Understanding the Difference between Quid and Pound in British Currency

Quid and Pound

The world of currency can be vast and overwhelming, especially when terms like “quid” and “pound” are frequently used interchangeably in the UK. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the meaning and distinction between these two currency terms, shedding light on their historical origins and current usage.

The Pound Sterling:

The official currency of the United Kingdom is the pound sterling. Represented by the symbol “£,” it is the primary medium of exchange within the country. One pound sterling is equivalent to 100 pence, making it a fundamental unit for financial transactions in the UK.

Why is it Called a Quid?

The term “quid” is a popular slang expression used to refer to the British pound. Its origin can be traced back to Latin, where “quid” means “something or what.” This informal term likely evolved from the Latin phrase “quid pro quo,” which translates to “something for something” or “this for that.” Over time, “quid” became synonymous with the pound in modern British English.

Highlight: “The term quid is a part of British slang, so it’s better to avoid using it in official or formal interactions.”

How Many Pounds in a Quid? OR How Many Quid in a Pound?

To clarify the difference between “quid” and “pound,” it’s crucial to understand their respective quantities. One pound sterling is equal to 100 pence, whereas “quid” refers to a single unit of the pound currency. To illustrate, saying “ten quid” is equivalent to “ten pounds,” but it would be incorrect to say “ten pounds” for ten individual coins.

Highlight: “One pound is equivalent to 100 pence, while a quid refers to a single unit of the pound currency.”

Pound vs. Quid: Formality and Context Matter

While the terms “pound” and “quid” both refer to the same currency, their usage depends on the context. “Pound” is the formal and official term used in financial transactions, official documents, and formal interactions. On the other hand, “quid” is an informal and colloquial expression, ideal for casual conversations and among friends.

Highlight: “When conversing with someone informally or casually, it’s great to use the term quid. It adds a touch of Britishness and authenticity to any conversation.”

British Coins and Pound Sterling:

In the UK, the pound sterling is available in various denominations, from the £1 coin to the £50 note. The currency system, with its gold and silver coins, has a rich history dating back centuries, reflecting the nation’s economic and cultural heritage.


In conclusion, the difference between “quid” and “pound” is straightforward, yet context matters in their usage. While the pound is the official currency of the United Kingdom, “quid” is a slang term for the pound, commonly used in informal conversations. Understanding these nuances will enable you to engage in meaningful discussions with anyone in the UK, whether it’s about quids or pounds, and appreciate the rich history of the British pound sterling.