What is the slang for 10-dollar bill? The $10 bill is one of the most commonly used banknotes in the United States. With it being so ubiquitous, it’s no surprise that $10 bills have garnered plenty of nicknames and slang terms over the years.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Some common slang terms for a $10 bill include Hamilton, Sawbuck, Abe, and Ten Spot.

In this comprehensive article, we will explore the origins and meanings behind various slang terms and nicknames for $10 bills. We will uncover the historical and cultural significance behind these colorful colloquialisms. Read on to learn over 15 unique slang expressions for $10 bills.

Background and History of the $10 Bill

The $10 bill has a rich history that dates back to the early days of the United States. It has gone through various design changes and has become an iconic piece of currency. Let’s take a look at when the $10 bill was first issued and the key design changes it has undergone over the years.

When the $10 bill was first issued

The first $10 bill was issued by the United States government in 1861, during the Civil War. At that time, it featured a portrait of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers and the first Secretary of the Treasury.

The design also included intricate engravings and decorative elements that reflected the artistic style of the era.

Over the years, the $10 bill has been redesigned several times to incorporate new security features and updated portraits of significant figures in American history.

Key design changes over the years

One of the most significant design changes to the $10 bill occurred in 1929 when the size of the bill was reduced and standardized to the dimensions we are familiar with today. This change was part of a larger effort to standardize the sizes of all U.S. currency.

In 1990, the $10 bill underwent another redesign, introducing a portrait of Alexander Hamilton on the front and an image of the U.S. Treasury building on the back. This design remained in circulation for over two decades.

However, in 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department announced plans to redesign the $10 bill once again. The new design will feature a portrait of Harriet Tubman, an influential abolitionist and women’s rights activist.

This decision was made to honor Tubman’s contributions to American history and to increase the representation of women in U.S. currency.

It’s important to note that the redesign process for the $10 bill is complex and can take several years to complete. As of now, the new design featuring Harriet Tubman has not yet been released into circulation, but it is expected to be unveiled shortly.

Slang Terms Referring to Alexander Hamilton


One of the most common slang terms used to refer to a $10 bill is “Hamilton.” This term originates from the fact that Alexander Hamilton, one of the founding fathers of the United States, is featured on the front of the bill.

The use of “Hamilton” as a nickname for a $10 bill has become popularized through pop culture references, such as the hit Broadway musical “Hamilton.” So, the next time someone asks you for some cash, you can casually say, “I can lend you a Hamilton!” 


Another commonly used slang term for a $10 bill is “sawbuck.” The term “sawbuck” dates back to the 19th century and is derived from the resemblance between the Roman numeral X (representing 10) and the X-shaped ends of a sawbuck, which is a framework used to hold logs for sawing.

The term has stuck around over the years and is still used today as a casual and playful way to refer to a $10 bill. So, if a friend asks you for some money, you can respond with a smile and say, “Sure, I’ve got a sawbuck to spare!” 

For more information on the history of currency and slang terms related to money, you can visit the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing website. They provide fascinating insights into the design and production of U.S. currency, including the reasoning behind featuring Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill.

It’s truly amazing to see how currency has evolved over the years and the cultural significance it holds!

Slang Terms Referring to Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, is one of the most iconic figures in American history. His contributions to the country, particularly during the Civil War and his efforts to abolish slavery, have earned him widespread admiration and respect.

Over the years, several slang terms have emerged that refer to the image of Abraham Lincoln on the $10 bill.


One of the most commonly used slang terms for a $10 bill is “Abe.” This nickname pays homage to the first name of Abraham Lincoln. It is a short and easy way to refer to a $10 bill in everyday conversation.

For example, someone might say, “I only have a few Abes left in my wallet, so I need to go to the bank.” The use of “Abe” in this context adds a touch of informality and familiarity.


Another popular slang term for a $10 bill is “Lincoln.” This term directly refers to the last name of Abraham Lincoln. Similar to “Abe,” it is a simple way to talk about a $10 bill. For instance, someone might say, “I can’t believe I found a Lincoln in my pocket!

I thought I was broke.” The use of “Lincoln” in this context gives the conversation a playful tone.

It’s worth noting that slang terms can vary depending on the region and cultural context. While “Abe” and “Lincoln” are widely recognized, there may be other regional variations or lesser-known terms used in different parts of the country.

Editor’s Note: The use of slang terms for currency is not unique to the United States. Many countries around the world have their slang terms for different denominations of money. It’s a fun way to add a bit of personality and creativity to everyday conversations about money.

Slang Terms Referring to a Ten Dollar Bill’s Appearance

Ten Spot

One popular slang term for a ten-dollar bill is the “ten spot.” This term is believed to have originated from the fact that the number 10 is often represented as a small dot or spot. It’s a casual and lighthearted way to refer to a ten-dollar bill, and you might hear people say things like, “Hey, can you lend me a ten spot?”

or “I found a ten spot in my pocket!”


Another common slang term for a ten-dollar bill is the “tenner.” This term is derived from the word “ten,” and it is widely used in various English-speaking countries. Similar to the “ten spot,” the term “tenner” is often used in casual conversations and informal settings.

For example, you might hear someone say, “I’ll give you a tenner if you can guess the answer to this riddle!”

It’s interesting to see how language evolves and adapts to create unique slang terms for everyday objects, including currency. Slang terms like “ten-spot” and “tenner” add a touch of personality and creativity to our conversations, making them more colorful and engaging.

So, the next time you’re handed a ten-dollar bill, don’t be surprised if someone refers to it using one of these popular slang terms!

Other Unique Slang Terms for $10 Bills

Aside from the commonly used terms for a $10 bill such as “tenner” or “ten-spot,” there are a few other unique slang terms that you might not be familiar with. These terms add a fun and colorful element to the world of currency and offer a glimpse into the diverse language and culture surrounding money.

Double Sawbuck

One lesser-known term for a $10 bill is the “double sawbuck.” The term “sawbuck” is believed to have originated from the resemblance between the X-shaped Roman numeral for 10 (X) and the legs of a sawbuck, which is a wooden frame used to hold logs for cutting.

By doubling the X, you get the “double sawbuck,” a playful way to refer to a $10 bill.

This term has been used in certain regions or among specific groups, and while it may not be as widely recognized as other slang terms, it still adds a touch of uniqueness to the lexicon of money.


Another slang term often used for a $10 bill is “Jackson.” This term is derived from the portrait of Andrew Jackson, the seventh President of the United States, which is featured on the front of the bill.

Similar to how the $20 bill is often referred to as a “Jackson” because it features the portrait of President Jackson as well, the $10 bill has also earned this nickname.

Using “Jackson” as a slang term for a $10 bill can be seen as a way to pay tribute to the historical figure while also adding a touch of familiarity and camaraderie to the world of currency.

It’s important to note that slang terms for currency can vary depending on the region and the specific community in which they are used. These unique terms not only showcase the creativity and diversity of language, but also provide an interesting insight into the way people interact with and refer to money.

Slang For 10-Dollar Bill – Conclusion

The $10 bill has been called by many colorful nicknames over the decades. These slang terms reflect the rich history of the banknote as well as the cultural impact of the historical figures depicted on them.

The next time you have a $10 bill in your wallet, remember that you are carrying around much more than just ten dollars. You have a Hamilton, a Sawbuck, an Abe, and a Ten Spot.

So the next time you need to reference a $10 bill casually, try using one of these fun slang terms instead of the dry formal name. Not only will you sound cool and in the know, but you’ll also be tapping into the fascinating history behind that greenback in your pocket.

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