Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme where we share new (to us) and interesting (to us, again) words we encountered in our readings. See this week round-up at BermudaOnion’s blog!
In keeping with last week’s post, I found something interesting in the book I am currently reading, The Earth: An Intimate History by Richard Fortey. Although it’s not really “new words”, I found it interesting enough to share.
Fortey explains the etymology of the word dollar:
As for the name — dollar — it has a geological history.
One can find the same word in Danish, daler. In due turn, this is a variant of thaler. The thaler was the standard silver coinage across Europe in the fifteenth century. […] Further, the name thaler was itself a contraction from Joachimsthaler, referring to the mine at Joachimsthal (the valley of Joachim) from which the silver was obtained. […] The town will be found on modern maps under the name of Jachymov. So the Joachimsthaler became the thaler, which became the dollar.
Now, at the beginning of the same chapter, Fortey writes of the dollar:
The most ordinary thing in the world, a scrap of paper: a buck, a greenback.
Again, these words I knew, but it made me think: how many words are there to say “dollar”? The Merriam-Webster Thesaurus reports:
Synonyms: bone [slang], buck, clam, one, smacker [slang]
Related Words: greenback; dead presidents [slang]
Do you know any other?
Post Scriptum: This may be my last Wondrous Words post for a while, because I will be traveling for a few weeks and I don’t know that I will have time for blogging…