A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 28, 2010
Moola or Moolah (money slang)

Entry in progress—B.P.

(Historical Dictionary of American Slang)
moola or moolah n. [orig. unkn.] money. Also mola.
1939 C.R. Cooper In Scarlet16: What about it, baby, is it my fault I forgot my wallet? I got plenty of mullah.
1939 D. Runyon, in Collier’s (June 17) 9: He is very desperate for a little moolah.
1940 O’Hara Pal Joey 97: I never saw the day wherein no matter how much moola I had I could not use some more.
1941 Brackett & Wilder (film): That’s what I need the moola for.
1941 Rossen Blues in Night (film):You got any moola on you?...You were just gonna divvy up the moola.
1942 Bowers & Spence 7 Days Leave (film): If we don’t take the moola back to the boys, we’ll be facing a firing squad.
1943 Darling (film): Kale, mazuma, moola!

(Oxford English Dicionary)
moolah, n.
slang (orig. U.S.).
Forms: 19- mola, 19- moola, 19- moolah, 19- mullah. [Origin unknown. Compare MOO n.2
Probably unrelated to European Romani mol- to be worth.]
Money.
1939 C. R. COOPER Designs in Scarlet 16 What about it, baby, is it my fault I forgot my wallet? I got plenty of mullah.
1940 J. O’HARA Pal Joey 97, I never saw the day wherein no matter how much moola I had I could not use some more.
1951 People (Austral.) 1 Aug. 20/3 She left there, too. ‘Not enough moolah.’
1968 R. BUSBY & G. HOLTHAM Main Line Kill v. 44 Expensive though. You blokes must spend a lot of moola on that stuff.
1973 J. WAINWRIGHT High-class Kill 154 What did he do for a living?.. Where did the moolah come from?

Google News Archive
19 December 1937, Wilmington (DE) Sunday Morning Star, “Best Bets Of The Week” by Mark Hellinger, pg. 38, col. 4”
Odds And Ends In The Entertainment World:  When you click in Hollywood, the moola really rolls in. Just about a year ago Deanna Durbin was earning $150 a week. Today, while making “Mad About Music,” she draws $2,500 weekly from the studio, earns a heavy sum from broadcasting and records, and is picking up in the neighborhood of $100.000 a year from fashion work. Nice work, if you can get it…

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityBanking/Finance/Insurance • (0) Comments • Wednesday, July 28, 2010 • Permalink