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  1. #1
    Aamir Tariq is offline Senior Member
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    The expression "Pony Up the Dough" in American English

    In the United States the informal expression "Pony up the dough" is used in two contexts.

    (1st Context) (Where it is used by muggers, robbers, etc in undesirable situations)

    Let's suppose you are out on the street going somewhere probably at mid-night and all of a sudden a mugger appears from nowhere and holds you at a gun point and says. "Pony up the dough" where it means "give me all the money/cash you have".

    Similarly, if your responsibility is to receive cash payments from clients at a cash counter at your workplace and one day a gang of robbers breaks into the buildings and one of them says "Pony up the dough" to you, he means "put all the cash on the table". or give him all the cash out of the drawer.

    (2nd context) (Where it is used by decent and educated people in formal settings)

    Now the same expression is used by decent people in a more formal setting like at banks where you are going to deposit your money and the cashier at the cash counter asks you to "Pony up the dough", he wants you to pay him the money. Where "Pony up" means "to pay" and "the dough" means "cash".

    Am I right in my definitions and the way I explained them?

    Is the expression "Pony up the dough" is also understood by native speakers of English language in countries other than the United States and Canada?

    If not, what is the equivalent of the same expression in countries like the UK, Australia and New Zealand?

    Regards,
    Aamir the Global Citizen

  2. #2
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    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: The expression "Pony Up the Dough" in American English

    Pony up is slang, and has connotations of unpleasantness. If you belong to an organization, a condominium for example, that unexpectedly requires you to make additional financial contributions, you have to pony up. If your stockbroker gives you a margin call, you have to pony up. And if the mob is extorting money from you, again you pony up. I would never expect to hear pony up in an ordinary business context such as your bank example.

  3. #3
    Aamir Tariq is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The expression "Pony Up the Dough" in American English

    So my example in the 2nd context is wrong. Thanks for confirming it is used by Canadians just as I thought.

  4. #4
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    Re: The expression "Pony Up the Dough" in American English

    I would never expect to hear it in the first context either. While it does have a negative connotation, it's not really forceful enough to indicate robbery or violent crime, etc. It has more of a connotation of a sudden, unexpected expense or payment, or something owed.

    I might have to pony up when I lose a bet for example, but not when I'm being mugged.
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    probus's Avatar
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    Re: The expression "Pony Up the Dough" in American English

    I would not be surprised if a mugger said pony up.

  6. #6
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    Re: The expression "Pony Up the Dough" in American English

    He/she would be met with a baffled look by most Brits if he/she tried to mug us! I know the phrase from American films but it's not used here.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  7. #7
    Aamir Tariq is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The expression "Pony Up the Dough" in American English

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    I would never expect to hear it in the first context either. While it does have a negative connotation, it's not really forceful enough to indicate robbery or violent crime, etc. It has more of a connotation of a sudden, unexpected expense or payment, or something owed.

    I might have to pony up when I lose a bet for example, but not when I'm being mugged.
    You got it slightly wrong. What I meant in my question was for instant, God forbids, a person gets mugged, or a robbery happens at a bank or somewhere. And the mugger or criminal is asking you to "Pony up the dough". Which has been made clear in the next post. Anyway thanks each and everyone of you for contributing your valuable thoughts and help on my posts. I appreciate each and everyone of you a lot.

    Regards,
    Aamir the Global Citizen

  8. #8
    Aamir Tariq is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The expression "Pony Up the Dough" in American English

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    He/she would be met with a baffled look by most Brits if he/she tried to mug us! I know the phrase from American films but it's not used here.
    What is not used in Britain, "to mug" or "to pony up/pony up the dough" or both?

    I believe "Pony up the dough is not used in Australia as well since it is purely American.

    Regards,
    Aamir the Global Citizen

  9. #9
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: The expression "Pony Up the Dough" in American English

    If I were being mugged, I'd be indignant at the mugging. If the mugger said "Pony up the dough", I might break out laughing, wondering if he'd been asleep for a few decades. It does not sound like contemporary American slang.
    I am not a teacher.

  10. #10
    Aamir Tariq is offline Senior Member
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    Re: The expression "Pony Up the Dough" in American English

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    If I were being mugged, I'd be indignant at the mugging. If the mugger said "Pony up the dough", I might break out laughing, wondering if he'd been asleep for a few decades. It does not sound like contemporary American slang.
    GoesStation, I always love to receive your valuable opinions on my post, since you belong to the USA. I'm deeply in love with American English as well as the American accent.

    Now, tell me what should be a contemporary American slang when somebody is getting mugged. How would the mugger say in typical American way to give him the money in the event of this street crime?

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