Author Topic: Currency names: last man standing  (Read 7587 times)

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Offline dheer

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2012, 01:46:12 PM »
Very interesting post ... are there any books / reference material that trace the movements and origins of  currency names ...
http://coinsofrepublicindia.blogspot.in
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Offline Figleaf

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2012, 01:57:45 PM »
Dictionary of coin names by Adrian Room, ISBN 0710206461

Peter
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2012, 02:47:11 PM »
Maybe we should add the grosz? The small unit in Poland is a descendant of the grossus, originally short for denarius grossus (ie. big or heavy penny). Many countries in the Holy Roman Empire used the groschen; and Prussia, Saxony and a few other countries minted groschen coins until the Deutsches Reich and the Mark/Pfennig system were established in 1871. Austria introduced the Groschen again in 1925 and used it until 2001. So as far as I know, the Polish grosz is the last one ...

Christian

Online FosseWay

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2012, 03:36:59 PM »
The English groat was also in the grosz family.

I think that announcing the demise of subunits whose main unit is still used is somewhat premature (this applies to all the öre/øre/aurar) because there is at least a possibility that at some point a revaluation will take place. If that happens, it is highly likely that the old name for the subunit will be brought back, as happened in Iceland in 1981, Russia in the 1990s and France in 1960. In these cases before the reform there were no aurar/kopeiki/centimes in general use but they returned when needed. AIUI Iceland is actively considering both joining the EU and using the euro (whether as a genuine member of the eurozone or in the sense that Montenegro and Macedonia use the euro). But if it decides against the latter, I could well see that they might revalue the currency, which would see the return of the eyrir.

The penny has been all but wiped out: now AFAIK only sterling and the island currencies that exist at a par with sterling have pennies, either actually or theoretically. Australia, NZ, South Africa and various other countries lost their pennies on decimalisation in the 1960s and the Irish lost theirs when they adopted the euro. I'm not sure I accept the Bosnian fenig as a variant of the penny. It is consciously modelled on the pre-euro German Pfennig, yes, but the words Pfennig and penny, and the currencies they describe, have been separate for over 1,000 years. If they are to be combined so we must also combine all the Latin-based cent-words and all the Slavic ones, so Bulgarian and (old) Slovenian stotinki/stotinov are basically the same as centimes, cents etc.

Is the Czech Republic the only country still to use a variant of heller?

Offline Abhay

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2012, 04:01:17 PM »
The one name that comes to my mind is the Old Indian Anna.

Used till 50s in India and Pakistan, I don't think it is in use now anywhere. (Although people in India still call 25 paisa as 4 Annas and 50 Paisa as 8 Annas even today).

Abhay
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2012, 04:07:46 PM »
AIUI Iceland is actively considering both joining the EU and using the euro
Don't think so. The negotiations have not actually been canceled yet, but neither the EU nor Iceland is actually interested, I think. So a new Icelandic krona may well come some day. But what you wrote about the sub-units (that they may return after a currency reform) may well apply to the main units too. In South America that has happened a few times ...

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but the words Pfennig and penny, and the currencies they describe, have been separate for over 1,000 years
True, but the pre-decimal British penny kept the connection to the system that Charlemagne introduced in the 9th century, both in terms of "setup" (1-12-240) and unit names or abbreviations. So for me, Pfennig and Penny are close enough to count as one in a context like this one. But words such denier or dinar (which refer to the old denarius as well) I would keep separate. Just my view. :)

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Is the Czech Republic the only country still to use a variant of heller?

Good catch! (Schwäbisch Hall uses the euro these days. ;) )

Christian

translateltd

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2012, 08:06:38 PM »
While we're talking about cognate names, I'm not sure if anyone has mentioned the Austrian Heller and Hungarian fillér, which I only recently "clicked" were the same thing.


Offline chrisild

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2012, 11:59:37 PM »
Right, but Hungary does not use fillér coins any more (1 euro is about 280 forint). Now what we could say is that the forint itself is etymologically related to the florin ...

Christian

Offline <k>

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #23 on: December 07, 2012, 06:41:58 PM »
According to Wikipedia:

"Today, one-hundredth of a Swiss franc is still officially called a Rappen in German and Swiss German."

But no other country uses that name nowadays. The modern coin carries no sub-unit indicator, incidentally, just the denominational numeral.
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Offline chrisild

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #24 on: December 08, 2012, 12:00:22 AM »
Right, and right. :)  Interesting, by the way, that in German the word "Rappen" is the plural of Rappe which refers to a black horse. Where does that come from? The horse is black like a raven ... and that (Rabe) is also where the Swiss denomination (probably) is derived from. Seems that the eagle on certain coins was colloquially called, or considered to be, a raven.

And yes, the word is not used on Swiss coins. If they wanted to put the unit name (plural) on the pieces, it would have to be "Rappen - Centimes - Centesimi - Raps". Too long for those poor little pieces. ;)

Christian

translateltd

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2012, 02:26:53 AM »
Or they could find a Latin equivalent, to match the country name on the obverse.

Offline Ellencarroll

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #26 on: January 29, 2013, 06:58:27 AM »
According to Wikipedia, the word fillér originates from the German word Vierer that was 1/100 part of the Austro-Hungarian and Hungarian Korona. Moreover, the last filler coin was removed from circulation in 1999. However, it is still used in calculations, for example in the price of petrol or in the prices of telephone calls. 

Offline chrisild

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #27 on: January 29, 2013, 09:05:58 AM »
Welcome to the World of Coins! :) As for the origin of that word, there are (at least) two theories - even in the same language version of Wikipedia. See here for example:

* "The name fillér (...) comes from the German word Heller." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_forint
* "The name derives from the German word Vierer that means 'number four' in English." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fillér

Apart from the strange translation of Vierer (that word means something like of "piece of four", similarly to the English colloquial term "fiver" = five dollar/euro/pound note), the "Vierer" theory sounds a little less plausible to me. The German words for the Austrian-Hungarian currency units were "Krone" and "Heller"; the corresponding Hungarian terms were "korona" and "fillér". Hmm ...

Christian

Online FosseWay

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #28 on: January 29, 2013, 09:57:12 AM »
My knowledge of Hungarian is very limited. Does anyone know whether there is a regular link between /h/ and /f/ in linguistic imports into Hungarian from Indo-European languages? If so, it would lend weight to the heller derivation.

(Compare the h-f relationship (in the opposite direction) between Latin and its descendant Spanish: filium > hijo etc.)

translateltd

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Re: Currency names: last man standing
« Reply #29 on: January 29, 2013, 10:08:53 AM »
I suspect Hungarian has a bit of an aversion to words starting hel- (as opposed to hely-, ly being a digraph), as my dictionary contains no 'native' words beginning with this sequence at all, just the borrowings helikopter, heliocentrikus, hélium, hellén (Hellenic) and helsinki.  What this proves, if anything, I don't know ...