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90s Slang You Should Know


[saw-buhk] /ˈsɔˌbʌk/
a sawhorse.
Origin of sawbuck1
1860-65, Americanism; compare Dutch zaagbok


[saw-buhk] /ˈsɔˌbʌk/
noun, Slang.
a ten-dollar bill.
1840-50, Americanism; so called from the resemblance of the Roman numeral X to the crossbars of a sawbuck1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for sawbuck
Historical Examples
  • When he saw he was to get neither, he hunched his lame hip; scratched his head, balanced the sawbuck, and shuffled away.

    The Madigans Miriam Michelson
  • And she was still sitting as she had fallen when Jim, the Indian, came for the sawbuck.

    The Madigans Miriam Michelson
  • A man who was humped over a sawbuck in a nearby yard straightened up and began to pay strict attention.

  • "He no dead," Jim said, lifting the sawbuck and easing it on his shoulder.

    The Madigans Miriam Michelson
  • The sawbuck followed it, the cinch flying high so that it should go clear.

    The Eagle's Heart Hamlin Garland
  • "Here's your ten and costs," says Pinckney, tossing him a sawbuck.

    Shorty McCabe Sewell Ford
  • As in the case of the riding saddle, the sawbuck pack saddle should be supplied with the double cinch.

    Packing and Portaging Dillon Wallace
  • They drove a pack-horse, their supplies loaded on a sawbuck saddle with kyacks.

    Oh, You Tex! William Macleod Raine
  • The device is in shape much like an old-fashioned “sawbuck,” with the lower rounds between the legs omitted.

    Home Pork Making A. W. Fulton
  • But if you'll come along and make any affidavits that we may need, I'll give you a sawbuck.

British Dictionary definitions for sawbuck


(US & Canadian) a sawhorse, esp one having an X-shaped supporting structure
(mainly US & Canadian, slang) a ten-dollar bill
Word Origin
C19: (in the sense: sawhorse) translated from Dutch zaagbok; (in the sense: ten-dollar bill) from the legs of a sawbuck forming the Roman numeral X
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for sawbuck

"ten-dollar bill," American English slang, 1850, from resemblance of X (Roman numeral 10) to the ends of a sawhorse. Sawbuck in the sense of "sawhorse" is attested only from 1862 but presumably is older (see saw (n.1)).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for sawbuck



A ten-dollar bill; ten dollars

Related Terms

double sawbuck

[1850+; fr the resemblance of the Roman numeral X to the ends of a sawhorse]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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