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Sayings + Expressions 13 – Money I Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 in Culture, Language, People, vocabulary

Money. Something so universally present in our lives that, of course, there are many sayings and expressions about it. Also in German. Today, we explore a Sprichwort (saying) and an Ausdruck (expression) concerning Geld (money). Because there are so many, we will explore money and time related ones on Monday. For today, let’s begin with the Sprichwort!

Geld regiert die Welt

Money rules the world (money makes the world go round)

This saying is common in a lot of languages, because well, money is a very powerful means to get something done in the world. In addition, the German version rhymes so nicely! The meaning is quite obvious: money means might, and it therefore allows someone with money to rule the world.


As in other languages, the intention of the Sprichwort depends on the context and tone in which it is used. Someone can show that they like the fact that Geld regiert die Welt or not. You can use it informally and formally. Examples:

Protestieren hilft doch eh nichts. Geld regiert die Welt!

Protesting does not help anyway. Money makes the world go round! (Imagine a disappointed tone!)

Mit deinen Mitteln kannst du so vieles bewegen! Du weißt auch: Geld regiert die Welt.

You can make so many things happen with your resources! You also know: Money makes the world go round. (Imagine an optimistic tone!)


On to the Ausdruck!

Geld wie Heu haben

To have money like hay (to have money to burn)

This Ausdruck is, just like the Sprichwort above, used a lot. Its meaning is pretty clear: Somebody with money like hay is veeery rich! Why? Hay has a rather low value and is abundant. Just like money might be to somebody with a lot of it.Usually, this Ausdruck is meant negatively towards that rich person because of this assumption. Hay is the low-value, abundant item in this case, because this is the form in which this Ausdruck is normally used. Of course, you can get creative and replace hay with another such item! Any ideas? Let me know in the comments below.


As I said above, this Ausdruck is usually used in a negative or relativizing manner. In the sense of: “Oh, they have enough money anyway, that is not going to hurt them!” Just like the Sprichwort above, you can use this informally and formally, though it is rather informal. Examples!

Eine teure Weltreise? Das kann Marianne doch jede Woche machen. Sie hat Geld wie Heu!

An expensive world trip? Marianne can do that every week, you know. She has money to burn!

Natürlich, die Müllers kaufen sich schon wieder einen neuen Porsche. Die haben ja Geld wie Heu!

Of course, the Mullers buy themselves a new Porsche yet again. They must have money to burn!

What are the equivalents (or similar ones) in your language? How do you use them? Let me know in the comments below!

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About the Author:Sten

Hi! I am Sten, and I am half Dutch and half German. I was on exchange in the United States, and I really enjoyed that year! So in that sense, I kind of have three nationalities... I love all of them!