8

Is there any term that describes a person who can/will do anything for money? Help me filling the blank.

Do you know what did Tom do? He sold secret information of his own country
Yeah, possible! He's a/an ______________________. He will/can do anything for money.

  • I'm not sure these words are what you're looking for, so I'll post them here as a comment. Unlike other answerers, for me, your blank to fill evokes the sense of dishonesty instead of "easy to buy". So my likely choice is probably: a crook. I looked up for their synonyms, and I think these could also work: knave, rogue, and rascal. – Damkerng T. Jun 19 '14 at 3:00
  • @DamkerngT. You got it! It's certainly in a negative sense! But then crook is different and so your other synonyms. They denote more dishonesty than his hunger toward wealth. – Maulik V Jun 19 '14 at 4:53
  • My guess is your original thought was closer to "He could do anything ..." than to "He'll do anything ...". – Damkerng T. Jun 19 '14 at 5:08
  • @DamkerngT. This is what I'm thinking after editing. I'm now confused. But don't you think will is stronger than can here? I just want to emphasize that if someone is finding money in something, he'll do it forgetting ethics, principles, morale, family, or whatsoever. Okay, kept both to emphasize it better. – Maulik V Jun 19 '14 at 5:11
  • I believe that Indian and Thai languages are not too far apart, so I believe that I could guess what you thought of at some level (I wasn't absolutely sure, though; I mean, I think I can't be that sure). This is exactly the case where could is permissible but can isn't. (Using will is fine, but I believe that it would be a little different from what you originally thought of.) – Damkerng T. Jun 19 '14 at 5:15
7

Nouns:

  • Grafter. 1, 2 (def. 2 in both cases). Someone who engages in and benefits from graft, which is the abuse of one's position of (often political) power or authority for the purpose of gaining money by illegal or immoral means. It would not be appropriate to call a filing clerk who copied and sold classified papers a grafter.

  • Money-grubber. 1, 2. Someone who's solely or overly interested in money and will take almost any opportunity to acquire more. The term focuses more on the desire for money than the willingness to do anything to get it, though someone money grubbing would be willing to do many things (but not necessarily anything) others aren't in order to get paid.

I do know of a word that fits exactly what you're after, but it's extremely rude and vulgar. See below if you're interested.

Whore. Typically this means prostitute, but modern and informal usage has expanded it to refer to someone who will do anything, especially immoral or degrading acts, for money or gain. Synonyms (prostitute, hooker, etc.) don't carry this expanded meaning.

Adjectives:

  • Venal. The right meaning, but wrong type of word. The noun form, venality, is the quality of being venal, not a person who is venal.
  • For sale. Informal, meaning venal or able to be bought or bribed. "I can't believe Judge Watkins is presiding over the mob trial; everyone knows he's for sale." "His access to the credit card database is for sale to the highest bidder."
  • Ah, I suggest an edit putting definition of money-grubber from Cambridge. It's even closer to what I'm thinking. :) dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/business-english/… – Maulik V Jun 19 '14 at 5:14
  • 2
    I'm not sure I'd characterize whore as "extremely rude and vulgar," although I agree that it should be used with caution. I'd avoid using it around kids or in a professional environment. – J.R. Jun 19 '14 at 15:50
  • @J.R. Agreed, but I figured I'd err on the side of caution, just in case there are cross cultural issues I'm ignorant of. And as always, exactly how rude it is depends on the context and delivery. – Esoteric Screen Name Jun 20 '14 at 1:26
  • @J.R. if this word is descriptive and accurate, why would you want to insulate children from it? – Gusdor Aug 5 '15 at 11:47
  • 1
    @Gusdor - I can think of quite a few descriptive words I wouldn't use around young children - but that's a question for Parenting. – J.R. Aug 5 '15 at 17:39
6

Mercenary as an adjective or noun could provide a suitable description for such a person.

mercenary

adjective

1. primarily concerned with making money at the expense of ethics

noun

1.1 A person primarily concerned with material reward at the expense of ethics

Source: ODO Definition of “mercenary”

  • 2
    True, but please note that this is indeed the adjective form of mercenary, as you say, and cannot fill in the blank in Maulik's sentence. Mercenary as a noun is most likely to be understood as "a soldier-for-hire". – WendiKidd Jun 18 '14 at 15:40
  • Agree with Wendikidd. Though it is a noun as well, the use of this word in the sense I'm asking is rare. If you label anyone mercenary the first thing conveyed is a hired solider. – Maulik V Jun 19 '14 at 5:07
2

He's a sell out (sense 3). He can do anything for money.

  • 2
    Sell-out is leaning more toward betrayal I think. – Maulik V Jun 19 '14 at 5:12
  • @MaulikV Doing something only for money usually has some kind of betrayal on the flip side. – user3169 Jun 19 '14 at 15:16
  • 2
    Not at all. An unmarried whore would sleep with an unmarried man for the sake of money. Is she betraying? Certainly not. Pardon my language though. But this is what I could think quickly about. – Maulik V Jun 19 '14 at 15:21
  • 2
    @MaulikV - sell-out may not be the best suggestion here, but it's a valid one. It's a term often used when someone abandons their principles for the sake of personal gain. That gain need not be money, but it could be. It certainly fits in your blank: Tom sold secrets? He's such a sell-out; he will do anything for money. See also the definitions at Wiktionary. – J.R. Jun 19 '14 at 15:57
  • @MaulikV Your example is terrible. You're perpetuating a fantasy that a sex worker will do anything for money. – Rich Apr 24 at 17:20
0

In America/Chicago, my country/city, we use either Gold-Digger or the term easy.

Ellen is such a gold digger, she just after Jeff's money.

Jackie is pretty easy, she'll do anything for a bit of attention

Hope this helps - Mack

protected by Community Jul 9 '18 at 6:48

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.