Learned a new word: Bonistics

Started by chrisild, January 01, 2011, 04:18:06 PM

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Those of you who speak English, Russian or Estonian as their first language, please step forward. Now tell me whether you know the term bonistics.

Well, I had never heard or read that word. In English it apparently means for paper money what "numismatics" means for coins. The odd thing is, while I do not collect paper money myself, I guess I would have come across the word some time and somehow if it was frequently used in English language forums. But no ...

What I sometimes see in English-language contexts is "notaphily". Not that often, but that may be due to the smaller number of collectors (or my limited interest ;) ). Bonistics however, no. And yet the term seems to be quite common in English texts from Eastern Europe. For example, the Estonian central bank has a "list of available numismatic and bonistic objects" here: http://www.eestipank.ee/pub/en/yldine/pangatahed/kollektsionaaridele/myyk.html  Similarly, the Estonian postal service has a "Numismatics and bonistics" section: http://www.post.ee/9516

Interestingly, the coin collection at the Kremlin in Moscow http://www.kreml.ru/en/collection/numismatics/ also writes about "Numismatics and Bonistics". Now those of you who speak Russian or Estonian, do you know or use the word "bonistics"?



What remains of my memory informs me that the term "notaphily" (reminds me of some contagious disease) came about rather recently in an American attempt to classify the parts of our world. This included such terms rarely used outside North America as "exonumia". I agree with Martin that bonistics may well be derived from "bon" and have a central/eastern european origin. That may point to the times around the French revolution, when the word "bon" appeared on many assignats (and a token series) and French words were taken up in Russian by the dozen. Older is not necessarily better and in my case, I like neither word and don't mind typing "banknote collecting".

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


I do collect banknotes, although infrequently but I am not knowledgeable about them.  I like the pretty pictures and colors  ;D

I never heard of "Bonistics" and only rarely have seen "notaphily" used; which sounds like someone who doesn't live in Philadelphia ;)



The problem with "notaphily" is that - as far as I can tell, anyway - it's a word that would never have passed muster in more learned days because it's a combination of a Latin root and a Greek suffix.  Like is meant to go with like if at all possible.  ("Scientology" doesn't work for the same reason.)  "Bonistics" is equally weird if its base word is French, with a Classical suffix. 

Another problem with "notaphily" is that you wind up stressing what should be a secondary syllable in speech: notAphily.

From a quick play with Google Translate, what would be wrong with "chartonumismatics" (χαρτονόμισμα = paper money), if we really want a fancy-looking term?


Quote from: omff on January 01, 2011, 07:54:42 PM
So what should we do about "television"? What would the all-Greek and all-Latin words be?

Yes, definitely another mongrel.  Well enough established, sadly.  The modern Greek for TV is τηλεόρασης (teleOrasis), so we can start a two-man campaign to adopt this as a more pure-bred form if you like.

(But then ... it's almost certain that τηλεόρασης was back-formed by translating the existing concept of "television" into Greek, element by element. Rather like "Fernsehen", which needed the Latin/Greek elements first in order to "create" the pure German word.  This is getting tricky ...)


Anyway (he says, taking a moment or two to focus this morning), television is a combination of two root words, whereas my original issue was with alien suffixes.  Still keen on further discussing a more usable alternative to "bonistics" or "notaphily" (or "banknote collecting") ...


Thanks for the information about how common :) the word bonistic(s) is. As for the mongrels, French "bon" is derived from Latin "bonus", so in a way it is a Greek-Latin mix too. Don't think there is any problem with mixing languages this way. If the result is too long, some part will eventually be chopped off anyway ...