UK currency question(s)...

OK, I know that there are 100 pence to the pound, but…

What are “quid”? Is that like five pence?


What other little things would an American tourist in Scotland need to know about the money he’ll be carrying in his pocket? I mean besides getting the money with the thistles on the back instead of the lions…

A quid is a slang term for a pound.

A quid is a pound. From what I understand there is no generally accepted etymology for the usage.

Cecil did a column once on British currency. IIRC it explained the meaning of quid.

I’m an American in Scotland, and I don’t think there’s anything in particular you need to know about the money. Just keep in mind that the pound is worth more than the dollar, so things cost more than they look. And remember that’s it’s still worth a pound even though it’s just a little coin. I spend those things like crazy, because I feel like I’m only spending pocket change when I use those 1-pound coins. They do have 1-pound notes in Scotland (not in England), but I’ve rarely seen them and never gotten one.

And a quid is just slang for a pound, like “buck” for dollar.

Any questions, feel free to ask.

Here’s all the UK coins you’ll have to get used to -

Prepare for a little confusion though, the 5 pence coin is around the same size as a dime and the 10 pence coin is very similar to a quarter. Banknotes are easy to tell apart because of the different colours.

My wife’s friend who visited from the States couldn’t get used to our coinage and just held out a handfull of change to let the storekeeper pick out the correct amount.

Ah yes, and the 2p coin is called a “copper.” Everyone hates a copper, since they’re big and next to worthless. I don’t even know why they mint them, as people seem to get rid of them as soon as they get them. Chairity boxes and beggar’s hats are always filled with coppers. Today, I even heard a saleslady apologize for giving someone a copper in his change.

And I call 20p coins “quinters,” as they don’t seem to have a name. But that’s just me, so don’t use that term. :slight_smile:

Just to nitpick: Though the 1p coin is also called a penny, both 2p and 1p coins are known as ‘coppers’.

Quid meaning a pound in British slang, goes back to 1688 in print.

Quid pro quo appears in 1565, and meant * one thing in exchange for another.* There is conjecture that the “quid” is a shortening of the phrase, but we’ll probably never know.

And the 5p, 10p, 20p and 50p coins are ‘silvers’. No prizes for guessing why.

My favourite coin is the new 2 quid coin. I love the two-different-metal design. Whenever I get money out to pay for something, I’ll always put any £2 coins back and look for 2 £1 coins.

I can’t wait to get hold of a £5 coin. Are they legal tender yet?

Also, Is scotish money legal-tender in England. If not, is it exactly the same coins and notes (but with different pictures on them)

English money is legal tender in the Isle of Man, even though the IOM has it’s own money. Including those bloody awful £1 notes! I wish they would get rid of those! I hate handing over a crisp 20 for something that cost about £9 and getting eleven pathetic crumpled up bits of paper as change. I want good solid dependable coins!

The main thing that I noticed is that the pricetags seem about the same as in the US. This is nice, until you realize that they’re in pounds and everything is 50% more expensive than it should be.

Even the cans of vegetarian haggis aren’t cheap.

Scottish money is theoretically legal tender in all the UK, I believe, but I’ve heard some English merchants are reluctant to take them for some reason. I’m sure they’d be reluctant to accept the £1 notes, since England doesn’t have them. Perhaps an Englishman will be along to elaborate.

Several different banks print money in Scotland. I only have Bank of Scotland notes on me now, and they all seem to have Sir Walter Scott on them (they sure are crazy about that guy up here). The Royal Bank of Scotland and Clydesdale Bank also print money, but I don’t recall what they look like. They’re all in the same denominatoins as the English notes, except for the £1 notes, which I never see or receive.

I just found a site where you can see pictures of modern British money, including Scotland, the Isle of Man, and a bunch of others. I never knew so many different places in the UK printed their own currency!

Another nitpick! I have never heard the term silvers. Is it an Isle of Mann thing?

Anyway, round these parts a quid can also be called a nugget, for obvious reasons.

And old folks call 50 pence 10 bob. This is from the pre-decimal time when 5p was call a shilling, or a bob for short. Hence 10 bobs = 50p
Don’t know why.

Scottish, English and N. Irish currencys are legal tender in their own countries but not the others.
In Scotland and N. Ireland they treat English money as if it was legal tender. In England in a small corner shop with someone a bit dim working on the till they may question your Scottish £1 or N. Irish plastic £5 but mostly you should have no difficulties.
They are all worth exactly the same so why not?

mancunian: poncy southerner here, and I’ve heard ‘silvers’ before, just to differentiate higher-value coins from those irritating ‘coppers’.

Back in pre-decimal days there was a 10 shilling note, which everyone called a 10 bob note. A lot of money back in those days!

When this was replaced with the 50p piece, the original slang term stuck.

Similarly for a while 10p was known as two bob, but this is less common these days.

Feeling very old :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t say ‘a silver’ but I might say ‘a lot of silver.’ DO NOT ask about old money - it’s very interesting, but very confusing to start with. Especially do not ask for etymologies :slight_smile:

This isn’t true. For one thing, there is no such thing as English money; despite its name, the Bank of England is the central government bank for the whole UK, so obviously its notes are legal tender everywhere.

I think that technically Scottish and Northern Irish banknotes are not legal tender anywhere. It is just by custom that they are accepted as such in their own countries. However, given that they are accepted by all British banks there is no logical reason for a shop in London, say, to refuse to accept them.

The coins in the UK are all issued by the Royal Mint and are the same everywhere. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (not actually part of the UK) have their own coins. I don’t know whether these are legal tender in the UK, or whether UK banks accept them.

Bank of England notes are not legal tender in Scotland and N. Ireland. It appears that Bank of Ireland and Bank of Scotland notes are not either. Just the coins.

You’re not old! :slight_smile:

I can remember the half-crown, the sixpence, the threepenny bit, the halfpenny and even the farthing. :cool:

(I can also tell you about travelling on steam trains, but I need to have my afternoon nap now.)