Everyone knows that happiness is not in money, but in their quantity. And this is indeed a very useful invention, the contribution of which to our relatively prosperous existence cannot be overestimated.
But receiving and giving money for goods and services, transferring them from the real to the virtual world and vice versa, we do not think about why we call them that. Let’s take a look at this issue!
The word “money" entered the current language very long ago and very densely (presumably in the 14th century). And today it will not be easy for many to believe that it is not only not current, but not even of Slavic origin!
We borrowed it from the Turkic languages, and in Old Russian it had the form “money a ” and could be used in the singular. Now they don’t say that, and “money” is perceived as colloquial.
It comes from the Turkic ” tang a”, and then, in turn, from “tan” – “squirrel”. Animal skins were used as a means of payment before the invention of money itself, and ” tang oy” was a silver coin, which was equal in value to a squirrel skin. The word was attached to the coin during the transition period, and then gradually expanded its meaning to money in general.
We meet modern analogies, for example, in Tatar (” tenk e” – “cu”, “silver coin”), and in the Kazakh name of the national currency ” teng e”.
Novgorod hryvnia – silver bars of 200 grams (half a pound)
And what is " mane on"? It comes from the word ” mane a” and originally this word was called a neck decoration. Actually, the “mane” is “what grows on the neck”. Then the name "hryvnia" passed to the measure of the weight of silver. Today, this is the name of the Ukrainian national currency.
From the same word comes the name of a 10-kopeck coin ” c.u. nickname”, which was in use quite recently, during the times of the USSR, and appeared, presumably, at the beginning of the 17th century.
It is easy to see the “spear” in the “kopeik “, and it really is there: in the first half of the 16th century, a horseman with a spear began to be minted on a silver coin, which is why it was called “spear”, and then briefly – “penny” ".
A penny with a rider
Many in our turbulent times prefer foreign currency e. This word is borrowed from Italian: ” valut a” means “value”. It is related to the English " valu e" – "meaning", "value".
The most popular currency today is the US dollar. Interestingly, this word comes from an area located on the territory of modern Czech Republic. More precisely, from the town of Jachymov near Karlovy Vary.
In the 16th century, the city was called “Joachims thal ” (“Joachimstal”), which translated as “the valley of Joachim” (the saint, of course). When silver deposits were discovered nearby, mining and minting of coins began here, which were called “Joachims thaller “.
And of course, such a complex name could not be shortened to a more sonorous and convenient ” Taller “. This name stuck with the silver coin, and along with it began to spread along trade routes across Europe: in Spain, the thaler became ” taler o”, in Holland – into ” Daalder “, in Norwegian – ” Dalar “. In American English, it gave " dollar ".
The name of the coin from Bohemia has another interesting continuation, already associated with our country and our language. If the Europeans formed the name from the end of the word “Joachims Taller “, then we liked its beginning more, especially since St. Joachim was on the coin itself. We began to call her the word “efimok”.
The word ” penny ” is also borrowed, in which German roots are easily guessed. It came to us through Polish, and originally comes from the Latin “dēnarius gros sus”, that is, “thick / heavy denarius”.
The word “dēnarius” itself goes back to “decem” and is translated as “consisting of ten”. From it comes the “dinar”, which denotes the national currency of a large number of countries, mainly those that were once part of the Ottoman Empire, or were under its strong influence.
Serbian banknote of 100 dinars
The third most popular currency is the British pound sterling. There are several versions about the origin of its name, but the most plausible is this: in northern Germany, coins were minted from a special alloy that was stronger than pure silver. In the UK, it was called "ea sterling silver" – "silver of the eastern lands." Later, this alloy was made the standard for coin production in the UK, and the name was gradually reduced to ” sterling “. "Pound" is a measure of weight in silver, which must correspond in value to the monetary unit.
One pound coin with the profile of Elizabeth II
And finally, about the Japanese ” yen e”: it comes from the Chinese name ” yuan “, and that literally means “round”, “coin”. The Korean ” won a” comes from it. And by the same analogy, the word “tugrik” was coined, which also means “round”,
Here is a story about words related to money in the current language and not only. If you liked our little journey through the world of means of payment and etymology – like and subscribe to the channel!