small vs. little

a. What he had in his pocket was not real money. It was small money. It came from a board game probably.
b. What he had in his pocket was not real money. It was little money. It came from a board game probably.


Are both versions acceptable?

Many thanks.

Original Post

Azz,

I don't like either of your examples.  The size of the notes or coins doesn't necessarily indicate whether or not they are real.  I've seen low-denomination notes from Indonesia that were smaller than some postage stamps.  In many countries, the size of the notes and coins is reflective of their value.  For example, in France prior to the adoption of the euro, a five-franc note was much smaller than a hundred-franc note.

If I were to describe someone as having little money in his pocket, I would mean that he didn't have much money in his pocket.

Also, in both of your examples, "probably" works better between "it" and "came" than at the end of the sentence.  Barring that, there needs to be a comma after "game".

DocV

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