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.

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Entry from November 07, 2019
“Money talks, bullshit walks”

"Money talks” (meaning that money has influence) is an old financial saying, cited in print in various forms from before 1700. “Money talks” was printed in several American newspapers in 1868. 

“Money talks (and) bullshit walks” is a variation of the saying that means that money matters and talk ("bullshitting") doesn’t. The saying was cited in print in the 1960s, but exact dating isn’t possible because the word “bullshit” wasn’t printed in newspapers.

“Money talks, anything else walks” was printed in the Daily News (New York, NY) on March 25, 1965. “We need men who believe money talks, C--p (’crap’—ed.) walks” was printed in the Kansas City (MO) Times on July 18, 1966. “MONEY TALKS, BOLOGNA WALKS” was printed in the South Bend (IN) Tribune on May 12, 1967. “Money talks— bullshit walks” was printed in the book The Cannibals: A Novel about Television’s Savage Chieftains (1968) by Keefe Brasselle.


Wiktionary: money talks, bullshit walks
Etymology
1968, US. Rhyming elaboration of money talks.
Proverb
money talks, bullshit walks

1. Attempting to accomplish a goal by demonstrating possession of material resources will succeed, while attempting to accomplish that goal through mere rhetoric will fail.
Usage notes
Beware that talk and walk are used in the opposite sense from talk the talk/walk the walk, in which talk means “words without action” and walk means “action”. Here talk is used metaphorically to means “has actual effect, shows seriousness”, as in similar actions speak louder than words, instead of in the sense “empty words, without impact”, as in talk is cheap and talk the talk; walk is used to mean “walks away, does not follow through”.

25 March 1965, Daily News (New York, NY), “KO Forecast by Torres Doesn’t Worry Pastrano” by Jim MCCulley, pg. 27C, cols. 1-2:
“Money, man,” replied Willie (Pastrano—ed.). “I didn’t get any offers from Johnson and money talks, anything else walks.”

Newspapers.com
18 July 1966, Kansas City (MO) Times, pg. 7B, col. 3:
Advertising Specialty Sales
We need men who believe money talks, C--p ("crap"—ed.) walks.  PL 3-0070

Newspapers.com
12 May 1967, South Bend (IN) Tribune, pg. 45, col. 2 classified ad:
Economy King Sez:
MONEY TALKS
BOLOGNA WALKS
(Jim Hammes Oldsmobile Inc.—ed.)

Google Books
The Cannibals:
A Novel about Television’s Savage Chieftains

By Keefe Brasselle
New York, NY: Bartholomew House
1968
Pg. 68:
You taught me a great expression a few years ago, Joey— don’t forget it yourself.”

“What expression?” I asked.

“Money talks— bullshit walks.”

Google Books
National Lampoon
Volume 1, Issues 46-51
1974
Pg. 135:
My father, he should rest in peace, used to have a saying . . . “Money talks, bullshit walks.”

Google Books
The Vulture Investors:
The Winners and Losers of the Great American Bankruptcy Feeding Frenzy

By Hilary Rosenberg
New York, NY: HarperBusiness
1993
Pg. 310:
As Zell told Barron’s: “These days money talks, and BS walks.”

Urban Dictionary
Money Talks, Bullshit Walks
Means that cheap talk will get you nowhere, while money will
persuade people to do as you like.
Money talks, bullshit walks, that is how life goes.
#money#bullshit#lies#corruption#work
by J. Malik May 19, 2006

Google Books
Money Talks, Bullsh*t Walks:
Inside the Contrarian Mind of Billionaire Mogul Sam Zell

By Ben E. Johnson
London, UK: Portfolio
2009
Pg. ?:
He described the outcome in typical Zell fashion: “I think it was Confucius who said that ‘money talks and bullshit walks.’”

Google Books
The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs
Compiled by Charles C. Doyle, Wolgang Mieder and Fred Shapiro
New Haven, CT: Yale University Press
2012
Pg. ?:
Money talks, bullshit walks. 1969 Jerry L. Simmons, Deviants ([Berkeley CA]: Glendessary) 115: “These factors are manipulated by skillful lawyers and the more sophisticated culprits, and they are summarized in the cynical convict adage: “Money talks and bullshit walks.’”

OCLC WorldCat record
Millionaire dating money talks, bullshit walks
Author: Helen Britt
Publisher: Cork : BookBaby, 2012.
Edition/Format: eBook : Document : Fiction : English
Summary:
Introduction Max, a millionaire, is pursued by Jane for an intimate relationship. He thinks that for once he has met someone actually fancies him but she has something up her sleeve.

OCLC WorldCat record
“Money talks, bullshit walks” interrogating notions of consumption and survival sex among young women engaging in transactional sex in post-apartheid South Africa: a qualitative enquiry
Author: Zembe, Yanga Z; Townsend, Loraine; Thorson, Anna; Ekström, Anna
Publisher: BioMed Central Ltd. 2013-07-18
Edition/Format: Downloadable article : English
Publication: BioMed Central Ltd.
Summary:
Abstract Background Transactional sex is believed to be a significant driver of the HIV epidemic among young women in South Africa. This sexual risk behaviour is commonly associated with age mixing, concurrency and unsafe sex.

OCLC WorldCat record
Money talks, bullsh*t walks : inside the contrarian mind of billionaire mogul sam zell
Author: Ben Johnson
Publisher: New York : Portfolio, 2014.
Edition/Format: eBook : Document : English
Summary:
“The challenge is, how do we get somebody 126 years old to get it up’” This was Sam Zell’s unique way of saying hello to a large gathering at the Los Angeles Times shortly after taking charge of Tribune Company. “I’m your Viagra, OK’”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • Thursday, November 07, 2019 • Permalink