phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Kite a check (cheque)

Posted by ESC on September 26, 2000

In Reply to: Cockny rhyming slang posted by tom on September 25, 2000

: where does "kite" meaning cheque come from???

Someone better versed in finances will have to explain this one. I couldn't find the origin but I'm sure it comes from the skimming action of a kite bobbing in the wind. The "bad paper" and the guilty party would have to sail along like a kite staying ahead of the authorities and detection. For example, a person writes a "cold check" (one not supported by funds in the bank) but he manages to get to the bank and deposit money before the check is cashed.

The meaning is: "kite, (verb) 1a. commercial. to sustain one's credit by means of an accommodation paper; (also) to write or pass (a fraudulent or temporarily unsupported check), or sell (bogus securities); (hence) Und. to fraudulently raise the amount of (a check)..." From "Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, Volume 1, H-O" by J.E. Lighter, Random House, New York, 1994.