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wallet

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wallet

Postby Xiroteus » Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:46 pm

wal·let (wŏl'ĭt)
n.
A flat pocket-sized folding case, usually made of leather, for holding paper money, cards, or photographs; a billfold.

[Middle English walet, knapsack, possibly from Old North French *walet, roll, knapsack.]

I was wondering if anyone has a better,more elaborate etymology I seem to remember reading in old books that a wallet was something people even kept their lunches in.
any more ideas?
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To right the unrightable wrong
And to love pure and chaste from afar
To reach the unreachable star
This is my quest
Xiroteus
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Postby gailr » Mon Oct 24, 2005 9:12 pm

Welcome, Xiroteus. I think I've heard the same, but am not locating uses other than those similar to Etymonline:
c.1386, "bag, knapsack," of uncertain origin, probably from O.Fr., perhaps from P.Gmc. *wal- "roll." Meaning "flat case for carrying paper money" is first recorded 1834, Amer.Eng.


I checked Chaucer and found:
"But hood for jollity, he weared none,
For it was trussed up in his wallet.
...
His wallet lay before him in his lap,
Bretful* of pardon come from Rome all hot."

(The Canterbury Tales, Prologue)

and

"A double wallet on his crupper lay,
And as it seemed, he went in light array"

(The Canon's Yeoman's Prologue)

Hmmm, nothing but papers... maybe there is something in Tolkein?

-gailr
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