We didn't, of course, but language watchers in the 19th century made the same claim -- as an accusation, not a boast. "Making money," had it been American, would have been just the sort of crass commercial lingo Americans were thought to enjoy. In his 1871 book, "Americanisms," Maximilian Schele de Vere refuted the notion:
It is equally unjust to charge Americans with the invention of the phrase, to make money, much as they may be addicted to the practice. Dr. Johnson already rebuked Boswell sharply for using it, and said: "Don't you see the impropriety of it? To make money is to coin it; you should say, to get money."In 1791, Johnson had lost that battle; as Shapiro notes, the Oxford English Dictionary dates the phrase "to make money" back to 1457, and "it was probably not Americans who were using it in 1457." And MWDEU notes that Shakespeare and Jane Austen also used the expression, though even in the mid-20th century you could find word mavens expressing a faint distaste.
Shapiro also writes for the Yale Alumni Magazine, and this month's column covers familiar quotations that originated with (usually uncredited) women. "I will defend to the death your right to say it" isn't Voltaire's, "iron curtain" isn't Churchill's, "no time like the present" isn't an anonymous proverb -- and Shapiro can tell you where the bylines are buried.