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A Very Interesting Site - Word & Phrase Origins

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  • jaybee555@yahoo.com
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2001
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      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.
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