Definition of chump change in US English:

chump change


North American
  • A small or insignificant amount of money.

    ‘it's rough, dead-end work that pays chump change’
    • ‘Of course, in a $20 billion rip-off, $125,000 to the boss's son for doing nothing is chump change.’
    • ‘To everyone except the lucky few, $50,000 is not chump change.’
    • ‘And in the great scheme of things, that's chump change.’
    • ‘It'd be nice to make some money, but it's all chump change.’
    • ‘The 100th-ranked player last year made $200,034 in prize money - not exactly chump change.’
    • ‘But that's chump change compared to the holdings of liberal foundations.’
    • ‘Given the potential of gas hydrates as a huge energy source the $10 million per year spent on research by the US government strikes me as chump change.’
    • ‘There's this tendency, when you're dealing with, you know, budgets running in the billions of dollars, you think well, you know, an increase of a few hundred million dollars is peanuts, it's chump change.’
    • ‘A 3% raise is absolute chump change, and if that's the carrot they're dangling in front of you, then what's the point of working hard?’
    • ‘Instead, he goes home with chump change to pay his travel expenses.’
    • ‘He explains why million-dollar grants often amount to little more than chump change given what they need to cover and how disparate groups nevertheless fight over them.’
    • ‘The amount of money involved was chump change for a tycoon who got his board to agree to a severance payment that provided enough for a gold watch, a consignment of replacements, the watch factory and an option on the gold mine.’
    • ‘And all of that is chump change compared to what the government may have to spend to safeguard Social Security for the 76 million baby boomers who begin retiring in 2008.’
    • ‘And, be fair, it's only a handful of chump change out of your salary, so why not, eh?’
    • ‘Its Japanese subsidiary will continue to sell hardware, the company said, but that amounts to chump change.’
    • ‘The bills had been piling up for far too long - L.A. mortgages and private school tuitions are not exactly chump change - and the unemployment payments had long since run out.’
    • ‘A much larger budget deficit (as a share of GDP) was ballooning, in part because of an increase in military spending that makes today's increases look like chump change.’
    • ‘Its dining halls are closed and its students have been given chump change for meal money.’
    • ‘Still, the least expensive new computers with monitor are priced around $500, and brand-name machines start at around $700, which isn't chump change.’
    • ‘It was chump change for the giant carmaker, but the investment ignited talk that hydrogen-based fuel-cell technology might hold the key to a viable, clean-burning alternative to the classic combustion engine.’
    very small sum, pittance, trifle, trifling sum, drop in the ocean, insignificant sum, derisory sum, paltry sum
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1960s: from chump + change, originally in African-American usage.