A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

Recent entries:
“Prison walls are never built to scale” (11/11)
“Hire someone, fire someone, and rearrange the furniture” (a new CEO’s tasks) (11/11)
“For Pete’s sake” ("For the love of Pete") (11/11)
Bait and Switch (11/11)
Great Plains (11/11)
More new entries...

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z


Entry from November 10, 2019
“Money for jam” (easy money)

"Money for jam” means “easy money” or “money for nothing (little or no work).” “Still taking everything into consideration it’s a great life and as chap says. ‘Money for jam’” was printed in the Bury Free Press (Suffolk, UK) on March 25, 1916.

The saying became popular in the United Kingdom during World War I. The Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms (1990), edited by John Ayto, states:

“These expressions, which date back to the early 20th century, may have originated as military slang. In 1919, the Athenaeum stated that money for jam arose out of the ‘great use of jam in the Army.’”

“Money for jam” soon began use in the United States as well. The term is still used, despite its dated origins.


Wiktionary: money for jam
Noun
money for jam
(uncountable)
1. (idiomatic, informal) Money made very easily.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
colloquial (perhaps originally Military). money for jam (also for old rope, etc.): a profitable return for little or no trouble; a very easy job; a person or thing easy to profit from, beat, etc.
1919 Athenæum 8 Aug. 727/2 The great use of jam in the Army..originated a number of phrases, such as ‘money for jam’ (money for nothing).
1927 T. E. Lawrence Let. 22 Sept. (1938) 540 Recently I made nearly ten pounds out of reviewing eleven books. Money for jam, as the airman says.

The British Newspaper Archive
25 March 1916, Bury Free Press (Suffolk, UK), pg. 6:
Still taking everything into consideration it’s a great life and as chap says. ‘Money for jam.’

6-13 April 1918, Pictures and the Picturegoer (London, UK), “The Mysterious Miss Terry” by Patrick Glynn, pg. 347, col. 2:
“Keep Wednesday night for a little job with me—a clean walk-over—money for jam!”

18 July 1919, The Evening Telegraph and Post (Dundee, Scotland), “Men and Matters of the Moment,” pg. 4, col. 2:
Even churches on the route are joining in this harmless pursuit of “money for jam,” as the saying goes.

27 February 1922, Chicago (IL) Daily Tribune, “The Vengeance of Henry Jarroman” by Roy Vickers, sec. 2, pg. 1, col. 1:
“Two pahnds a week money for jam and me complainin’— catch me!” answered Nell.

Google Books
A Dictionary of Phrase and Fable
New Edition

By Ebenezer Cobham Brewer
London, UK: Cassell and Company, Ltd.
1923
Pg. 605:
Money for jam. Money (or money’s worth) for nothing ; an unexpected bit of luck.

OCLC WorldCat record
Money for jam, a farce in one act,
Author: Babette Hughes
Publisher: Boston, W.H. Baker Co., 1928.
Series: Baker’s edition of plays
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Money for Jam.
Author: William Harold Lane CRAUFORD
Publisher: Ward, Lock & Co.: London & Melbourne, 1946.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Money for Jam. A story for film and stage.
Author: Reginald MARIX, and BARTON (Lionel H.); Lionel H BARTON
Publisher: Fetcham : Lionel H. Barton, [1946]
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Money for jam : or how to be a magnate
Author: Alan D’egville
Publisher: London : Cassell, 1947.
Edition/Format: Print book : Fiction : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Money for jam : a domestic comedy in one-act for 6 women and 2 men.
Author: Frederick Bond
Publisher: Leonard’s Plays, 1952.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Money for Jam. Anyone can be a non-artist. [With illustrations.].
Author: Daniel PETTIWARD
Publisher: Pp. 123. Perpetua Books: London, 1956.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

OCLC WorldCat record
Money for jam; a play in 3 acts.
Author: James G Harris
Publisher: [Montréal] 1965.
Edition/Format: Print book : English

Urban Dictionary
money for jam
Money that is easily made
Man, do you know how much i got for writing this piece? And it only took me half an hour to do it. I’m telling you, it was money for jam.
#money#jam#easy money#money for nothing#easily made money
by Jeromek May 28, 2006

Google Books
Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms
Edited by John Ayto
New York, NY: Oxford University Press
2010
Pg. 231:
money for jam (or old rope)
1. money earned for little or no effort.
2. an easy task. British informal
These expressions, which date back to the early 20th century, may have originated as military slang. In 1919, the Athenaeum stated that money for jam arose out of the ‘great use of jam in the Army.’

Google Books
Money for Jam: The Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Small Food Business
Oonagh Monahan
Oak Tree Press, 2013 - Business & Economics - 172 pages
Have you ever thought about trying to earn some money from producing food? Are you the person everyone goes to for their lemon meringue pies, apple tarts and other desserts for family occasions, christenings or other events? Do you have a garden of rhubarb or other fruit? Do you make jam every year and give it away when you could be selling it? Do you fancy the idea of making cheese or yogurt or ice cream but don’t know where to start? If so, then this is the book for you - it will tell you everything you need to know or show you where to find it for yourself.

Google Books
Money for Jam 2e: The Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Small Food Business
Oonagh Monahan
Oak Tree Press, 2017 - Food industry and trade - 179 pages
Have you ever thought about trying to earn some money from producing food? Are you the person everyone goes to for their lemon meringue pies, apple tarts and other desserts for family occasions, christenings or other events? Do you have a garden of rhubarb or other fruit? Do you make jam every year and give it away when you could be selling it? Do you fancy the idea of making cheese or yogurt or ice cream but don’t know where to start?

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Sunday, November 10, 2019 • Permalink