Our British Secret Weapon on: The size of British money.

from https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/5-pound-note

Often when I watch British programs, particularly older ones, I notice that when characters take bills or bank notes out of their purses or wallets, those bills are enormous. (This happened most recently when I was watching Midsomer Murders, and DCI Barnaby took some bills out of his wallet to buy his wife a present.) Because I was in Great Britain in 2002 and again in 2009 and didn’t notice then that their money was appreciably bigger, I thought I’d ask Jackie, our British Secret Weapon, about this. Here’s what she had to say:

Jackie:  In the UK we call them notes, not bills, and they are bigger than US ones. We have changed our notes a few times since the 90s and they have got smaller each time. We converted to plastic notes recently – getting a £5 in 2016 and a new £10 last year. This means they can go in the wash without being damaged! The size of the note depends on its value, so you might have seen old £50 notes. These were quite big, but rarely used. The £20s were probably about 3 times bigger than your dollar bills, but I assume they’ll be shrinking again when they are released in plastic form. 

So now I’ve fallen down the Internet rabbit hole of reading about the history of English notes…and information about how big they are…and what those new plastic (polymer) bills look like!

Thanks, Jackie!

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