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Money Words

A discussion of word histories and origins.

Money Words

Postby Slava » Sat Jun 19, 2010 6:43 pm

After reading thejazzgirl's post (Here) I was intrigued by the word peso. It took me further than I expected. It turns out, and I shouldn't have been surprised, that most money words have to do with weight.

Peso, Pound, and many others all have this in common. The weights varied, but not the fact.

So, what I'm getting at here is this, does anyone out there have a monetary system that is not based on weight? If so, how does it work?
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Postby bnjtokyo » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:16 am

Rupee is from the Sanskrit word "ruupyakam" which means "wrought silver." I suppose the system "worked" because the "wrought" part guaranteed to the recipient that the coin was genuine.

Yen and yuan are words meaning "round object" "circle." Of course the coin was originally supposed to have a predetermined amount of silver or gold by weight in it. So weight determined the value, but the word itself did/does not refer to weight.
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Postby Slava » Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:42 am

Thank you bnjtokyo. This is interesting information. Perhaps I should expand my question to asking for other words for monetary units that don't imply a weight.

Anyone care to weigh in on that one?

I'd still like to know if there's a culture out there that deals in volume units, or some other method of measuring, for its currency.

A bushel of grain might vary in weight a bit, but if the size of the bushel were standardized, it could be used as currency, could it not?

Don't hide your light under a barrel my friends! Dump your thoughts here.
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Postby Perry » Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:57 pm

bnjtokyo wrote:Rupee is from the Sanskrit word "ruupyakam" which means "wrought silver." I suppose the system "worked" because the "wrought" part guaranteed to the recipient that the coin was genuine.

Yen and yuan are words meaning "round object" "circle." Of course the coin was originally supposed to have a predetermined amount of silver or gold by weight in it. So weight determined the value, but the word itself did/does not refer to weight.


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