Last week I taught a Specialist Finance English Group. I had a lovely group of 4 clients – two Polish ladies, one Hungarian gentleman and a Russian lady. They were on a one-week intensive course. Their financial backgrounds varied from risk instruments to accounting which made the course extremely interesting.

moneyscrabbleWith such a variety I asked them to discuss and agree between them the topics they wanted to cover. That way each one would have their area of expertise addressed during the course. One topic they all wanted to cover was metaphors that we use in English connected to money.
As in all languages and as I’ve covered in earlier posts, the English language has plenty of metaphors associated to many things, especially in Business. The most common image associated with money is liquid, hence the saying ‘money is liquid’. Think cash flow. Indeed, liquidity is the ability to convert assets into cash. From there we have the adjectives ‘liquid‘ and its opposite ‘illiquid‘ assets.

In this post, I want to share 10 metaphors my clients discovered during their course.

1. We need to pool all our financial resources if we want the project to succeed.

2. It’s been a slow start, but sales are beginning to trickle in.

3. We’ve been pouring millions into R & D for the last three years.

4. Ever since the Bank of England lowered interest rates, money has been flooding into the country.

Positive Cash Flow

Cash Flow


5. The Government needs to channel more money into Health and Education .

6. The problem is that our Portuguese subsidiary has become a real drain on our resources.

The Ebb and Flow

The Ebb and Flow

7. There is a constant ebb and flow of cash in the financial system.

8. We need to be careful. The financial markets are awash with laundered money.

9. We have sunk a huge amount of money into this project without success. I’m afraid we will have to pull the plug on it.

10. If we run out of money, we can always dip into our savings.

Have you heard and/or used any of the metaphors above? Do you know any other metaphors in connection with money and liquid? Do you have the same images in your language?

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