Appeal to hip-pocket


“The Government is blatantly pulling money from tax payers’ wallets with these ridiculous taxes.”

Definition and effect on reader

An appeal to hip-pocket is a writer’s way of making the reader feel as if their finances are under attack (the hip-pocket being where one traditionally caries their wallet). Individuals are made to feel that a particular event or action will take a toll on their wallets, motivating them to cease that activity or agree with the argument being presented by the writer. Appeals to hip-pocket are used by writers to get the readership to consider the practical, financial point of their argument. To do this the writer does not necessarily have to mention numbers –  an allusion to any potential threat on their finances can be enough. This appeal can appear in many different forms.

Common words and phrases associated with an appeal to hip-pocket are:

  • Taxes
  • Charges
  • Costs
  • Fines

These appeals can be very strong and are widely applicable: even the wealthy care about threats to their wallets!

These appeals can often impart the sense that the writer is looking out for the best interests of the reader and this technique is therefore often paired with attacks on government, banks, or authorities who are often accused of taking money from the hardworking taxpayer.