Posted by DGW on April 13, 2004
In Reply to: Money talks posted by Smokey Stover on April 12, 2004
: : : : hello, I would be really glad if you could help me about the meaning of this proverb which I don't understand at all . I've heard it was an anti proverb or meta-proverb derived from "money talks nobody walks", but I can't find what it really means : power of money, speech vs action....?
: : : : thanks!
: : : I am from the U.S. and I've never really understood that phrase either. Money talks. Money = power. Bullsh*t is just talk. It's meaningless, hot air. That's all I know.
: : MONEY TALKS ? "An offer of money is often the most persuasive argument in getting someone to do what you want. The saying can be traced back to G. Torriano?s 'Italian Proverbs' ?.First attested in the United States in the 'Saturday Evening Post' (September 3, 1903)?Anoter common modern variant is 'money talks, bullsh*t walks'?" From "Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings" by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996).
: In 1980, the FBI pulled off its first major sting operation aimed at members of Congress, using front men posing as Arab businessmen willing to bribe any members of Congress (Senators and Representatives) willing to accept it for doing favors. They nabbed half a dozen, with the cameras rolling. One of them was Michael Myers, Congressman from SOuth Philly (a place with a distinctive accent and a distinctive way of talking), who urged the "businessmen" to cut to the chase with the words: "Money talks, bullshit walks." He spent a few years in jail, but he's out now, of course. SS
I've asked the same question. Here is my best understanding. "Money talks" = "Money will get attention": clear enough. "Bullshit walks" = "Bullshit doesn't talk; it will not get attention". The "walk" is like "walk away, having been ignored". It's not very apt usage, and likely it is a corruption of something else originally.
The prtotypical application is like this:
A: Would you do this for me?
B: How much will you pay?
A: I don't have any money, but let me explain why you should do it anyway: blah, blah, blah ....
B: Money talks, bullshit walks. [end of discussion; A walks away]