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#19603 - 02/19/01 12:33 PM A yen for pounds and dollars
wow Offline
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Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 3439
Loc: New England, USA
In geographic category, wwh noted : The members of the Hanseatic League each had trade outposts in Britain. There were two main groups: The Easterlings and the Westerlings. Each had a silver coinage of such dependable value that there arose a demand for it, and the phrase "Pound Sterling" became current.

The post reminded me of hearing the phrase "Pounds or guineas?" concerning what amount is asked for a service. My understanding is that a guinea is a bit more than a pound.
I've wondered how we name our currencies ... and why the names were chosen. Is there any meaning to the word dollar or yen? What made the Irish decide on Punt?
Perhaps our Non-US friends could give us the names of their currencies?
And as a quirky note ... the US 10 cent coin is called a dime (reference to the decimal? A tenth of a dollar?) and it is the only coin to have its nickname embossed on the coin itself.
Anyone ?
wow



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#19604 - 02/19/01 12:54 PM Re: A yen for pounds and dollars
wwh Offline
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Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 13858
I have read that "dime" started as Louisiana "disme" = a tenth of a dollar.


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#19605 - 02/19/01 01:56 PM Re: A yen for pounds and dollars
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
Anyone who's travelled to Canada may know this next factoid but there are lots of people on this board who live very, very far away, so I'll post it anyway.

Our one-dollar coin is called a Loonie. Yup. The original form, which came out in 1987, had a picture of a loon on the tails side (and, as always, the queen on the heads side). There have been many commemorative loonies since then, with people, soldiers, the Parliament buildings...but they're still loonies. The standard one still has a loon on it.

Then, in 1996, they decided we needed a two dollar coin to replace our two dollar bill. It has bears on it, and it's one of those nifty two-metal coins with a bronze middle and a nickel outer ring. There were numerous contests all over the country to name the new coin and lots of cute names were proposed. However, they are now informally called Toonies. I think it's a pun on the 2 dollar value, plus it rhymes with Loonie. But it's not usually spelled Twonie. Now THERE'S one to look up in my Oxford Canadian Dictionary at home.

I found pictures of them at the Royal Canadian Mint's homepage products catalogue: Click on One Dollar or Two Dollar coin: http://www.rcmint.ca/products/en/main.cfm?Product_Id=100&Section_Id=2&Area=Products

As an aside, they produce all the Canadian coins in Winnipeg, my hometown. Yay Winnipeg!


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#19606 - 02/19/01 11:29 PM Re: A yen for pounds and dollars
Bingley Offline
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Registered: 04/09/00
Posts: 3065
Loc: Jakarta
Yes, a guinea is 21 shillings = 1 pound 1 shilling = 1.05 pounds.

I assume punt is just how pound sounds in Irish Gaelic.

Here of course we have the much-ailing rupiah (often just called the rup (with an oo sound)). I assume the name is connected to the Indian rupee. A long, long, long time ago the rupiah was divisible into 100 sen. The one hundred rupiah coin is often referred to as perak, literally silver. So Rp. 500 would be called 5 perak. These days of course it's just a tacky plastic token.

Bingley
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#19607 - 02/20/01 05:38 AM Re: A yen for pounds and dollars
RhubarbCommando Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/23/00
Posts: 2204
Rumour-humour had it that, at the time of its introduction, it was feared that the Irish equivalent to the pound would fall rapidly in value. It was named after the flat-bottomed boat so that it would remain upright when it hit the bottom!


Given its current strength, it is the joke that fell flat!


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#19608 - 02/20/01 07:57 AM Re: A yen for pounds and dollars
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
I looked up dollar in the dictionary and this is what I got for its origins as a word:

Low German daler, short for Joachimstaler, a coin from the silver mine of Joachimstal, now Jáchymov in the Czech Republic.

However, it doesn't explain how this word came to be used for the currency of Canada, US, and Australia (and probably smaller countries which weren't listed in that dictionary entry)? Also, why do we use dollars in Canada and not pounds (ditto for Australia)?


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#19609 - 02/20/01 08:23 AM Re: A yen for pounds and dollars
of troy Offline
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Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
After the war (independence) there was a lot of anti british sentiment-- the new govement made an effort to have new money, and reject Pence for cent (as in 1/100) and chose dime (which is not a nickname, but the name of ten cent piece, (nickel is a nickname, from the metal used to make the coin). Quaters became popular since the spanish gold dollars that had been used where often cut into 4 or 8 wedges, and a quarter today is still called "two bits". So US money names are a combination of new made up names for money, and existing non english names for money. The original plan was for three denominations, cents, dimes and dollars.Nickels and quarters where not part of the original monitary plan, but came to be latter.

What if find interesting is how England (and Ireland) have quickly adopted 1pound coins, but the US public fight against 1 dollar coins.
I think it is because most men in this country don't carry change in a coin purse, but loose in there pockets, and the dollar coins are too heavy.

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#19610 - 02/20/01 09:29 AM Re: A yen for pounds and dollars
Bean Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/18/01
Posts: 1156
What if find interesting is how England (and Ireland) have quickly adopted 1pound coins, but the US public fight against 1 dollar coins. I think it is because most men in this country don't carry change in a coin purse, but loose in there pockets, and the dollar coins are too heavy.

See, that's what we find odd in Canada. Men here have approximately the same pocket-change habits as those in the US, and we do have both one and two dollar coins. In fact the toonie (see above) is an improvement because if someone gives you $4 change, that's only two coins instead of four. (Nothing like the poor cashier having to give back four loonies and apologizing for being out of toonies - this is starting to sound like Dr. Seuss!) So we find it REALLY strange that there is no US dollar coin, or any two dollar piece at all (bill or coin).


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#19611 - 02/20/01 09:33 AM Re: A yen for pounds and dollars
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>England (and Ireland) have quickly adopted one-pound coins

Yes, I found the lack of a dollar coin very strange, especially as dollar bills are so .... smelly ... yuk

In Scotland we still have pound notes. I'm still not used to them and often pull one out expecting it to be at least a tenner .. the disappointment!


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#19612 - 02/20/01 09:51 AM Re: A yen for pounds and dollars
of troy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 10/17/00
Posts: 5400
Loc: rego park
In reply to:

So we find it REALLY strange that there is no US dollar coin, or any two dollar piece at all (bill or coin).


Of course there is a US dollar coin. when i was a child, it was the "eagle", then came the "susan b anthony" dollar coin, and now we have the "golden" dollar. there was also a gold (real gold, not just gold colored) $10 coin too, but these have been rare since before WWII.
and we have a two dollar bill-- but that is rare too-- one good reason to make a visit to one of the US Mints it to get a $2 bill. They are great presents for kids-- cheap souviners of US. My neice in Japan loved her $2 bill!

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