Our crazy old currency, complete with farthings, happennies, pennies, tuppences, threpenny bits, tanners, shillings or bobs, two-bobs, half-a-crown, crown, pound, and guinea was generally known as the duodecimal system ~ but only once we had started discussing then implementing the alternative

penny = farthing (obsolete from waybackwhen)
penny = hapence or hapenny
1 penny = 1d
2 pennies = tuppence or tuppeny piece
3 pennies = threpenny bit or threpence
6 pennies = sixpence or tanner
12 pence = 1 shilling (1/-) ~ also known as a bob
24 pence = 2 shillings (2/-) ~ in single coin, known as two-bob
30 pence = 2 Shillings 6 pence (2/6) ~ also known as two-and-six or half a crown
60 pence = 5 shillings = crown (rarely in circulation)
120 pence = 10 shillings (10/-) ~ also known as ten-bob note
240 pence = 20 shillings (20/-)* = 1 pound (1/-/-)* ~ also know as a quid
252 pence = 21 shillings = 1 guinea (ancient terminology beloved of lawyers)

*I cant actually remember this notation accurately.

Can you see why it was so indigestible? And speaking of which:

Duodenum
[med.L. (so called from its length, = duodnum digitorum space of twelve digits, inches, or finger's breadths), f. duodni twelve each (see duodene). Used in Fr. in 1514 (Hatz.-Darm.).]


OED v2

Last edited by maverick; 03/13/06 04:42 PM.