German word of the day: Das Bargeld

The Local Austria
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German word of the day: Das Bargeld
Photo credit: Francesco Ungaro / Unsplash + Nicolas Raymond / flickr

Bargeld is a word which you'll hear a lot in Austria - and used much more than in many other European countries.


Bargeld is the German word for cash. It is made up of Geldscheinen (bank notes) and Münzen (coins) and is still the most popular method of payment in Austria. 70 percent of all transactions in Austria in 2022 were done in cash - one of the highest rates in Europe.

Whereas other countries like Sweden are close to becoming cashless societies, Austrians are sticking with the traditional forms of money. Chancellor Karl Nehammer has even said he wants to guarantee the right for people to pay in cash in the Austrian constitution.

SEE ALSO: Cash in Austria to become a constitutional right, Chancellor vows

Bargeld is a compound noun constructed from Bar (cash) and Geld (money), so literally means “cash money.” Often, just the word bar is used. For example, you might hear your server say Zahlen Sie mit Karte oder Bar? - or "are you paying with card or cash?"

The German idiom Bargeld lacht, (literally “Cash laughs”) equates to the English “Cash is king.”



Normalerweise zahle ich bar aber heute zahle ich mit Karte.

Normally I pay in cash but today I’m paying by card.

Bargeld besteht in Banknoten und Münzen.

Hard money consist of bank notes and coins.






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Anonymous 2018/11/14 16:33
a lot of readers are expats working in international firms and trying to learn and use german in office. It can be good if you could start introducing Geschäftlich sprache worte.

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