Green’s Dictionary of Slang

quid n.

[? Lat. quid, what (one needs) or quid pro quo, lit. ‘something for something’]

1. [mid-17C+] in pl., money; thus phr. not for quids, not for anything.

2. [late 17C–mid-19C] a guinea.

3. [19C+] (also quidsy) a pound sterling; thus half-a-quid, ten shillings (50p).

4. [mid-19C] (US Und.) $5.

5. [late 19C] the vagina.

6. [1960s] (US black) a dollar bill.

In compounds

big quid (v.)

[1990s] (Aus.) a large amount of money .

quid fishing (n.) [SE fish]

[late 19C] (UK Und.) first-class, expert thieving.

In phrases

for quids

[1920s+] (N.Z.) for anything in the world, e.g. I wouldn’t miss your birthday for quids.

half-a-quid (n.) (also half-quid)

[early 19C+] half a guinea; then ten shillings; latterly 50p.

quick quid (n.)

[1920s+] (Aus./N.Z.) money that is earned quickly and, poss., illicitly.

quids in (also quids, quids up) [the image of making a successful bet and the money thus gained]

[1910s+] doing well, financially or otherwise.

quid to a bloater [lit. ‘a sovereign to a herring’]

[late 19C–1900s] a certain bet; esp. in phr. it’s a quid to a bloater.

smoke a quid (v.) [image of ‘burning money’ + smoke v.2 (7) with implications of ‘killing’ or ‘beating’, i.e. getting rid of the money]

[mid-19C] (UK Und.) to spend money hedonistically.