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There is a Cuban phrase that means - literally- I HAVE MONEY EVEN TO MAKE DESSERT WITH IT, or something like that. I guess it's like having too much of something. Is there an English expression for this?

  • Hi Esteban Alvarez. I have edited the question, as asking for a "translation" didn't seem accurate. Is this what you meant? – nxx Mar 6 '14 at 21:05
  • @Esteban: I don't really understand how that Cuban phrase works. Do you mean "dessert" as in sweet course / pudding / afters? I can't see how you could literally use money to make something nice to eat. Is there something "lost in translation" there? – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 6 '14 at 21:43
  • I think he means it's a literal translation. – nxx Mar 6 '14 at 22:31
  • @nxx: I know that! (OP says so). I'm asking how it can work in the (Spanish?) original, since I can't see any semantic connection between money and even having enough to make dessert (with it?). – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Mar 6 '14 at 22:55
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    A sheer guess would be something along the lines of "money to burn", but we would need more context to figure that out. Esteban, see ell.stackexchange.com/q/2725/748 for another example of asking for a phrase translation. It may give you some ideas for how to better frame your question. – Jonathan Garber Mar 7 '14 at 21:47
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It's not completely clear to me what exactly OP's Cuban phrase is supposed to mean, but I'm going to hazard a guess and say it might be the equivalent of the common English phrase...

He's got money to burn

Cambridge Dictionaries define this in that link as to spend a lot of money on things that are not necessary, but I think that implication of actually spending money doesn't need to be present. It might be possible to say, for example,

He's so mean he won't even tip the postman at Christmas, but I know he's got money to burn.

(i.e. - it can just mean he has a lot of money, even if he doesn't often spend much)


In case it's not obvious, the figurative allusion is to the idea that one could be so rich he didn't even care about using money to buy coal for the fire - he could just burn banknotes to keep warm. It's the same idea in this stereotypical image of an ostentatiously wealthy man... enter image description here


As @nxx's answer suggests, there are a very large number of idiomatic expressions in English for having enough/a lot/too much of something - most of which can be used for a wide range of different (good, bad, or neutral) things. As money to burn is so common, "creative variations" do sometimes occur...

I only smoke after sex, but I bought my full duty-free allowance when I came back from holiday abroad last month, so I've got cigarettes to burn.

...but such "extensions" are rare, and very rarely used of anything that couldn't be literally burned.

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There are a number of English expressions that I think are appropriate:

to have "something coming out of your ears",

which means

to have more of something than you want or need

eg, I have money coming out (of) my ears.

to have something "in spades":

in large amounts or to a very great degree

eg, I have money in spades.

to have "more than I can shake a stick at"

a lot of

eg, I have more money than I can shake a stick at.

These can all be used for things other than money, too, and all imply having an excess. So you are lucky if these apply to you!

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