This is not the first time that I see people refer to money as "box" (see here 0:12)

I searched in my dictionary and I didn't find a meaning like that, so I think about two options:

a) Maybe there's another word which sounds similar but is written differently.
b) It's the word and it's not in all the dictionaries

  • 6
    "bucks" = dollars, or money generally. Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 5:42

5 Answers 5


It is not 'box', it is 'bucks', an informal term for USD, Indian Rupee and a few more currencies.

I had read somewhere that originally 'buck' referred to deer i.e. money given to buy/exchange deer skin in ancient times.

  • 4
    Buck still refers to deer. Specifically a male deer. "I got a 8 point buck last year" means the speaker shot and killed a male deer whose antlers had 8 points on them. Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 12:02
  • 1
    Buck also refers to 1 USD, because of the deer skin trade Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 12:11
  • And it's not to be confused with a sawbuck or $10 dollar bill. That word has a completely different origin even though it contains "buck". It's not very commonly used but you might come across it.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 3:57

Adding to Maulik V's answer, there's a slight difference between the pronunciations of

box /ˈbäks/


bucks /ˈbəks/

I know it's not easy to differentiate for some (and up to some point), but if you'd try to listen carefully, you'd be able to distinguish properly (also, context clues).

(pronunciations were taken from http://www.merriam-webster.com/)

  • 3
    International Phonetic Alphabet version: [bɑks] vs. [bʌks]
    – Nayuki
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 22:07
  • The pronunciation is only hard to differentiate in American English. The standard British English IPA of 'box' is [box], which is a vowel sound not used in most varieties of American English. Listen to dictionary.cambridge.org/pronunciation/english/box for the difference.
    – alephzero
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 7:25

When referring to money or equivalents, the box can refer to the cash register (AmE) or till (BrE) or possibly wherever money is stored

safe deposit box

It should not be confused with a vault which has a different context.

An equivalent meaning to box is bank which is when a waiter or waitress carries money on their person without going back to a central register

Each wait-staff carries their own bank which is then reconciled at the end of the night.

A technical use of the word box is where one keeps their stock (AmE) or share (BrE) holdings

When you short against the box you use your holdings (as collateral) to sell against it(self)

Also, when security houses used to manually transfer investment certificates, those operations were in an area generically called the box, where security was very high.

  • 3
    Although correct and useful background info, the video that OP specifically asks about does not use "box" but "bucks" as explained in the other answers.
    – CompuChip
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 8:19
  • Oops, funny how the smallest thing can slip by, that's the second time that's happened...
    – Peter
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 19:13
  • [Citation needed] for the claim that "box" can refer to a cash register (which, by the way, is a common term in British English, too). It's not something I've ever heard and I'm not seeing it in dictionaries. Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 7:39
  • Cashbox - a box or container for money, especially with compartments for coins and bills of different denominations. In usage, names get shortened.
    – Peter
    Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 14:39

One use of box to mean money, in the UK at least, is the term Christmas Box. This is a gift of money (a tip if you like) traditionally given to tradespeople on the first working day after Christmas. Hence the term Boxing Day which is now a public holiday.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boxing_Day gives more information.

  • 1
    I disagree that this is an example of "box" meaning "money". The "box" there originally referred to the container in which the money was collected and then became an idiomatic phrase for the gift itself. But the defining feature of idiom is that you can't assign word-for-word meanings so, while "Christmas box" does mean "a gift of money given at Christmas", you can't break it down into "Christmas" (meaning, of course, "Christmas") and "box" (whihc doesn't mean "money" or "a gift of money"). Commented Mar 22, 2016 at 7:32

In the danish language, you can use the sentence "Han tjener boksen" to describe that someone earns a lot of money. Directly translated, it means "He earns the box".

In danish "boksen" can mean both "the box" (like a cardboard box) and a money deposit vault (the very large kind that banks always seem to have in the basement in robbery movies).

Not sure if this helps though. But in danish it does make sense to use the word box as a slang for money.

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