From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the Simon Templar short story collection, see Boodle (The Saint). For things named Boodles, see Boodles.

Boodle is a slang term for money derived from the Dutch word 'boedel' meaning property or estate.[1][2] Afrikaans inherited the word and its meaning from the Dutch, which probably accounts for its widespread use for money amongst English-speaking South Africans.

In a different context, "boodle jails" were jails in the United States, predominantly during the nineteenth century, in which a tramp or hobo could make an illicit arrangement with a law enforcement officer to stay in the jail without being an actual prisoner.[3] For example, between 1893 and 1899, the Welsh tramp-poet W. H. Davies took advantage of this corrupt system in order to pass the winter in Michigan, staying a series of different jails. Here, with his fellow tramps, Davies would enjoy the relative comfort of "card-playing, singing, smoking, reading, relating experiences and occasionally taking exercise or going out for a walk."[4]


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Partridge, E. (1968), A Dictionary of the Underworld: British and American, George Allen & Unwin, p.62
  4. ^ Hockey, L. (1971), W. H. Davies, University of Wales Press (on behalf of the Welsh Arts Council), p.16