money talks

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19th century, from earlier forms such as gold speaks (1666, in full, “Man prates, but gold speaks.”), as translation from Italian by Giovanni Torriano, in Piazza Universale di Proverbi Italiani: or, A Common Place of Italian Proverbs and Proverbial Phrases, 179.[1]



money talks

  1. It is easier to accomplish goals using money instead of just talk.
    • 2014 April 25, Paul Krugman, “The Piketty Panic”, in The New York Times[1], →ISSN:
      Money still talks — indeed, thanks in part to the Roberts court, it talks louder than ever. Still, ideas matter too, shaping both how we talk about society and, eventually, what we do.

Usage notes[edit]

Here talk is used metaphorically to mean “has actual effect, shows seriousness”, as in similar actions speak louder than words. Contrast with sense “empty words, without impact”, as in talk is cheap and talk the talk.

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ The Oxford Dictionary of Proverbs, p. 212