Every subculture has its jargon, but the world of finance contains a more diverse and less accessible dialect than most. If you want to know what financial wheeler-dealers are talking about but you're too polite to ask, you should be able to crack the code with Jerry M. Rosenberg's Dictionary of Banking (John Wiley & Sons, 800-225-5945, 1993, $14.95). The book contains about 7,500 listings. In addition to obligatory entries (words like amortization and collateral), you'll discover a wide array of more-technical expressions (for example, irrevocable letter of credit and junior mortgage). And there's a nice smattering of financial slang, too. For instance, Rosenberg tells us that, contrary to what many readers may think, an iron man isn't a decathlon champ; it's a silver dollar. -- Bruce G. Posner