almighty dollar

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Most sources hold this to be a coinage of Washington Irving, alluding to "Almighty God", although a Philadelphia newspaper also used the phrase at approximately the same time and Ben Jonson had used "almighty gold" in 1616 in Epistle to Elizabeth, Countess of Rutland.


the almighty dollar

  1. (idiomatic, singular only) (United States English, pejorative) The dollar, satirically characterized as a being a god
    • 1836: "The almighty dollar, that great object of universal devotion throughout our land, seems to have no genuine devotees in these peculiar villages; and unless some of its missionaries penetrate there, and erect banking houses and other pious shrines, there is no knowing how long the inhabitants may remain in their present state of contented poverty."
      Washington Irving The Creole Village, in Knickerbocker Magazine (November 1836), later re-published in Wolfert's Roost's and Other Papers (1855)