Catch Word #181 – Peanuts!

Being able to talk naturally and idiomatically about money is a useful skill. In today’s Catch Word episode, we explain a couple useful terms for talking about small amounts of money: peanuts and chump change.


Fun fact

Did you know that peanuts aren’t actually nuts? Despite having the word “nut” in their name, a peanut is a type of pea that grows underground. While this might be surprising, it’s not rare. Many of the foods referred to as nuts in English aren’t technically nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, cashews, horse chestnuts, and pine nuts.

Expressions included in the learning materials

  • Peanuts
  • Chump change
  • To be in the same boat [as someone]
  • Pretty much
  • To add up

Sample transcript

Morag:              Hey, Andrew. Whats up?

Andrew:           Oh, not much. Just the same old, same old. Howre you doin, Morag?

Morag:              Im doing all right.

Andrew:           Thats great.

Morag:              Nothing super interesting has happened to me either.

Andrew:           Hmm, sounds like were in the same boat.

Morag:              Mmhmm.

Andrew:           Well, I suggest then that we get started with todays episode. Today were going to a Catch Word episode. And in Catch Word episodes, we define and describe and teach you how to use a couple of interesting slang expressions. And today our expressions are all about money.

Morag:              Mmhmm, particularly smaller amounts of money.

Andrew:           Yeah, the type of money that people dont dream about having.

Morag:              It might be more the type of money that you already have.

Andrew:           Too true.

Morag:              Yeah.

Andrew:           So just before we get started, I want to let all of you listeners out there know that we have transcripts and learning materials available for this episode, as well as all of our episodes, actually.

And you can download them by becoming a Culips member, and you can do that on our website, So yeah, check it out. Check out our website.

Morag:              I would definitely agree with Andrew, because using the learning materials is honestly the best way to study with us. So I would head on over to and learn about becoming a member today.

Andrew:           All right, Morag, lets get started. What is our first expression today?

Morag:              Our first expression is peanuts.

Andrew:           Peanuts.

Morag:              Peanuts.

Andrew:           Peanut, OK. Like the food peanuts?

Morag:              Yeah, like the food.

Andrew:           Yeah, it has the same spelling, same pronunciation, but a different meaning, right?

Morag:              Mmhmm, very different.

Andrew:           OK, so what does peanuts mean?

Morag:              Well, peanuts means a very small amount of money, like pretty much nothing.

Andrew:           Mmhmm, yeah, a very, very small amount of money is peanuts.

Morag:              Mmhmm.

Andrew:           But the interesting thing about this expression is that it varies depending on the speaker. So if you are a millionaire, $1,000 might be peanuts to you, right? But if you are a student who wins $1,000 on a scratch ticket, for example, well, then, that $1,000 would be a lot of money to you. It wouldnt be peanuts.

So peanuts is a small amount of money, but it depends on the speaker to determine the value of that money.

Morag:            Yeah. I think you could think about it as not enough money to do anything useful or interesting with.

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english PodcastAudio/Learning Materials: Culips