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WOTD  
Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Thursday 15th April 2021
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

vigorish (noun) VIG-uh-rish



Excessive interest on loans; a commission charged by a bookmaker or casino to winners and subtracted from their winnings.

(Vigorish is frequently abbreviated to vig. It is also known as juice.)

People earning pathetically low incomes have to borrow against next week’s paycheque and pay out huge chunks - it was called vigorish in the old days, the vig. You know, the street mobster, the loan shark, was charging you interest on the interest, and basically all you were paying was the interest, so you never paid off the capital, and interest accumulated on the interest. It was called vigorish, and the vig was huge. The vig is huge with these guys.

Peter Kormos, Ontario Hansard, 22 June 2004. Ontario Hansard

That slim advantage, which is known as the vigorish, or the vig, is all the bookie has going for him.

James Surowiecki, The New Yorker, 29 January 2001. The New Yorker

For the uninitiated, vigorish is the built-in edge on the odds created by a bookmaker to assure himself a profit. Since the office pool's organizer did not take a cut of the action, no law was broken.

Clyde Haberman, The New York Times, 8 February 2005. New York Times

The Gates crowd speaks instead of collecting a ''vigorish,'' or ''vig.'' For organized crime, that means a regular, extortionate loan payment, unavoidable for borrowers who value their health. For Microsoft, it means a regular software licensing payment, unavoidable for almost anyone who wants to use a personal computer. It is figured into the cost of every machine. Now Microsoft wants to collect a vig on Internet access too.


Allen Myerson, The New York Times, 24 May 1998. New York Times

In Greater Boston, shark feeding is the process by which a guy who hasn't made his vigorish payments gets sent to a larger man who smacks the debtor up the side of his head.

Alan Lupo, Boston Globe, 23 March 1993. Boston Globe




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