Cash - definition and meaning

Cash refers to money in its most physical form. In other words, it refers to banknotes and coins. Technically, it also includes short-term deposits, cheques and other negotiable instruments. However, from a layman's perspective, it is simply coins and banknotes.

In finance and accounting the term refers to a company's current assets. They include currency or currency equivalents that are available immediately or almost immediately.
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There are several slang terms such as dough, bread and red (UK: dosh, lolly).

In business we use the term when talking about a reserve for payments in case a company suddenly has liquidity problems. It can also serve as a buffer against economic downturns.
As a verb, the word means to convert something into liquid money, as in the expression "cash a cheque". Likewise, a lot of people have now started to get into Bitcoin Cash casinos . Now every second person plays online games in which you can earn money but at the same time now it is bitcoin casinos that are most popular because cryptocurrencies are becoming more and more popular .

Origin of the word "cash"

The English term comes from either Romance languages or southern India.

In accounting, we report the amount of cash or cash equivalents in the balance sheet as the first item of current assets. The term cash equivalents refers to assets that can be quickly cashed out .

Romance languages - the modern English word is probably derived from the French word "caisse" which means (piggy bank), the Provençal word "caissa", the Italian "cassa" and the Latin "capsa".  The Provencal, Italian and Latin words mean 'box'.

In the 18th century, the term changed from denoting a box of money to money itself.

South India and Sri Lanka - some people say the term comes from the Tamil word kasu (Tamil: காசு), which means coin. It is said to have been brought to Europe by people working for the East India Company.

The FT Lexicon defines cash as:

"Coins and notes, as well as short-term deposits, cheques and other negotiable instruments that can be easily exchanged for coins and notes".

Demand for cash is falling

Banknotes and coins make up a much smaller part of the money supply today than they did many years ago. Their current role is to provide a form of payment and currency storage for people who do not want to use financial services.

In other words, banknotes and coins are popular with people who do not have bank accounts.

We also use coins and notes to make small payments. However, electronic payment systems are rapidly gaining the upper hand. As the use of debit cards has increased, the demand for coins and notes has declined.
Despite this, the amount of cash in circulation has increased. The value of US dollars in circulation rose by 42% from 2007 to 2012. The value of British pounds in circulation increased by 29% from 2008 to 2013.

We should not confuse this term with "cash flow", which is the movement of funds into and out of a company , organisation or account.

Companies keep a few coins and notes on hand to make small payments. We call this money 'petty cash'. This money is managed by petty cashiers or petty cash custodians .
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