Top 32 Slang For Poor Person – Meaning & Usage

In a world where financial struggles are all too common, it’s important to recognize and understand the language that emerges from these experiences. From the streets to social media, there is a unique slang for those facing economic challenges. At FluentSlang, we’ve delved into this underrepresented lexicon to bring you a list of the most popular and intriguing terms used by those navigating through tough times. Get ready to expand your vocabulary and gain a deeper understanding of the realities faced by many.

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1. Broke

This term refers to someone who has little to no money or is experiencing financial difficulties.

  • For example, “I can’t afford to go out to eat, I’m broke.”
  • A person might say, “I need to find a job soon, I’m broke and can’t pay my bills.”
  • In a conversation about money, someone might ask, “Are you broke too?”

2. Destitute

This word describes someone who is extremely poor and lacking basic necessities.

  • For instance, “After losing his job, he became destitute and had to rely on food banks.”
  • In a discussion about poverty, someone might say, “Many people in developing countries live in destitute conditions.”
  • A person sharing a personal story might say, “At one point in my life, I was homeless and destitute.”

3. Penniless

This term describes someone who has no money at all.

  • For example, “I can’t even afford a cup of coffee, I’m penniless.”
  • In a conversation about financial struggles, someone might say, “I lost my job and now I’m penniless.”
  • A person might ask, “Can you lend me some money? I’m completely penniless.”

4. Impoverished

This word describes someone who is living in poverty or experiencing extreme financial hardship.

  • For instance, “The government should do more to help the impoverished population.”
  • In a discussion about income inequality, someone might say, “Many families are trapped in a cycle of impoverished living.”
  • A person might share a personal experience and say, “Growing up, my family was impoverished and struggled to make ends meet.”

5. Indigent

This term describes someone who is without financial resources or support.

  • For example, “The organization provides aid to indigent individuals and families.”
  • In a conversation about social welfare, someone might say, “We need to do more to help the indigent population.”
  • A person might ask, “Is there any assistance available for indigent individuals who can’t afford healthcare?”

6. 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 individuals who are in a state of financial distress or bankruptcy.

  • For example, “After losing his job and accumulating debt, he became insolvent.”
  • In a discussion about personal finance, someone might say, “Managing your expenses is crucial to avoid becoming insolvent.”
  • A financial advisor might offer advice on avoiding insolvency, saying, “Creating a budget and saving money can help prevent financial insolvency.”

7. Needy

This term is used to describe individuals who lack financial resources and are in need of assistance or support. It can refer to both individuals experiencing temporary financial difficulties and those who are chronically struggling with poverty.

  • For instance, “The organization provides support for needy families during the holiday season.”
  • In a conversation about social welfare, someone might say, “We should prioritize helping the needy in our community.”
  • A news article might discuss the challenges faced by the needy, stating, “Many elderly individuals are among the most financially challenged in our society.”

8. Poverty-stricken

This term describes individuals or communities that are living in extreme poverty or experiencing a severe lack of resources. It emphasizes the dire financial conditions and the significant impact it has on their quality of life.

  • For example, “The poverty-stricken neighborhood lacks access to basic amenities.”
  • In a discussion about global inequality, someone might say, “Many countries in Africa are still poverty-stricken.”
  • A social activist might raise awareness about poverty-stricken communities, stating, “We need to address the underlying causes of poverty to uplift the poverty-stricken.”

9. Hard up

This term is used to describe individuals who are facing financial difficulties or are in a tight financial situation. It implies that someone is experiencing a shortage of money or resources.

  • For instance, “After losing her job, she found herself hard up and unable to pay her bills.”
  • In a conversation about personal finance, someone might say, “I’m currently hard up, so I need to cut back on expenses.”
  • A friend might offer support to someone who is hard up, saying, “Let me know if you need any help while you’re struggling financially.”

10. Strapped

This term is often used to describe individuals who have a limited amount of money or are experiencing a temporary shortage of funds. It suggests that someone is financially constrained or lacking sufficient resources.

  • For example, “I can’t afford to go on vacation right now, I’m strapped for cash.”
  • In a discussion about budgeting, someone might say, “When you’re strapped, it’s important to prioritize essential expenses.”
  • A person might ask for a favor, acknowledging their financial situation by saying, “I hate to ask, but I’m a bit strapped at the moment. Is there any chance you could lend me some money?”

11. Dirt poor

This phrase is used to describe someone who is extremely poor or lacking in wealth. It emphasizes the extreme level of poverty.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he became dirt poor and struggled to make ends meet.”
  • In a discussion about poverty, someone might say, “Many people in developing countries live in dirt poor conditions.”
  • A person describing their financial situation might say, “I grew up dirt poor and had to work hard to improve my circumstances.”

12. Beggarly

This term refers to someone who is extremely poor or lacking in financial resources. It conveys a sense of extreme poverty and destitution.

  • For instance, “He lived a beggarly existence, relying on handouts for survival.”
  • In a discussion about income inequality, someone might say, “The gap between the rich and the beggarly continues to widen.”
  • A person describing their financial struggles might say, “I was in a beggarly state after losing my job and had to rely on charity for support.”

13. Fortuneless

This word describes someone who is lacking in both financial resources and luck. It implies a state of misfortune and financial hardship.

  • For example, “She was born into a fortuneless family and faced many challenges in life.”
  • In a discussion about economic inequality, someone might say, “Many people are trapped in a cycle of fortuneless poverty.”
  • A person describing their financial situation might say, “I’ve had a string of fortuneless events that have left me struggling to make ends meet.”

14. Pinched

This term is used to describe someone who is experiencing financial difficulty or hardship. It conveys a sense of financial strain and tightness.

  • For instance, “During the recession, many families felt pinched and had to cut back on expenses.”
  • In a discussion about living paycheck to paycheck, someone might say, “I’m always feeling pinched at the end of the month.”
  • A person describing their financial struggles might say, “I’m feeling pinched right now and can’t afford any extra expenses.”

15. Reduced

This word describes someone who is experiencing a decrease or limitation in their financial resources. It conveys a sense of financial decline or constraint.

  • For example, “After losing his job, his income was reduced and he had to make significant lifestyle changes.”
  • In a discussion about budgeting, someone might say, “I had to live on a reduced income for a while and it was challenging.”
  • A person describing their financial situation might say, “I’m currently on a reduced budget and can’t afford any luxuries.”

16. Underprivileged

This term refers to individuals or groups who lack the advantages or resources that others may have. It often relates to socio-economic status or access to opportunities.

  • For example, a social worker might say, “We need to focus on providing support to the underprivileged communities.”
  • A news article might discuss, “The underprivileged youth who face challenges in accessing quality education.”
  • In a conversation about social inequality, someone might argue, “We need policies that address the needs of the underprivileged.”

17. Skint

This slang term is commonly used in the UK and Australia to describe someone who has no money. It implies a state of financial hardship or lack of funds.

  • For instance, a friend might say, “I can’t go out tonight, I’m skint.”
  • In a discussion about budgeting, someone might admit, “I’m always skint by the end of the month.”
  • A comedian might make a joke like, “I’m so skint, I’m thinking of opening a museum of empty pockets.”

18. Down and out

This phrase is used to describe someone who is in a state of extreme poverty or has hit rock bottom financially. It suggests a lack of resources, support, or opportunities.

  • For example, a news article might discuss, “The plight of the down and out in the city.”
  • In a conversation about homelessness, someone might say, “We need to find solutions for the down and out.”
  • A writer might describe a character in a novel as, “A down and out soul, struggling to make ends meet.”

19. Flat broke

This slang term indicates a complete lack of money or financial resources. It suggests a state of being completely without funds.

  • For instance, a friend might say, “I can’t go out for lunch, I’m flat broke.”
  • In a conversation about financial struggles, someone might admit, “I’ve been flat broke before, it’s not easy.”
  • A person might describe their financial situation as, “I’m living paycheck to paycheck, always on the verge of being flat broke.”

20. Hand-to-mouth

This phrase describes a lifestyle or financial situation in which a person has just enough money to cover their basic needs, with no surplus or savings. It implies a lack of financial stability or security.

  • For example, a parent might say, “We’re living hand-to-mouth right now, just trying to make ends meet.”
  • In a discussion about economic inequality, someone might argue, “Many families in our country are stuck in a hand-to-mouth existence.”
  • A financial advisor might give tips on budgeting and say, “To break the cycle of living hand-to-mouth, it’s important to prioritize saving and investing.”

21. Struggling

This term describes someone who is facing financial hardships or challenges. It often implies a continuous state of struggling to make ends meet or overcome financial obstacles.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he has been struggling to pay his bills.”
  • A person discussing their financial situation might say, “I’m currently struggling to make ends meet.”
  • In a conversation about the economy, someone might mention, “Many families are struggling to afford basic necessities.”

22. On the breadline

This phrase refers to someone who is living at or below the poverty line. It suggests a state of extreme financial hardship or scarcity where one’s income is barely enough to cover basic necessities, including food.

  • For instance, “After losing her job, she found herself on the breadline.”
  • In a discussion about income inequality, someone might mention, “Millions of people are currently living on the breadline.”
  • A person reflecting on their past struggles might say, “I remember the days when I was on the breadline, barely able to afford food.”

23. Skid row

This term originated in the United States to describe a neighborhood or area where impoverished and homeless individuals tend to gather or reside. It often implies a place with high levels of poverty, substance abuse, and social issues.

  • For example, “The city’s skid row is known for its large homeless population.”
  • In a discussion about urban poverty, someone might say, “Skid row areas highlight the need for affordable housing and support services.”
  • A person talking about the challenges faced by homeless individuals might mention, “Many people on skid row struggle with addiction and mental health issues.”

24. Ragged

This term describes someone who appears unkempt or poorly dressed, often due to a lack of resources or financial means to afford new or well-maintained clothing.

  • For instance, “He walked into the room wearing ragged clothes.”
  • In a conversation about appearances, someone might say, “Her ragged appearance suggested she was struggling financially.”
  • A person discussing poverty and its effects on self-esteem might mention, “Feeling ragged can contribute to a sense of shame and social exclusion.”

25. Strapped for cash

This phrase indicates a temporary or immediate lack of funds or financial resources. It suggests a situation where someone is in need of money or facing a financial challenge.

  • For example, “I can’t go out tonight, I’m strapped for cash.”
  • In a discussion about budgeting, someone might say, “I’m always strapped for cash at the end of the month.”
  • A person talking about financial difficulties might mention, “Being strapped for cash can lead to stress and limited options.”

26. Bankrupt

This term refers to a person or business that is completely out of money and unable to pay their debts. It can also be used more generally to describe someone who has no money or resources.

  • For example, “After losing his job, he was left bankrupt and had to sell his house.”
  • In a discussion about financial struggles, someone might say, “I’ve been living paycheck to paycheck and I’m one step away from being bankrupt.”
  • A person describing their financial situation might say, “I’m completely bankrupt and have no idea how I’m going to pay my bills.”

27. Have-not

This term is used to describe someone who lacks the resources or advantages that others have. It refers to individuals who are in a disadvantaged position or have less than others.

  • For instance, in a conversation about social inequality, someone might say, “We need to help the have-nots in our community.”
  • A person discussing privilege might acknowledge, “I recognize that I was born into a privileged position and have advantages that many have-nots do not.”
  • When describing a person’s financial status, someone might say, “They are part of the have-not population and struggle to make ends meet.”

28. Downtrodden

This term describes individuals who are oppressed, marginalized, or treated unfairly. It often refers to people who are in a lower social or economic position and face constant difficulties or hardships.

  • For example, in a discussion about social justice, someone might say, “We need to fight for the rights of the downtrodden.”
  • A person describing their own experiences might say, “I come from a long line of downtrodden workers who have struggled for generations.”
  • When discussing poverty, someone might note, “The downtrodden often face limited opportunities and lack access to basic resources.”

29. Scruffy

This term is used to describe someone who appears unkempt, messy, or disheveled. It can be used to describe a person’s appearance as well as their living conditions.

  • For instance, someone might say, “He always looks scruffy with his messy hair and wrinkled clothes.”
  • In a discussion about homelessness, someone might mention, “Many individuals living on the streets have a scruffy appearance due to lack of access to basic hygiene.”
  • A person describing a rundown neighborhood might say, “The houses on that street are all scruffy and in need of repair.”

30. Deprived

This term describes individuals who lack the basic necessities or resources that are considered essential for a decent standard of living. It often refers to people who are living in poverty or facing significant disadvantages.

  • For example, in a discussion about education, someone might say, “Children from deprived backgrounds often struggle academically.”
  • A person describing a community might note, “That neighborhood is highly deprived, with high levels of unemployment and limited access to healthcare.”
  • When discussing social inequality, someone might argue, “We need to address the systemic factors that keep certain communities deprived of opportunities.”

31. Threadbare

This term describes something, usually clothing or fabric, that is worn out and thin due to excessive use or age. It can also be used metaphorically to describe a person or situation that is lacking in resources or vitality.

  • For example, “He wore a threadbare sweater that had holes in the elbows.”
  • In a discussion about poverty, someone might say, “Many families in this neighborhood live in threadbare conditions.”
  • Another usage could be, “The threadbare state of the economy is causing hardships for many.”

32. Downwardly mobile

This term refers to a person or group of people who are experiencing a decline in social or economic status. It suggests a movement from a higher position to a lower one.

  • For instance, “After losing their jobs, they became downwardly mobile and struggled to make ends meet.”
  • In a conversation about social mobility, someone might comment, “Many people in poverty are trapped in a cycle of downward mobility.”
  • Another usage could be, “The current economic crisis has resulted in increased downward mobility for many individuals and families.”
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