Dead Presidents

Dead Presidents
Slang referring to U.S. paper currency. Dead presidents can refer to any unit of currency, but most often refers to George Washington, whose picture is on the $1 bill. Therefore an item that costs six dead presidents would mean that it costs $6.

During the Civil War, the Union Congress ordered the printing of half a million 5-cent notes due to a shortage of the metals used to produce traditional coinage. However, when the notes appeared to the public, the engraved portrait on the bill was of someone named Spencer M. Clark. Naturally, no one in the Union (or anywhere else) had any idea who this was. An investigation quickly revealed that Lincoln had appointed him as the first superintendent of the National Currency Bureau. Because Congress had not specified that any particular historical figure be placed upon the bill, he had simply taken the liberty of putting his own picture there. Needless to say, Congress was furious. They immediately enacted a law stipulating that from that point on, any person who appeared on the face of any U.S. currency had to be famous -and dead.

Investment dictionary. . 2012.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • dead presidents — n. pl. Slang. U.S. paper money, esp. dollar bills; cash. You got the dead presidents? Two hundred in cash. That was the deal[/ex] • Etymology: [1940 45; after portraits of early U.S. presidents on many of the country s bills] …   From formal English to slang

  • dead presidents — n Money. Hey, ma, let me have some dead presidents. 1980s …   Historical dictionary of American slang

  • dead\ presidents — Money, in bills. The bank holds a lot of dead presidents …   Dictionary of american slang

  • dead\ presidents — Money, in bills. The bank holds a lot of dead presidents …   Dictionary of american slang

  • dead presidents — noun [plural] US slang : U.S. money in the form of paper bills a briefcase full of dead presidents …   Useful english dictionary

  • dead presidents — presidents who are now deceased; paper money, cash in the form of bank notes (Slang) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • dead presidents — noun plural Date: 1944 slang U.S. money in the form of bills; specifically dollars …   New Collegiate Dictionary