Where Did the Phrase “Pony Up” Come From and Why Does it Mean “Show Us Your Money”?

Gamblers understand that “pony up” means to put your money into the ante to start a poker game or to make good on your losses.

Pone, pronounced like pony, is from the Latin verb ponere meaning “to seize”.

Its current use came from a legal writ of common law instructing a bailiff to seize a defendant’s goods or obtain security to ensure his appearance at trial.

This writ of pone is more commonly known as bail.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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