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Flush with cash

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on September 30, 2010 at 08:28

In Reply to: Flush with cash posted by David FG on September 30, 2010 at 05:17:

: : : What does "flush with cash" mean and what is the origin of the phrase?

: : Well, it means having plenty of it - that's the easy bit.

: : As to the origin, I am going to have to leave that to someone more expert.

: : DFG

: On reflection, I will have a go: I am more than willing to be corrected.

: One of the meanings of 'flush' is level with the surrounding surface, so if you fill a hole with something until it is 'flush' you have filled it completely, so 'flush with cash' might mean full of the stuff.


Close, DFG! According to the OED, it's from the meaning "Abundantly full. In later use chiefly of a stream, etc: Full to overflowing, swollen, in flood." The quotations supplied show that the idea that cash is one of the things you could be "abundantly full" of dates back to Shakespeare's time: e.g. 1603, Thomas Dekker: "Some dames..are more flush in crownes [i.e. silver coins, not royal headgear] than her good man". (VSD)