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A Little Etymology

A Little Etymology image
Parent Issue
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OCR Text

The Nineteenth Century gives its readers the following interesting scrap in relatioD to the derivalion of monetary terms: The dcrivation of the words relating to money and commcrce are interesting and instructivo, "l'ecuniary" takes us back to tbc time when value was reckoned by so uiany heads of cattlo. The word "nioney" is from moneta, because iu llome coins uno Moneta, wnich agaio was derived from monere, to warn, because it was built od the spot wliere Manlius board the Gauls approaching to attaek the city. " Coin " ia probably from the Latin cunous, a die or a stamp. Many coins are merely so caMed from tiieir weight, as for instance our pound, the French livre, Italian lira ; othors from the metal, as the "aureus;" the " rupee " from the Sanskrit " rupys," silver; others from the design, as the angel, the testoon, from teste or tete, a head ; others f rom the head of the State, as the sovereign, crown ; others from the proper name of the monarch, such as the darie, from Darius, the Philip, Louis d'or, or the Napoloon. The dollar or thaler is from the Joaehimstaler, or money of the Joachimas Valley, in Bohemia, where these coins were first struck in the sixteenth century. Guineas were called after the country from which the (told is obtained, and the " franc" is an abbreviation of the inscription Francorum llex. The "sou"js from the Latin solidus. The word shilling is derived from a root signifying to divide; and in several cases the name indicatcs the fraction of some larger coin, as the denarius half-penny, farthing, cent and mili. The pound was originally not a coin, but a weight, and comes from the Latin pondus. Our pound was originally a pound of silver, which was divided into 240 pennies. The origin of the word penny is unknown. Some have derived it irom pendo, to weigh ; but tbis does not seem very satisfactory. Our word " sterling" is said to go back to the time of the conquest, but the derivation has been much disputcd. Some have supposed that it was first attributed to coins struck at Sterling, but for this there is not the slightest evidence ; others, that the name was derived from coins having a star on the obverse, but no coins which could give rise to such a name are known. The most probable suegestion is that it has reference to the Easterling or North Germán merchants.