Top 48 Slang For Impoverished – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to discussing financial struggles, finding the right words can be challenging. But fear not, we’ve got you covered. Our team has scoured the depths of slang to bring you a list of the most relatable and commonly used slang terms for the financially strapped. Get ready to expand your vocabulary and maybe even find a term that perfectly captures your situation. Let’s dive in and explore this insightful list!

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1. Broke

This term is commonly used to describe someone who is financially struggling or has no money. It can also refer to a lack of resources or being in a difficult financial situation.

  • For example, “I can’t afford to go out to dinner tonight, I’m broke.”
  • A person might say, “I’m broke until payday, so I can’t buy anything right now.”
  • In a conversation about finances, someone might mention, “Being broke is a constant source of stress.”

2. Skint

This slang term is used in British English to describe someone who is completely out of money. It is similar in meaning to “broke” and is often used in casual conversations.

  • For instance, “I can’t go on vacation this year, I’m skint.”
  • A person might say, “I’m skint until I get my paycheck, so I can’t go out this weekend.”
  • In a discussion about financial struggles, someone might mention, “Being skint is tough, but it teaches you to be resourceful.”

3. Penniless

This word is used to describe someone who is completely without money or resources. It emphasizes a state of extreme poverty and a lack of financial means.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he became penniless and had to rely on charity.”
  • A person might say, “I’m penniless right now, so I can’t afford any luxuries.”
  • In a conversation about financial hardships, someone might mention, “Being penniless is a difficult situation to be in, but it can also be a motivator for change.”

4. Strapped

This slang term is used to describe someone who is in a tight financial situation or lacking funds. It implies a sense of being constrained or limited due to a lack of money.

  • For instance, “I can’t go shopping today, I’m strapped for cash.”
  • A person might say, “I’m strapped right now, so I can’t afford to eat out.”
  • In a discussion about budgeting, someone might mention, “Being strapped forces you to prioritize your expenses and be more mindful of your spending.”

5. Hard up

This phrase is used to describe someone who is in a difficult financial situation or struggling financially. It conveys a sense of hardship and a lack of resources.

  • For example, “I can’t afford to pay my bills this month, I’m hard up.”
  • A person might say, “I’m hard up right now, so I can’t afford to buy new clothes.”
  • In a conversation about financial struggles, someone might mention, “Being hard up is tough, but it teaches you to be resourceful and appreciate what you have.”

6. Flat broke

When someone is “flat broke,” it means they have no money at all.

  • For example, “I can’t go out to eat tonight, I’m flat broke.”
  • A person might say, “I need to find a job soon, I’m flat broke.”
  • Someone might ask, “Can you lend me some money? I’m flat broke.”

7. Down and out

Being “down and out” refers to a state of extreme poverty or despair.

  • For instance, “After losing his job, he was down and out for months.”
  • A person might say, “I used to be rich, but now I’m down and out.”
  • Someone might describe a homeless person as “down and out.”

8. Dirt poor

When someone is “dirt poor,” it means they are extremely impoverished.

  • For example, “They grew up in a dirt-poor neighborhood.”
  • A person might say, “I come from a dirt-poor family.”
  • Someone might describe a rundown area as “full of dirt-poor people.”

9. Destitute

Being “destitute” means being completely without money or resources.

  • For instance, “After losing everything, he was left destitute.”
  • A person might say, “I have no job and no home, I’m destitute.”
  • Someone might describe a homeless person as “utterly destitute.”

10. Bankrupt

When someone is “bankrupt,” it means they have been legally declared unable to pay their debts.

  • For example, “The company went bankrupt and had to close down.”
  • A person might say, “I lost everything and had to declare bankruptcy.”
  • Someone might ask, “How did they end up going bankrupt?”

11. Insolvent

This term refers to a person or entity that is unable to pay their debts or meet their financial obligations. It is often used to describe someone who is completely out of money or bankrupt.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he became completely insolvent and had to file for bankruptcy.”
  • In a discussion about financial struggles, someone might say, “I’m barely making ends meet, I feel like I’m insolvent.”
  • A person describing their financial situation might say, “I’m so broke right now, I’m practically insolvent.”

12. Poverty-stricken

This term describes individuals or communities that are living in extreme poverty, lacking basic necessities and struggling to meet their daily needs.

  • For instance, “The poverty-stricken neighborhood lacked access to clean water and proper sanitation.”
  • In a conversation about global poverty, someone might say, “Many countries in Africa are still poverty-stricken despite efforts to alleviate poverty.”
  • A person discussing social inequality might mention, “The gap between the wealthy and the poverty-stricken continues to widen.”

13. Needy

This term refers to individuals who lack the basic necessities of life, such as food, shelter, and clothing. It is often used to describe people who are in a state of extreme poverty or financial hardship.

  • For example, “The charity provides assistance to the needy by offering free meals and shelter.”
  • In a discussion about social welfare, someone might say, “We need to do more to support the needy in our society.”
  • A person describing their financial struggles might say, “I’m in a really tough spot right now, I’m feeling so needy.”

14. Impoverished

This term describes individuals or communities that are living in extreme poverty, lacking financial resources and struggling to meet their basic needs.

  • For instance, “The impoverished village had no access to healthcare or education.”
  • In a conversation about income inequality, someone might say, “The gap between the rich and the impoverished is widening.”
  • A person discussing global poverty might mention, “Many countries in Africa are still plagued by impoverished communities.”

15. Struggling

This term refers to individuals who are facing financial difficulties or hardships. It can describe someone who is having trouble making ends meet or who is experiencing a period of financial instability.

  • For example, “The struggling family had to rely on food banks to feed their children.”
  • In a discussion about the economy, someone might say, “Many small businesses are struggling to survive during these challenging times.”
  • A person describing their financial situation might say, “I’m really struggling right now, it’s hard to make ends meet.”

16. Hand-to-mouth

This term describes a situation where a person or a family is barely able to meet their basic needs, such as food and shelter. It implies that there is no financial security or surplus income.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he was forced to live hand-to-mouth, struggling to pay his bills.”
  • A person discussing poverty might say, “Many families in developing countries live hand-to-mouth, with no access to education or healthcare.”
  • In a conversation about financial planning, someone might advise, “It’s important to save money for emergencies so you’re not constantly living hand-to-mouth.”

17. Threadbare

This term is used to describe something, usually clothing or fabric, that is worn-out, tattered, or in poor condition due to extensive use or age.

  • For instance, “Her threadbare sweater had holes in the elbows and frayed edges.”
  • When talking about old furniture, someone might say, “The threadbare sofa in the waiting room desperately needs to be replaced.”
  • In a discussion about poverty, a person might mention, “Many people in impoverished areas have to wear threadbare clothing due to lack of resources.”

18. Skid row

Skid row refers to a neighborhood or district in a city that is known for its high concentration of poverty, homelessness, and social issues. It often has a reputation for being a dangerous or disadvantaged area.

  • For example, “The city’s skid row is filled with makeshift tents and people struggling with addiction.”
  • In a conversation about urban poverty, someone might mention, “Many homeless shelters and outreach programs are located in or near skid row.”
  • A person discussing social inequality might say, “Skid row is a stark reminder of the deep-rooted issues of poverty and homelessness in our society.”

19. Ragged

This term describes something, usually clothing or an object, that is in poor condition, torn, or frayed. It implies a lack of resources or the inability to afford new or well-maintained items.

  • For instance, “His ragged shoes had holes in the soles and were barely holding together.”
  • When discussing a dilapidated building, someone might say, “The walls were covered in peeling paint and the floors were covered in ragged carpet.”
  • In a conversation about poverty, a person might mention, “Many children in impoverished areas wear ragged clothing due to lack of access to new clothes.”

20. Pinched

This term describes a situation where someone is experiencing financial hardship or struggling to make ends meet. It implies a lack of financial resources and difficulty meeting basic needs.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he had to live on a pinched budget, cutting back on expenses.”
  • When discussing a tight financial situation, someone might say, “We’re feeling pinched this month and have to be careful with our spending.”
  • In a conversation about economic inequality, a person might mention, “Many families in low-income communities are constantly pinched, unable to break free from the cycle of poverty.”

21. Tightening the belt

This phrase refers to the act of reducing one’s spending or living a more frugal lifestyle due to financial difficulties.

  • For example, “With the recent pay cut, we’ll have to start tightening our belts and find ways to save money.”
  • A person discussing their financial situation might say, “I’ve been tightening my belt for months now, trying to make ends meet.”
  • A friend might offer advice, “If you want to save more money, you should start tightening your belt and avoid unnecessary expenses.”

22. Living in penury

This phrase describes the state of living in extreme poverty, often characterized by a lack of basic necessities and a constant struggle to make ends meet.

  • For instance, “Despite working long hours, they are still living in penury.”
  • A person discussing their upbringing might say, “I grew up in a neighborhood where many families were living in penury.”
  • A news article might report, “The economic crisis has left thousands of people living in penury, unable to afford basic necessities.”

23. Without a pot to piss in

This phrase is used to describe someone who is extremely poor or lacking any financial resources.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he found himself without a pot to piss in.”
  • A person discussing their financial struggles might say, “I’m in a tough spot right now, without a pot to piss in.”
  • A friend might sympathize, “I can’t believe you’re without a pot to piss in. Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help.”

24. On the skids

This phrase is used to describe someone or something that is experiencing a decline in financial circumstances or facing financial difficulties.

  • For instance, “After the company went bankrupt, he found himself on the skids.”
  • A person discussing their financial struggles might say, “Ever since I lost my job, I’ve been on the skids.”
  • A news article might report, “The local economy is on the skids, with many businesses closing down.”

25. In the poorhouse

This phrase refers to the state of living in extreme poverty or destitution, often with no means of escaping the situation.

  • For example, “After losing everything in a financial crisis, they ended up in the poorhouse.”
  • A person discussing their financial struggles might say, “I’m one step away from ending up in the poorhouse.”
  • A news article might report, “The number of people living in the poorhouse has increased significantly due to the economic downturn.”

26. Down at heel

This phrase is used to describe someone who is in a state of poverty or financial hardship. It often implies a sense of being worn down or neglected.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he found himself down at heel and unable to make ends meet.”
  • In a discussion about social inequality, someone might say, “Many people in our community are down at heel and need assistance.”
  • A writer might describe a character as “a down at heel beggar,“a down at heel beggar, shuffling along the streets.”

27. In the red

This slang term is used to describe someone who is in a negative financial situation, often indicating that they owe money or are in debt.

  • For instance, “After overspending on their credit cards, they found themselves in the red.”
  • In a conversation about personal finance, someone might admit, “I’ve been struggling to get out of the red for months.”
  • A financial advisor might warn, “Continually spending more than you earn will keep you in the red.”

28. In the gutter

This phrase is used to describe someone who is in a state of extreme poverty or destitution. It implies a sense of being at the lowest point in terms of financial well-being.

  • For example, “After losing everything in a fire, they were left in the gutter with no place to go.”
  • In a discussion about social welfare, someone might argue, “We need to provide support for those in the gutter and help them get back on their feet.”
  • A writer might describe a character as “an elderly man,“an elderly man, forgotten and living in the gutter.”

29. Down on luck

This phrase is used to describe someone who is currently experiencing a period of unfortunate events or bad luck, often leading to financial difficulties.

  • For instance, “After a series of failed business ventures, he was down on his luck and struggling to make ends meet.”
  • In a conversation about personal struggles, someone might say, “I’ve been down on my luck lately, but I’m hopeful things will turn around.”
  • A friend might offer support by saying, “Don’t worry, everyone goes through a down on luck phase at some point.”

30. Struggling financially

This phrase is a straightforward way to describe someone who is facing financial challenges or difficulties.

  • For example, “After losing their job, they found themselves struggling financially and unable to pay their bills.”
  • In a discussion about economic inequality, someone might say, “Many families in our community are struggling financially and need assistance.”
  • A financial advisor might give tips on budgeting and say, “If you’re struggling financially, it’s important to track your expenses and prioritize your spending.”

31. In financial hardship

This term refers to someone who is facing difficulties or challenges in managing their finances. It implies a lack of financial resources and the inability to meet financial obligations.

  • For example, “Due to the loss of his job, he is currently in financial hardship.”
  • A person might say, “I’m in financial hardship right now and struggling to make ends meet.”
  • Another might explain, “Being in financial hardship means having to make tough choices and sacrifices.”

32. Living below the poverty line

This phrase describes individuals or households whose income falls below the poverty threshold set by the government. It indicates a state of extreme financial deprivation and a lack of basic necessities.

  • For instance, “Many families in this neighborhood are living below the poverty line.”
  • A person might say, “Growing up, we were living below the poverty line and had to rely on government assistance.”
  • Another might explain, “Living below the poverty line means struggling to afford food, housing, and healthcare.”

33. In a financial bind

This expression is used to describe someone who is in a difficult or challenging financial situation. It implies being trapped or constrained by financial problems and having limited options.

  • For example, “I’m in a financial bind right now and don’t know how to pay my bills.”
  • A person might say, “Due to unexpected expenses, I find myself in a financial bind.”
  • Another might explain, “Being in a financial bind means feeling stressed and overwhelmed by financial obligations.”

34. Financially strapped

This term describes someone who is experiencing a shortage or scarcity of money. It suggests a lack of financial stability and the inability to meet financial needs or obligations.

  • For instance, “After losing his job, he became financially strapped.”
  • A person might say, “I’m financially strapped right now and can’t afford to go on vacation.”
  • Another might explain, “Being financially strapped means living paycheck to paycheck and struggling to save.”

35. In a money crunch

This phrase is used to describe someone who is facing a period of financial instability or hardship. It implies a shortage or lack of money and the need to make careful financial decisions.

  • For example, “Due to unexpected expenses, I’m currently in a money crunch.”
  • A person might say, “I’m in a money crunch right now and need to find ways to save.”
  • Another might explain, “Being in a money crunch means having to prioritize expenses and cut back on non-essential items.”

36. In a financial pickle

This phrase is used to describe someone who is facing financial difficulties or challenges.

  • For example, “After losing his job, John found himself in a financial pickle.”
  • A person might say, “I can’t afford to go on vacation this year, I’m in a financial pickle.”
  • Another might ask, “How did you end up in a financial pickle like this?”

37. Strapped for cash

This phrase is used to describe someone who has a limited amount of money or is facing a financial shortage.

  • For instance, “I can’t go out to eat tonight, I’m strapped for cash.”
  • A person might say, “I’m strapped for cash this month, so I can’t buy any new clothes.”
  • Another might ask, “Can you lend me some money? I’m a bit strapped for cash at the moment.”

38. Living hand to mouth

This phrase is used to describe someone who is living in poverty and barely able to afford the basic necessities of life.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he was living hand to mouth.”
  • A person might say, “I grew up in a poor neighborhood where everyone was living hand to mouth.”
  • Another might comment, “It’s difficult to break the cycle of living hand to mouth.”

39. Dirtbag

This term is often used to insult or demean someone who is considered to be poor or of low social status.

  • For instance, “He’s such a dirtbag, always begging for money.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t associate with him, he’s just a dirtbag.”
  • Another might comment, “I can’t believe she’s dating that dirtbag.”

40. Raggedy

This term is used to describe something that is in poor condition or of low quality, often associated with poverty.

  • For example, “He was wearing raggedy clothes and had holes in his shoes.”
  • A person might say, “Don’t buy that raggedy old car, it’s a piece of junk.”
  • Another might comment, “The house was in a raggedy state, with peeling paint and broken windows.”

41. Tight

This term describes someone who is experiencing financial difficulties or is in a tight financial situation.

  • For example, “I can’t go out to eat tonight, I’m tight on money.”
  • A person might say, “I need to find a second job, my finances are tight.”
  • Another might mention, “I’ve been tight ever since I lost my job.”

42. Down on one’s luck

This phrase refers to someone who is experiencing a period of bad luck or misfortune, often resulting in financial struggles.

  • For instance, “He lost his job and his car broke down, he’s really down on his luck.”
  • In a discussion about financial difficulties, someone might say, “Many people in our community are down on their luck and need assistance.”
  • A person might describe their own situation by saying, “I’ve been down on my luck lately, everything seems to go wrong.”

43. Deprived

This term describes someone who is lacking basic necessities, such as food, shelter, or resources.

  • For example, “Many children in impoverished areas are deprived of proper education.”
  • In a conversation about poverty, someone might say, “People living in poverty often face deprived living conditions.”
  • A person might discuss the effects of deprivation by saying, “Being deprived of essential resources can have long-term consequences.”

44. Beggarly

This word describes someone who is extremely poor or living in poverty.

  • For instance, “The beggarly conditions in the slums are heartbreaking.”
  • In a discussion about income inequality, someone might say, “The gap between the wealthy and the beggarly continues to widen.”
  • A person might describe a community by saying, “Many families in this area live in beggarly conditions.”

45. Indigent

This term refers to someone who is impoverished or in a state of extreme need.

  • For example, “The organization provides assistance to indigent individuals and families.”
  • In a conversation about social welfare, someone might say, “Support programs are essential for helping indigent populations.”
  • A person might discuss the challenges faced by the indigent by saying, “Indigent individuals often struggle to access basic necessities and resources.”

46. Underprivileged

This term refers to individuals or groups who lack the resources or opportunities that are considered necessary for a decent standard of living. It often implies a lack of access to education, healthcare, and other basic needs.

  • For example, a social worker might say, “We need to provide support for underprivileged families in our community.”
  • In a discussion about social inequality, someone might argue, “The underprivileged are often trapped in a cycle of poverty.”
  • A news article might highlight, “Programs are being implemented to bridge the gap for underprivileged students.”

47. In need

This phrase is used to describe individuals who are lacking the basic necessities of life or are experiencing financial hardship. It implies a state of being in need of assistance or support.

  • For instance, a charity organization might say, “We provide aid to those in need.”
  • In a conversation about homelessness, someone might say, “We need to find solutions to help the needy in our society.”
  • A person might ask, “How can we best support those in need during times of crisis?”

48. Moneyless

This term describes individuals who have no money or are completely without funds. It emphasizes the lack of financial resources.

  • For example, someone might say, “I’m currently moneyless and looking for work.”
  • In a discussion about financial struggles, a person might share, “I’ve been moneyless before and it’s a difficult situation.”
  • A news headline might read, “Rising unemployment leaves many people moneyless and struggling to make ends meet.”
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