A Very Interesting Site - Word & Phrase Origins
- Dear Friends,
Here is a very interesting site.
It is about the origin of some English words and
phrases. It makes very interesting reading.
Some words/phrases gave some interesting story
behind them .
The title of the site is
Wilton's Word & Phrase Origins
available at the following URL -
One sample 'parukkai' for a pot-ful of rice below.
The origin of the almighty dollar is in what is now the Czech
Republic. In 1519, a silver mine near the town of Joachimstal
(literally "Joachim's valley," from the German Tal, meaning valley)
began minting a silver coin called, unimaginatively, the
Joachimstaler. The coin, which was circulated widely, became better
known by its clipped form, the taler. In Dutch and Low German, the
initial consonant softened to become daler. English adopted this form,
eventually changing its spelling to the modern dollar .
In the American colonies, there was no standard currency. The coin
that was in widest use was the Spanish Peso, known also as "Pieces of
Eight" because it could be divided into eight pie-like pieces. The
English colonists informally assigned the name dollar to this coin. In
1785, when the Continental Congress established U.S. currency, they
adopted dollar as name for the standard unit of currency, at the
suggestion of Governeur Morris and Thomas Jefferson, because the term
was widely known and was not associated with any form of official
English currency. (Jefferson also coined the term disme, from the
French dixieme, for a tenth of a dollar. Pronounced deem , it
eventually became dime.)
The origin of the $ sign has several folkloric stories attached. One
says that Thomas Jefferson invented it, perhaps as a sort of monogram
for TS. Jefferson was the first to use the symbol in relation to the
U.S. dollar, but this story is fanciful. Another says that originally
it was U superimposed over an S, for U.S. of course. Eventually the
base of the U eroded due to poor printing technology, leaving an S
with two lines through it. Another says that it is a variant of a
figure eight that appeared on the Spanish Peso, standing for the
pieces of eight. This last is close to the truth, but not quite there.
The Spanish royal family used on its escutcheon, two pillars
(representing the Pillars of Hercules in Gibraltar and Morocco)
crossed by an unfurled banner reading "Plus Ultra." This symbol
appeared on the Peso, and looked much like the modern $ sign. It was
adopted as a symbol for the Peso in the American colonies, and was
transferred to the dollar.
The U.S. was the first nation to adopt an official currency named the
dollar. In 1797, the Bank of England began minting "dollar" coins as
bank-issued currency. Other nations that have adopted the name
dollarfor their currency have done so in emulation of either the U.S.
or this short-lived Bank of England practice.