accepted, you have to come up with more money pronto.
Or a statement of credit from your bank verifying that they will supply the funding.
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  #22  
Old 08-16-2015, 03:08 AM
parsonhenry1957@yahoo.com parsonhenry1957@yahoo.com is offline
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Money talks, bullshit walks, that is how life goes.

Money talks, bullshit walks, that is how life goes.
I believe to mean: Donald Trump For President
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  #23  
Old 08-16-2015, 06:08 AM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is online now
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Moderator Note

Welcome to the SDMB, parsonhenry1957@yahoo.com.

Please note that this thread dates back to 2006. Many of the original thread participants are no longer around to read or comment on your reply.

Also note that we have a rule against political jabs in the General Questions forum. From the General Questions Rules & FAQs sticky at the top of this forum:
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2. Political, religious, or professional jabs, hijacks, and trolling prohibited. The purpose of General Questions is to get factual questions answered. In order to accomplish this we need the threads to stay on topic. We tolerate some joking, but that is generally acceptable only after the question has been answered. Please do not race to a thread to post that hilarious one-liner in response to the thread title, and don't drive by just to drop in an anecdote that doesn't answer the question. If you want to be funny while contributing to the thread, go for it. We tolerate some discussion of tangentially related factual information. We don't tolerate political, religious, professional or personal jabs or insults. In case it's somehow not clear: Trolling isn't permitted at all.
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  #24  
Old 08-16-2015, 07:22 AM
AncientHumanoid AncientHumanoid is offline
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But it can't touch my three lock box.


Long live Sammy Hagar
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  #25  
Old 08-16-2015, 08:17 AM
buddha_david buddha_david is offline
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Money talks, bullshit
Walks like an Egyptian -- hey,
I made a haiku!
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  #26  
Old 08-16-2015, 09:19 AM
D18 D18 is offline
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I know this is a zombie and all, but if I have my dates right, the usage of the phrase in this here song by Trooper predates This Is Spinal Tap by two years. I wondered at the time whether Trooper would have been big enough for the line in Spinal Tap to be a reference to the song.

Last edited by D18; 08-16-2015 at 09:20 AM..
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  #27  
Old 08-16-2015, 05:51 PM
Busy Scissors Busy Scissors is offline
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Useful re-amination - cos it looks like I've been totally misinterpreting this phrase. I've always took it as describing the power of money to breathe life into things totally lacking in credibility.
e.g.

Can you believe we've got to go to that 6-sigma training day tomorrow? Yeah, I heard the company got a staff-development grant from the government. I guess money talks, bullshit walks.


So ignorance fought It's not a common phrase in the UK, so I doubt I've ever heard someone say it IRL, probably read it and made up my own meaning.
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  #28  
Old 08-17-2015, 01:33 PM
Philliam Philliam is online now
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Our alternate phrase (uttered in Tonto voice) is: Talk Cheap, Take Money buy Whiskey.
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  #29  
Old 08-17-2015, 01:59 PM
iceiso iceiso is offline
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A real McCoy who backs up their words with actions "walks the walk". One who handles their bidness "talks the talk" and "walks the walk". To me, "walking" suggests a [positive] bias towards action.

Which is why "bullshit walks" having a negative connotation is so confusing.
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  #30  
Old 08-17-2015, 02:04 PM
Drunky Smurf Drunky Smurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iceiso View Post
A real McCoy who backs up their words with actions "walks the walk". One who handles their bidness "talks the talk" and "walks the walk". To me, "walking" suggests a [positive] bias towards action.

Which is why "bullshit walks" having a negative connotation is so confusing.
What? I can't even.
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  #31  
Old 08-17-2015, 02:13 PM
pool pool is online now
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"Shit or get off the pot" seems to mean basically the same thing.

Last edited by pool; 08-17-2015 at 02:13 PM..
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  #32  
Old 08-17-2015, 03:36 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by Drunky Smurf View Post
What? I can't even.
A bullshitter is somebody who "talks the talk". Somebody who actually gets things done "walks the walk". That's bog standard US English idiom.

It's completely unrelated to "money talks; bullshit walks". Which is also bog standard US English idiom.

But iceiso is correct that in the two phrases "walking" has opposite connotations. In one phrase it's successfuly being a doer of deeds; in the other it's walking away empty handed when your BS is exposed. Which doubtless makes all this confusing to non-US-English speakers.

They're both similar to the idiom "all hat; no cattle" historically used to describe blowhards in Texas & similar places.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 08-17-2015 at 03:37 PM..
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  #33  
Old 08-17-2015, 03:50 PM
Mr. Nylock Mr. Nylock is offline
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In the late 90's in a London nightclub I was talking to a an an Italian man who was a Harvard alumnus. As you can guess from the previous sentence, he had been quite a few places in the world. He used the phrase "money talks, bullshit walks," to describe the general culture of America.

In the context he was using it though, it meant something a little bit different from what has been said previously in this thread. What he was trying to describe is how in America the only thing that really matters is how much money you have; not the place you are from, the family you come from, the school you went to etc. He compared it specifically to Italy, where coming from a "good" family was very important. He was not saying money wasn't important other places - it is of course important everywhere - just that in the US it was a significantly more important determiner of class and rank than any other place he had been.
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