slush fund

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Originally in reference to money for miscellaneous uses that sailors made by selling slush (a soft mixture of grease and other ingredients).


slush fund (plural slush funds)

  1. (finance) Money stored for illegal or dishonest purposes.
    He is said to have used his party’s slush fund to buy votes in the election.
    • 2008 September 28, Illiad [pen name; J. D. Frazer], “The Large Hadron Collider Game”, in[1], archived from the original on 2019-05-07:
      7: CERN bestows slush fund on the LHC. Take all pennies from the CERN space.
    • 2017, Jason Hickel, “The Tax Evaders”, in The Divide [] , London: William Heinemann, →ISBN:
      To do this, [the Lord Mayor] has at his disposal a multibillion-pound slush fund for use in lobbying the UK government and governments around the world to bring in laws that are friendly to banks and multinational companies.
  2. (accounting) Money that has not been hypothecated or dedicated to a particular purpose, or which is used for a different purpose than originally intended.
    • 2021 June 28, Daniel Liberto, “Slush Fund”, in Investopedia[2]:
      A slush fund is a sum of money that is set aside as a reserve. In accounting, a slush fund is a general ledger account of commingled funds that does not have a designated purpose. In more sinister cases, a slush fund may be used as a "black fund," which is unaccounted for and kept off the books.