Green’s Dictionary of Slang

bone n.4

[SE throw one a bone]

1. (Aus.) a pound sterling, thus in pl., money.

[US]W.H. Thomes Bushrangers 316: Yer old friends stood yer in good need [...] and ye must recollect ’em the next time they comes round the station. If they wants a few bones, give’em, and don’t be mean about it.
[Aus]Truth (Brisbane) 26 Aug. 6/3: [T]here are piles of ‘bones,’ in the slang sense, the kind which make the world go round. Mr. Walsh plays the part of [...] a rich, young fellow [etc].

2. a bribe.

[US]Bartlett Dict. Americanisms (4th edn) 58: Bone A term well understood in New York, and perhaps in other large commercial cities; it means a fee paid by passengers to custom-house officers for permission to pass their baggage with a slight examination. If the bone is large, the trunks may not be opened at all.

3. (US) $1.

[UK]R.B. Hayes letter in Williams Diary and Letters (1922) I 10 March 30: I am about to try to write an answer to your and F.’s ‘bone’ letter; ‘bone’ ’cause it had forty dollars in it.
[US]S. Bailey Ups and Downs of a Crook’s Life 26: Mickey struck me for the loan of a hundred ‘bones’. [Ibid.] 67: At the Mott Street dive, where I spent about twenty ‘bones’ with the boys.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 9: I saw as much as two bones change hands.
[US]H. Green Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 196: There’s a lot of sufferin’ [...] with hop goin’ to fifteen bones a can, ’stead of seven.
[US]O. Johnson Varmint 66: ‘You paying cash?’ said Macnooder [...] ‘Sure!’ said Stover. ‘Well, call it one bone, then.’.
[US]S. Lewis Babbitt (1974) 19: I guess you’ll find thirty-five or forty bones a week worth while!
[US]J. Conroy World to Win 109: I wouldn’t go to no law suit nor mess with no John Law over a measly bone.
[US]G. Fowler Good Night, Sweet Prince 105: Where’s the two bones come in?
[US]C. Himes Imabelle 347: Man, I had twelve bones on twenty-seven.
[US]R. Gover One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding 22: Ain you got no skins, no kale? No bread? No bones, no berries, no boys?
[US]C. Himes Rage in Harlem (1969) 38: Man, I had twelve bones on two twenty-seven.
[US]O. Hawkins Ghetto Sketches 55: Gimme eight bones ’n put it on. Twenty carat gin-u-wine Swiss!
[US](con. 1968) Bunch & Cole Reckoning for Kings (1989) 252: You owe me seventy-five bones.
[US]Eble Campus Sl. Apr. 1: bones – money.
[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 bones Definition: money. Example: I’ll give you fiddy bones for dat skank-ass ho!
[US]C.D. Rosales Word Is Bone [ebook] ‘You got seventy dollars?’ ‘I got a lot more than seventy bones’.

In phrases

bone up (v.)

(US) to pay off a debt.

[US]O. Johnson Varmint 358: You know you said you were going to clean off the whole slate with Al, sure as Turkey boned up.