Have Money to Burn

Meaning of Idiom ‘Have Money to Burn’

To have money to burn means to have so much money you can spend it on whatever you want, even on unnecessary luxuries or foolish things; to have more money than you need to survive. 1Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,2Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,3Brenner, Gail Abel. Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook. Wiley, 2003.

Compare Money Burns a Hole in Your Pocket.

Usage

This idiom is sometimes pejorative and meant to indicate that the speaker thinks the person with money to burnspends money foolishly. However, the expression can be neutral or positive.

Examples Of Use

“My father is taking offers for movie rights to his book. If a deal goes through, we will have money to burn!”

“Did you see Robinson’s house? There’s gold everywhere. He obviously has money to burn.”

“Our house sold for much more than we thought it would. Since we are downsizing, we will still have money to burn.”

Origin

Used since the late 1800’s.

This idiom alludes to having so much money you can afford to burn it. Burn is used in a similar sense in some other expressions, such as ‘time to burn‘. 4Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

More Idioms Starting with H

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
2, 4. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
3. Brenner, Gail Abel. Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook. Wiley, 2003.