Author Topic: Alternatives for the word "money"  (Read 7457 times)

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Offline Figleaf

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Alternatives for the word "money"
« on: October 08, 2007, 11:28:23 AM »
In any language, there must by "alternatives" for the word money. In English e.g. dough (maybe an Americanism?), in French sous (confusingly, the singular denotes a coin) in Dutch ballen or poen. I feel (emotion, not science speaking here) that quid is somewhere in between, i.e. 10 pieces of 50 p would be 5 quid and a 5 pound note would also be 5 quid, so it's an amount, not a denomination. I wonder if quid is short for liquid...

Peter
« Last Edit: January 15, 2008, 12:01:38 AM by Figleaf »
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Offline chrisild

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Alternatives for the word
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2007, 12:26:00 PM »
I wonder if quid is short for liquid...
A la votre. ;D Frankly, I have no idea either. The most plausible explanation I have read is that it comes from Latin "quid pro quo". You give something (like a pound note) in exchange of something ...

Christian

Offline Figleaf

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Alternatives for the word
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2007, 12:56:54 PM »
Research in my dictionaries show that the term was used already in the 17th century and for a guinea but that its etymology is unknown. One author says: "The obvious suggestion is Latin quid, 'what', used in a sort of oblique sense to mean 'something', 'wherewithal', and certainly 'quid' has been formerly current to mean 'thingness', 'what something is', especially in the phrase 'the quid of things'. Failing further evidence, one is obliged to leave the etymology there. The affectionate form 'quidlet' is still sometimes used." (Adrian Room, Dictionary of coin names, ISBN 0-7102-0646-1).

In defense of my theory, using the term "liquidity" for money is an invention of around 1700.

Martin will have a larger library. Maybe he can come up with something.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

translateltd

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Alternatives for the word
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2007, 07:48:44 PM »
Research in my dictionaries show that the term was used already in the 17th century and for a guinea but that its etymology is unknown. One author says: "The obvious suggestion is Latin quid, 'what', used in a sort of oblique sense to mean 'something', 'wherewithal', and certainly 'quid' has been formerly current to mean 'thingness', 'what something is', especially in the phrase 'the quid of things'. Failing further evidence, one is obliged to leave the etymology there. The affectionate form 'quidlet' is still sometimes used." (Adrian Room, Dictionary of coin names, ISBN 0-7102-0646-1).

In defense of my theory, using the term "liquidity" for money is an invention of around 1700.

Martin will have a larger library. Maybe he can come up with something.

Peter

I've only ever heard the Latin explanation, which always sounded a bit inadequate to me.  I'll double-check the big Oxford when I get down to the office, in any case ...

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2008, 12:07:00 AM »
Another "alternative" just came back to me. In Spanish, money is dinero, but an alternative is plata (silver). I guess that says something about the long years in Spain when the silver real and its multiples remained of adequate weight, so they could maintain their gigantic market share in the international market, while the copper maravedi, being for use in Spain only, was constantly devalued to keep up with inflation.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 01:42:59 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Prosit

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2008, 03:51:09 AM »
In the US another slang term for money is moola.  Where that came from I don't know and it isn't used much anymore.  The US is big enough that there are colloquial slangs or foreign words adopted such as in Texas Dinero being used to mean money.  Also not used much anymore.   And dough (also Bread) isn't heard much either.

Dale
ain't got no greenbacks

Offline a3v1

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2008, 10:21:45 AM »
Another "alternative" just came back to me. In Spanish, money is dinero, but an alternative is plata (silver).
Dinero is a word in domestic Spanish, while plata is a word in Latin American Spanish. There are many remarkable differences between the language spoken "at home" and the language spoken in the former colonies.
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
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Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

Offline chrisild

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2008, 01:30:40 PM »
In German, several slang words for money are apparently of Jewish (ie. Hebrew or Yiddish) origin. The following examples are from Kahnt's Münzlexikon and a Süddeutsche Zeitung article. The "orig." means origin, but in some cases the etymology is kind of obscure. ;)

Kies (which is also the German word for English gravel), orig. Hebrew "kis" = bag.
Mäuse (mice) or Moos (moss), orig. Hebrew "maoth" (small change).
Kohle (coal), orig. Yiddish "kal" (light, as opposed to heavy).
Mücken (midgets/mosquitos), orig. Yiddish "michno" (food).

And then there are ...
Kröten (toads) is from Dutch/Northern German "grote" which refers to the grossus (denarius) coin.
Schotter is a kind of gravel (see Kies above), so people may have transferred the meaning.
Piepen (from the sounds that birds make) refers to the eagle on many German coins.
Moneten (from the Latin "moneta")
Zaster from Rotwelsch sáster which means iron.

As in other languages, some of the words are quite popular while others are rarely used.

Christian
« Last Edit: December 09, 2009, 11:04:37 PM by chrisild »

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #8 on: January 20, 2008, 02:09:42 PM »
On this site I found the following American equivalents (deleted the tame, obvious ones) of money. Interpretations are mine:

benjamins (from the picture on the $100 note), bucks (from buckskin, the price of which seems to have been one dollar at some time), cash (originally a money box, now used as contrast with credit), dead presidents (from the pictures on dollar notes), dinero (from Spanish), ducats (from Hollywood pirate tales, where the loot is invariably expressed in gold ducats?), green, greenbacks, green stuff (from the colour of US banknotes), Jackson (from the picture on the $20 note), loot (war booty, stolen property), paper (notes), rich, roll (from rolled up banknotes),

beans, bread, cabbage, cheddar, cheese, dough, moolah, sugar - foodstuff you can buy if you have money. Dough and moolah (molasses) being raw material for bread and sugar.

jack, scratch, s.h.i.t - all slang words for "nothing".

Peter
« Last Edit: January 20, 2008, 02:12:41 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline a3v1

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2008, 03:46:26 PM »
Especially sugar is very interesting!
Because of a general lack of coins, Surinam and (later British) Guyana in 1667 adopted raw sugar as a means of payment. In 1669 this was made official; a pound of sugar originally equalled 2 stuyvers and later decreased to 1 stuyver per pound. Sugar as "money" was used until 1761. Perhaps it was even used in a much wider area, as the monetary unit of Equador still is named sucre (=sugar).
Regards,
a3v1
Over half a century of experience as a coin collector.
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Money is like body fat: If there's too much of it, it always is in the wrong places.

translateltd

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2008, 11:17:22 AM »
Nobody seems to have mentioned "wonga" yet (pronounced "wong-ga"), which seems to be fairly recent British slang for money in general, rather than any denomination.  Curiously, won-ga is also a standard Korean word for money, though I would be very skeptical about the likelihood of any connection between the two!


Offline chrisild

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2008, 02:23:22 PM »
Seems to be a word of Roma/Sinti origin ...
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/wonga

Christian

Offline zarazek

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #12 on: March 02, 2008, 08:06:03 PM »
In Polish, we have the official name for money which is pieniądz, in plural pieniądze (hope the Polish letters are displayed correctly). But many people use alternative names in informal speech:

kasa - which means a till, the machine in shops for storing money (from Italian word cassa)
forsa - usually when talking about bigger amount of money
haj, hajs - probably from the English word 'hay'
siano - rarely used, also means hay
szmal - might come from German, although I'm not sure

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2008, 10:47:21 PM »
I also found oof, kapusta (cabbage), kapucha, sałata (lettuce), mamona, grosz and gotówka. The only one I can explain readily is grosz, from the German groschen.

Peter
« Last Edit: March 04, 2008, 10:50:32 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline zarazek

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Re: Alternatives for the word "money"
« Reply #14 on: March 04, 2008, 11:17:26 PM »
I've never heard of oof, so I can't really say anything about it. Where did you come across it?
Sałata in my opinion is more common than kapusta, although both names are used very informally and in certain circles :)
Grosz is the Polish equivalent to cent (1zł = 100 groszy).
Mamona sounds like old fasioned slang, it appears in lyrics of one song and again, I've never heard it in normal speech (maybe it's more popular in other regions of Poland).
Gotówka (as opposite to karta - card and czek - cheque) simply means cash, so I wouldn't consider it an alternative name for the word 'money'.

Hope this helped a bit :)