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I'm watching the movie Skins and I've come across the word quid (never heard so far), which is the slang for pound.

My question is: if I'm supposed to travel to UK, what term to use?

I guess that as a non native English speaker, British would find it very odd hearing me using the slang term. So, what do you think?

On the other hand, which one of them people do actually use?

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(I'm speaking as an American, who is somewhat familiar with UK culture, but haven't been there myself)

I would use either one, without a strong preference for one or the other. In a more formal environment, "pounds" would be more appropriate (as with most slang). If in an informal conversation where someone else referred to it as "quid" already, using "quid" would probably be more appropriate (again, as with most slang).

I don't think it would be particularly odd to hear a non-native fluent English speaker (you appear to be fluent, or nearly so) hear this kind of slang. It would make me think they're a little more familiar with English and the UK than if they only used or knew "pounds". (which may be something you want to suggest or avoid, depending on whether you want them to treat you more like someone fluent in or learning English)

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  • Thank you so much! You've just completed my question as I forgot inviting anglophones (and not only) from outside the UK to answer my question in order to see their input too. Feb 23, 2016 at 22:27
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I've lived in England for three years. Quid is more casual than "pound" and is more frequently used among friends and in casual conditions. It is very similar to "buck" for the American dollar. But if you are obviously a foreigner who's new here, people may prefer to use "pound" with you.

However, when buying fruits and other unpacked stuff, you need to tell them whether you want 5 pounds of fruit "for money" or "for weight". Because "pound" is also a unit of weight. It's better to clarify whether you want to buy fruits that weigh 5 pounds or fruits worth 5 quids.

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    I do not think the trader would understand 5 pounds as anything other than weight. If you wanted to spend exactly five pounds you would say five pounds worth.
    – mdewey
    Jan 22 at 15:26

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