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Old 04-30-2017, 07:44 AM
davidmich davidmich is offline
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Are there any words for the money given to beggars?

Hi

Are there any words to describe the money given specifically to beggars on a street? Are there any words for the money collected specifically by beggars on the street?
I look forward to your feedback.
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  #2  
Old 04-30-2017, 07:48 AM
igor frankensteen igor frankensteen is offline
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There are numerous joke answers, of course, but no, money is money. Some people might use old references, like "alms," but that's just because it's an old Biblical reference to the name for money.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:55 AM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is online now
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Are there any words for the money given to beggars?

"Alms" is the word, and no, it's not just an old word for money.

It's derived from the Greek word "eleemosyne" which in turn comes from Greek words for "mercy" and "pity". It specifically means a gift to the poor for charity.

See the wiki article on "Alms": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alms

Last edited by Northern Piper; 04-30-2017 at 07:57 AM.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:10 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Except "alms" just means money give out of charity to the poor, not specifically to street beggars. AFAIK, there is no English word for that.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:16 AM
davidmich davidmich is offline
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Except "alms" just means money give out of charity to the poor, not specifically to street beggars. AFAIK, there is no English word for that.
Yes thank you, I'm familiar with the word "alms" but I thought it would sound rather dated today. I thought perhaps there's a slang word that people routine use for the pittance they give or the pittance a beggar might receive.
  #6  
Old 04-30-2017, 09:29 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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Handouts?
  #7  
Old 04-30-2017, 08:45 PM
Graymalkin Graymalkin is offline
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Used to hear "Spare change?"
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:57 AM
Hilarity N. Suze Hilarity N. Suze is offline
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baksheesh?

I think it can also mean a bribe, though.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:22 AM
GuanoLad GuanoLad is offline
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Donations.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:52 AM
UDS UDS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hilarity N. Suze View Post
baksheesh?

I think it can also mean a bribe, though.
Baksheesh, from Persian, means a gratuity or a tip. If a street person does a nominal service for you - polishes your shoes, carries your bag, gives you directions - and you give him money, that's baksheesh. But if he simply holds out a begging bowl and you put money in, not so much.

Baksheesh in the sense of bribe comes from the idea that you are paying someone for the service of introducing you to a lucrative opportunity.

Needless to say, it's derogatory and racially-loaded. Only money given to brown-skinned persons would be described as baksheesh.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:52 AM
BrotherCadfael BrotherCadfael is offline
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"Handout" is a perfectly good term. "Alms" is a bit old-fashioned, but still perfectly valid as well.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:58 AM
John Mace John Mace is offline
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Hint: You have to read past the thread title to see the actual question.

Not just "beggars", but "beggars on the street". A word for money given to them, but that does not apply to other types of charity. Good luck finding this word.
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Old 05-01-2017, 09:35 AM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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"Alms" came immediately to mind, but I'd guess that if there was a jargon phrase within the panhandling community, this would be a likely place to find it.
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Old 05-01-2017, 10:38 AM
Exapno Mapcase Exapno Mapcase is offline
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I'd give my right alm for a better word.
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Old 05-01-2017, 02:53 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Addiction enablings?
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:18 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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"Beer money"?

Seriously, the OP asks an interesting question. It's the kind of thing that you'd expect would have a modern snarky buzzword.

OTOH, I suspect panhandling has seen better days. I never carry anything smaller than a $20 and can go weeks without breaking one of the couple I carry for emergency use only. Everything else, and I mean everything, is paid by card or phone. Cash is so last Century.

So even if I wanted to give a street beggar a buck or three I can't. No matter what I'd call it.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 05-01-2017 at 03:21 PM.
  #17  
Old 05-01-2017, 03:24 PM
Elendil's Heir Elendil's Heir is offline
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I give food to the person in front of me, and/or I donate money to the local foodbank. I never give cash to beggars or homeless people, suspecting that it will probably go towards unhealthy or illegal purposes.
  #18  
Old 05-03-2017, 11:30 AM
SmellMyWort SmellMyWort is offline
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Suggestion: "pan handlings." Similar to "winnings" used to describe money or other prizes gained through gaming, lottery, gambling, etc.
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:44 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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"out of pocket cash donations' is a term used for things like the guy on the corner with a bell and a bucket for Christmas. Then, deductible. To a beggar, not deductible.
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:47 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDS View Post
Baksheesh, from Persian, means a gratuity or a tip. If a street person does a nominal service for you - polishes your shoes, carries your bag, gives you directions - and you give him money, that's baksheesh. But if he simply holds out a begging bowl and you put money in, not so much.

Baksheesh in the sense of bribe comes from the idea that you are paying someone for the service of introducing you to a lucrative opportunity.

Needless to say, it's derogatory and racially-loaded. Only money given to brown-skinned persons would be described as baksheesh.
No, it's not either. It's a local term in a local language. Yes, it's only money given to "brown skinned" persons as people tend to be brown in the areas where that's a local word.

Of course limosna or esmola would also tend only apply to "brown skinned" persons . God only know what you'd think of sadaka .

Last edited by DrDeth; 05-03-2017 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:32 PM
usedtobe usedtobe is offline
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If I am not raving or an immediate threat to others, why the reluctance to provide sustenance?

philosophical musings are often the source of absolute refusal to consider aid to the indigent. The GOP has found a real charmer on this point. It is not working out.
  #22  
Old 05-03-2017, 09:00 PM
yesanything yesanything is offline
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Chump change ??
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Old 05-03-2017, 10:21 PM
engineer_comp_geek engineer_comp_geek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
The GOP has found a real charmer on this point. It is not working out.
Let's keep the political commentary out of GQ, please.
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:06 AM
davidmich davidmich is offline
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Originally Posted by yesanything View Post
Chump change ??
I was thinking perhaps "takings for the day"
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Old 05-04-2017, 10:56 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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From the beggar's POV "loot", "swag", "bounty", "haul", etc. are all cromulent words. With or without "daily" attached.


From the giver's POV I propose "griftgift": money given to a conman. Some of these folks are in genuine need and buy food with their swag. Others have the "Will work for food. God Bless." sign but just want money for booze or drugs since they're well fed at the local shelter. So they can be considered a petty grifter.

It'd be used as verb or noun like this: "Did you see the panhandler down by the corner? Yeah, I griftgifted him a buck. Really? I've never given a griftgift and don't intend to start now."


For the squeegee folks who're making a nuisance of themselves until paid to go away, perhaps "griftgraft" instead: a bribe to a conman.


If you wanna go highbrow you can use "griftgeld" (pronounced roughly "griftgeldt") modelled on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danegeld.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 05-04-2017 at 10:57 AM.
  #26  
Old 05-04-2017, 11:45 AM
DrDeth DrDeth is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
If I am not raving or an immediate threat to others, why the reluctance to provide sustenance?

philosophical musings are often the source of absolute refusal to consider aid to the indigent. The GOP has found a real charmer on this point. It is not working out.
Because it encourages people to beg not get jobs or help.

I give plenty of aid to the homeless, used to work with a program back in San Jose. Time, energy, donations. Just not cash hand outs, which are considered by many to do more harm than good.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:25 PM
davidmich davidmich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
From the beggar's POV "loot", "swag", "bounty", "haul", etc. are all cromulent words. With or without "daily" attached.


From the giver's POV I propose "griftgift": money given to a conman. Some of these folks are in genuine need and buy food with their swag. Others have the "Will work for food. God Bless." sign but just want money for booze or drugs since they're well fed at the local shelter. So they can be considered a petty grifter.

It'd be used as verb or noun like this: "Did you see the panhandler down by the corner? Yeah, I griftgifted him a buck. Really? I've never given a griftgift and don't intend to start now."


For the squeegee folks who're making a nuisance of themselves until paid to go away, perhaps "griftgraft" instead: a bribe to a conman.


If you wanna go highbrow you can use "griftgeld" (pronounced roughly "griftgeldt") modelled on https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danegeld.
Thanks LSLGuy. The Germans have a good word "Wegwerfgeld", "throwaway money" (any proper English word for that?) which is really what I was trying to find in English; Money that is of little consequence to the giver, but to the recipient beggar could certainly be viewed as a "haul"
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:19 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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In US English, "pocket change" refers to a sum that's insignificant to the spender. When a seriously rich dude buys a new Rolls Royce for $400K he's "just spending pocket change." When I leave an extra $10 on the table for an especially sweet & harried diner waitress, that's "pocket change" for me.

It doesn't necessarily carry the connotation of a gift, an alm, nor that the amount is necessarily large to the recipient.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 05-05-2017 at 08:20 AM.
  #29  
Old 05-05-2017, 08:42 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Well, there's also the aforementioned "spare change," which to me kind of feels similar to the idea of "throwaway money," i.e., money that you can spare.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:31 AM
TriPolar TriPolar is online now
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Originally Posted by pulykamell View Post
Well, there's also the aforementioned "spare change," which to me kind of feels similar to the idea of "throwaway money," i.e., money that you can spare.
After the less specific 'alms' I first thought of 'spare change'. Nagging at the back of my mind is some literary reference to money given to beggars.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:38 AM
mlees mlees is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usedtobe View Post
If I am not raving or an immediate threat to others, why the reluctance to provide sustenance?
I suspect that some of the alms I give out is going to booze or smokes. I would rather it get spent on food or something more important, but I figure that the "risk" I take giving away charity. I don't have the ability to make them do what they don't want to do. If and when this risk bothers me enough, I'll stop giving alms.

Last edited by mlees; 05-05-2017 at 09:40 AM.
  #32  
Old 05-05-2017, 02:11 PM
davidmich davidmich is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlees View Post
I suspect that some of the alms I give out is going to booze or smokes. I would rather it get spent on food or something more important, but I figure that the "risk" I take giving away charity. I don't have the ability to make them do what they don't want to do. If and when this risk bothers me enough, I'll stop giving alms.
I think "pocket change" and "spare change" are as close as we'll get to any neutral phrasing for the money we give to panhandlers. Panhandlers will frequently call out "Any spare change?". What they call their collections is another matter.
Thank you all. Very helpful.
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Old 05-06-2017, 08:53 AM
Gukumatz Gukumatz is offline
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I've heard beggars called almsmen before. I've also heard money given to beggars referred to as dole, pittances and collect thought I don't think those are the words you're looking for.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:31 AM
shh1313 shh1313 is offline
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