What does the phrase, "Money talks, BS walks" mean? I replaced a bad word with "BS".

I've googled it, and I've found several conflicting meanings. For instance, this Reddit thread has several interpretations. Ristin's response is basically the same as Urban Dictionary's, but his answer was downvoted:

It means that money can influence people and be used to get things done, but "bullshit" like sales pitches, marketing, deciet and so-on usually get seen through by most people. So, if you have money it 'talks' and can get stuff done. If you have to rely on BS-ing people, you'll be shown the door.

Another different definition appears on wikipedia.

  • What's a bad word? Commented Sep 15, 2019 at 0:04
  • @VolkerSiegel s**t, as in bulls**t.
    – user151841
    Commented Sep 16, 2019 at 14:06

3 Answers 3


In very generalized terms, it means:

If you meet the stated requirements, I will let you proceed. If you clearly do not meet the stated requirements and are attempting to convince me that I should let you proceed anyway, I will force you to leave.

Most commonly, the "stated requirements" are "can you pay the amount I am demanding", i.e. "do you have enough money". For a literal application of the phrase, consider a couple of poor college students trying to get into a party for which there is a $25 entrance fee. If they show up without enough money, and instead of paying they attempt to convince the gatekeeper that they are friends of the band, he might well tell them "Money talks, BS walks" as he refuses them entry.


"money talks" is an idiomatic expression meaning that you need to pay some money.

When you talk about someone or something "walking", it can mean (and in this does does mean) that that someone or something has to leave, has to walk away.

So "Money talks, BS walks" means that only money will do. Any attempt to get around the money requirement is just BS, and will not work, and you will have to walk away without what you are trying to get.


Money talks, bullshit walks, in a nutshell, means that actions are more important than words.

Wiktionary marks it as a rhyming elaboration of the idiom "money talks" (1968, US) and provides a more extended explanation:

"Attempting to accomplish a goal by demonstrating possession of material resources will succeed while attempting to accomplish that goal through mere rhetoric will fail".

This proverbial idiomatic expression is "especially useful when real money is involved: money has more power to influence people than words. For example, leaving a $1000 deposit on the car you want to buy is more convincing than saying you will come back and buy it tomorrow" (cited from here).

Be careful! This is is a very rude and aggressive way to express this idea. A milder equivalent for it is "Put your money where your mouth is". The general sense of these expressions is “prove to me that you are serious, or don’t waste my time” (same source).

  • Is this expression really an idiom though? But apart from that, I don't think it's at all common in the UK, a British person might guess correctly at its meaning, but I've never come across this American catchphrase.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 11:31
  • You wouldn't usually say it to the face of the person who ought to pay (unless there is some intense BSing going on) because it is quite rude, but you could use it in conversation with someone else. For example the car salesman who didn't get the deposit and doesn't think the potential customer will come back could tell this to a colleague, but probably not to the customer.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 13:17
  • The second and last paragraph come from the link (Better at English) at the bottom of the page. They are not your own words, and this is misleading. You should place in quotes the sections which are cited.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 13:52

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