The Toof is a unit of currency of the Orcs and Goblins in Total War: Warhammer (and only in the Total War: Warhammer continuity, where there is even a tribe of greenskins and a special unit dedicated to Toof collection), and of the Orks of Warhammer 40000. The plural of Toof is Teef, so a rich greenskin can be said to have many teef.
If you haven't guessed it already, the Orkish economy is based on teeth (spelled and pronounced "teef" because most greenskins cannot make a "th" sound). Orks produce teef constantly throughout their lives, and they always have replacements much like a shark. If a greenskin wants more teef and does not have anything to barter with, he simply punches a nearby greenskin in the face and takes a toof or two. This is a fairly risky proposition unless there is a large difference in size between the two greenskins, since an Ork who objects to losing his teef can punch back and take back his assets along with his compensation. Brawls started in this way help keep the race collectively strong, since brawls for teef need not be fatal (usually). In a pinch, an ork can also yank out his own teef if he has a pressing need to buy something.
The consistent difficulty in acquiring teef keeps the currency at a steady value: larger teef are more valuable than smaller teef so fighting Grotz for their teef is generally unproductive, meaning that Orks must generally take on Orks of their own size (or greater) to procure enough teef. They also cannot hoard their teef for too long as they tend to decay after some time, hence, preventing inflation in the greenskin economy and keeping it stimulated with rapid circulation. This also means that stockpiling teef is rarely a good investment, as those teef would just decay before they can be spent. There are various ways of preserving teef, but none of them are 100% effective. If you got some extra teef on your hand, you spend them fairly quickly. Hence, the most common way for an Ork to afford something expensive is to be 'ard enough to bash others of his kind and take their teef. This is one of the contributing factors to why bigger greenskins are almost consistently better equipped than smaller ones.
Overall the Ork economy can be said to be somewhat stable, in that it's hard for something to be less stable if it has Orks involved in the first place.
Tyranids are an especially valued source of teeth, the bigger the bastar' it came from the better. Orks who have successfully beaten such armies thus tend to be very rich after ripping the teeth out of the mouths of billions of dead 'unz. There's no actual canon to back this up, but it's hard to find something less safe to fuck with than an Ork who fought a Tyranid war and survived so the fanon should be pretty safe.
Exchange Rates are not well known at this time.
Prices of a few common items
- Squig Pie with Fungus Beer - 1 Toof
- Grot on a stick - 2 teef (costs money cause someone has to catch the little shits)
- Bag of Shoota bullets (roughly forty to sixty) - 1 to 3 Teef
- Choppa - 2 to 12 Teef based on materials used in construction
- Slugga - 4 to 15 Teef depending on availability, quality and the available supply of bullets
- Shoota (regular) - 8 to 25 Teef
- Wartrukk, New - 100 to 800 Teef
Other Notes on Teef
One reason that Orks dislike dealings with Humans (and other races in general) is because Humans are socially awkward to Orks. They are tiny, determine leadership in the most contrived of ways, and generally shy away from a good scrap (unless you really provoke them); and to an Ork, a Human has pathetic Teef. They are wee little fiddly things, often look flat, and humans tend to be quite protective of them on accounts that Human Teef do not grow back more than once and Humans use them to show social status (and chewing grub). Yet more reasons why Orks are the bestest. However, some humans hiring greenskin warbands as mercs for guns, wagons, and anything else that may interest an Ork is not unheard of and said warbands turning against their employers for more bits or just for fun isn't uncommon either.
Not all Teef are made equal, as noted above. But greenskins still technically operate on a bartering system, and one Ork's eye for Teef might not be as conservative (or voracious) as the next. Two identical Teef might not buy the same volume of Grog Brand Grog Brew™ at one bar as it will at the next, regardless of availability. Similarly, inflation, deflation, supply and demand, the size difference of the buyer and the seller, the mood of the vender, and even the time of day can affect how much dat fancy new choppa youz been eyein' iz worf. If a lot of Orks go rushing in to get a new bike at once, the dealer Mek might set up an auction at dawn that everyone in the camp attends. The price the bike goes for could affect how much a Toof can buy for the rest of the week; and obviously, if there is one stingy Oldboy who hikes his prices because he sells the only motor oil for seven hundred miles, then he will have a band of greenskins banging down his door demanding CHEAP or DEFF!
Greenskins are technically not the only ones who use teef. Sometimes if an Inquisitor wants to get rid of a Chaos infestation, there are some greenskins nearby, and there has recently been a big battle between the guard and the greenskins which the guards won, he may send some men to collect the Teef from the corpses and use them to pay for the greenskins to go attack that Chaos infestation. Orks are not all that keen about Humans stealing their kin's Teef, but getting Teef and someone to fight is still a winning combination in an Ork's book.
Greenskins also like shiney fings. Some Orks (Bad Moonz klan boyz and Freebooterz especially) will decide that something shiny is just as good as a Toof. Or a handful of Teef. Or a whole sack. Said shiny thing is usually Gold, which both looks more colorful than Silver and is heavier to boot. Gold often comes in convenient Coin form when stolen from other races, which looks nicer still and makes handy pendants. While not very tough, Gold can be beaten or plated by even the dumbest slave grot into snazzy trinkets or onto weapons and armor (to make them shinier). Mekboyz like gold because it conducts "energee" better than more common metals, proving Mekboyz definitely know what they're talking about, as far as electrical conductivity is concerned. Even in raw Nugget form, Gold holds a clear appeal to Orks and Humans alike- and unlike Teef, Gold never rots, and thus can be hoarded in big piles of shiny. Thus, some Orks will trade in gold instead of (or in addition to) Teef. This is a risky proposition; while all greenskins know the value of a Toof, some don't care much for Gold, and your bartender might not take that tiny nugget in exchange for his finest brew. However, a Bad Moon will take Gold without a second thought, and a Loota or Blood Axe boy will usually take Gold as well. A gold plated weapon on the other hand, will be worth much more than it's duller counterpart, and will usually be deadlier as well because "it'z a high-kwality piece of flash!" The same goes for armor, trophies, and "lukky bitz". Some Orkish tribes and clans believe that gold is lucky despite it not being blue, and will attach it to themselves in order to be effective at whatever they attempt.
(In other words, gold can be thought of as a material good to be bartered rather than a unit of currency to be spent)
The Adeptus Orthodontus are known for accidentally increasing the exchange rate of Humie Teef to Ork Teef.