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

I remember the changeover (and even the date, Feb 15th 1971). My sister and I had a game called "decimal snap". It was just the card game Snap, but you were allowed to call "Snap!" if you put down (for instance) 1 new penny, followed by 2.4 old pennies (as they were equivalent). Highly educational.

Getting back to the topic of words, the system was sometimes referred to as LSD which is an abbreviation for Libri, Solidi, and Denari (latin) I think (from memory). I assume the old pence symbol "d" was because of this, and the pound symbol is a stylised L. I look forward to being corrected if I'm wrong!

One of the claimed advantages of the LSD system was that 240d in the pound had many integer divisors: 2,3,4,6,8,10,12,20, 30... So much more flexible than the decimal system :-) Of course, as someone says below, calcuting 10% of some arbitrary sum was tricky.


-- Alan Fitch