geld, noun

/xelt/, /xɛlt/
Forms:
Also cheld, gelt.
Origin:
Afrikaans, DutchShow more Afrikaans (from Dutch), ‘money, cash’.
colloquial
a. Money, cash; occasionally, gold when used as currency.
a1878 [see sense b].
1882 C. Du Val With Show through Sn Afr. I. 165They arrive, and they won’t give a hand without receiving geld — money.
1896 M.A. Carey-Hobson At Home in Tvl 501They were not at all anxious to return to the time of ‘Bluebacks,’ which, without the Englishman’s ‘geld’ they knew they must do, in a year or two at the farthest.
1899 Mafeking Mail 21 Nov.No more ‘geld’ for the arme Boer. The Standard Bank at Capetown have, and will retain, possession of gold to the tune of £150,000, shipped..for the Transvaal Government.
1908 F.C. Slater Sunburnt South 18‘Never mind that,’ I said, ‘I want it now, here is the hundred pounds.’ So I gave him the geld and he gave me the bill and I rode home well pleased with myself.
1910 J. Runcie Idylls by Two Oceans 50He had the ‘geld’ always ready in a big canvas sack, and ‘geld’ is a fact, and possibly the most convincing of facts.
1911 L. Cohen Reminisc. of Kimberley 37‘Now, here you are, your diamond or the gold — which will you have?’...He simply stretched forth his hand, and said, ‘Give me the gelt.’ I paid him.
1916 S. Black in S. Gray Three Plays (1984) 186Oright, but I want my wash geld! I go wait in the yard.
1966 I. Vaughan These Were my Yesterdays 19He is always sending more ‘geld’ and not caring how hard he has it here sleeping and eating in one small tin shanty..and very cold in winter...He has a son Louis and he sends money every month.
1979 J. Gratus Jo’burgers 221As the gents with the geld drifted off so did their girls, leaving behind the echo of their raucous laughter and the faint smell of cheap cigars and perfume.
1985 H. Prendini in Style Oct. 39The numerous..terms for money..include bread,..gelt..and frogskins.
1994 C.J. Driver In Water-Margins 20When Silence needs A bit of ‘geld’, he cleans my car, then says ‘I cleaned your car because it needed me’.
b. obsolete With qualifying word:
hardegeld [Dutch, harde attributive form of hard hard], hard cash;
kostgelt [Dutch, kost food], a ration allowance;
subsidiengeld [Dutch, subsidiën plural of subsidie subsidy, supplementary payment], a supplementary allowance.
a1878 J. Montgomery Reminisc. (1981) 159The country is most parklike and beautiful, but we could procure no food anywhere, not even for harde geld.
1924 L. Cohen Reminisc. of Jhb. 48When a certain full-fledged financier heard of the negotiations, he, with his lawyer, drove a spanking Cape cart turn-out to the Dutchman’s place, and offered him £100,000 in gold, haardegelt, as they say, for the property.
1919 M. Greenlees tr. of O.F. Mentzel’s Life at Cape in Mid-18th C. 45Herr Allemann’s pay was fourteen gulden a month together with eighty-four stuivers kostgeld. Moreover, since he no longer required the subsidiengeld, that two gulden monthly ceased to be deducted from his pay.
Money, cash; occasionally, gold when used as currency.
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18781994