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Lars now had the money and wherewithal to begin a serious art collection: a passion, like music, inherited from his father. As he told me in 2009, ‘For many years it became really the only area where I felt I could express myself creatively outside of Metallica.'

What is the difference between money and wherewithal?

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  • often "wherewithall" is just a quirky way to say "money". What does your dictionary say? In simple formal contexts, just use the simple word "money".
    – James K
    Commented Jun 12 at 20:25
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    wherewithall here does not mean money. I haven't redone my resume recently because I just don't have the wherewithall to do it. [energy, for example]
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 12 at 21:20
  • What @Lambie said. Having the wherewithall to do something means having all the necessary resources. in common parlance it's often used as a (frequently affectedly facetious) synonym for money. But in many contexts "the necessary resources" might include other things besides "money", so there's nothing unusual about referring to both. Sometimes there will even be contexts where "the wherewithal, the needful" has nothing to do with money (compare The Bare Necessities - there ain't no money in the jungle! :) Commented Jun 12 at 21:40
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    Can no commenter spell wherewithal? Commented Jun 13 at 7:29

2 Answers 2

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Money is money. Currency. Cash.

Wherewithal is the means to do something. It can include money, but it can also include ability, circumstances, support etc.

So, it's a little unusual to say both when the latter incorporates the former, but it's not uncommon for this kind of repetition to occur where one word is specific and another broader term incorporates it - for example, "music and the arts" (music is technically an art).

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  • The latter does not incorporate the former necessarily.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 12 at 21:20
  • @Lambie Is that an evidence-based statement?
    – Astralbee
    Commented Jun 12 at 22:05
  • You know as a native speaker, you should actually know this. Yes, look under my answer in response to you.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 12 at 22:19
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Lars now had the money and wherewithal to begin a serious art collection.

wherewithal can encompass just about anything you want it to or need it to.

Person 1: Lars now had the money and everything else he needed to begin a serious art collection.
Person 2: Like what?
Person 1: Like free time and a space to hang or display it and most notably, a quiet place to contemplate potential purchases. And, of course, you've got to have energy to pursue all this. It is not the easiest of endeavors.

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  • This is not supported by dictionary definitions.
    – Astralbee
    Commented Jun 12 at 22:08
  • If you have the wherewithal to do something, it means you've got what you need to make it happen. Another word for wherewithal is resources, which can mean money, energy, support, or some other necessary means. If you have the wherewithal to build a new house, it can mean you have the knowledge and patience to do it yourself, or that you've got the money to pay someone to build it for you. The word combines where and withal — a now-obscure word that means "in addition." Don't forget to spell it with only one l. vocabulary.com/dictionary/wherewithal
    – Lambie
    Commented Jun 12 at 22:18

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