These are the seeds of the plant we call Honesty – Lunaria annua is its posh name, and as you can see it is indeed moon-like. It has plenty of other names – The Money Plant, Silver Dollars or Chinese Dollars among them. There is no doubt that the money on the plant in our picture definitely needs to be laundered.
Filthy lucre – ill-gotten gains – or more particularly these days, the delicious and illicit enjoyment that goes with the acquisition of the aforementioned – has a long and illustrious career. Some of Google’s friends mention that it is found in the King James Version of the Christian bible – first available around 1611 and our phrase possibly dates back to the English translation of the bible produced by William Tyndale around 1525 (for which he was executed as a heretic). However a different bunch of Google’s friends mention that it was used by Geoffrey Chaucer in the Prioress’s Tale (not quite true but pretty close) probably written just before 1400.
Then, there’s the other lot who think we pinched it from Latin – or French – or Dutch.
So, here today, once again, we can enjoy the pleasure of our ill-gotten gains.