Spend on vs. spend with

Hi, is there any difference between ‘spend money on sth.’ and ‘spend money with sth’ when talking about purchasing something? I used to think that the only correct expression is ‘to spend money on’ but in the 3rd episode of the Netflix series ‘Ozark’ one guy says: ‘You’d be surprised the market for exotic cats. Look online. They’re all over this area. Make a hundred times what we’ve spent with the cats’.

Many thanks,

TOEIC listening, question-response: Could you give me a hand with this luggage?

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I don’t follow the Netfix and can’t say what sort of characters it deals with. Perhaps it was the authors’ idea to stress their backgrounds or something through the way they speak.

To me, you need a preposition in the sentence 'You’d be surprised [at\by] the market for exotic cats.”
I’d also expect it to be “They’re all over this area. [This] Make[s] a hundred times [compared to] what we’ve spent with the cats.”
No wonder then the person used “spent with the cats.”

Apart from ‘on’, I only managed to come across “She doesn’t spend her wages for shirtwaists.”
The only way it was ‘with’ was in the context of: Spend With Pennies - Home | Facebook Spend With Pennies. 4.3M likes. Easy Home Cooked Comfort. Family approved recipes for the everyday cook, household tips, ideas, shopping and more…

Spend With Pennies (spendpennies) on Pinterest


Surely ‘spend with’ must refer to the method of paying and not the object paid for.


Here is the transcript of that exchange which features native speakers of US English:

The fcking kitty cats in the cage.
I told you not to touch that f
cking money.
They’re not kitty cats.
They’re bobcats.
Tell her, Russ.
You’d be surprised, the market for exotic pets.
Look online.
They’re all over this area.
Make a hundred times what we’ve spent with the cats.
Get the f*ck over there.
[cats calling softly] You see a pair of balls on either of them? Goddamn it, Boyd. I told you three times to check the undercarriages.

TOEIC listening, question-response: Weren’t you at the conference last month?

I think they mean:

With the cats, we can make a hundred times as much.

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I understand but why would they say “a hundred times what we’ve spent with the cats” instead of “spent on the cats”? I mean when you invest money into something, you spend money on it, not with it, am I right?

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I remember this scene.

The characters are definitely from back in the hills, and so saying that they are native speakers of American English is a bit of a stretch. Any analysis of their speech following the “rules” is apt to fail

For “…what we’ve spent with these cats”, the most reasonable translation is “on these cats.” “With” I think would take the meaning it would have in “with respect to”, sort of.

Strangely there might be some similar usage in archaic English as these people are generally pretty isolated and some of their phraseology goes back hundreds of years.


Still, by definition, If they were born and raised in the US and speak English as their first language, they are native speakers of American English.

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