This one also comes courtesy of my daughter and her history book, which includes fun little snippets about what words got their origins in the time she’s studying (a history book after my own heart!). I think I’d heard this one before, but I’d forgotten.
Ever wonder why Americans call their dollar a buck sometimes? Unlike the English quid, which is probably directly from Latin, meaning “that which is, essence” (talk about a highfaluting nickname, LOL), the American buck has a more down-to-earth history.
Around the time when our money was being established, there was still quite a frontier. This was the age of trappers and hunters bringing hides from the wilds in to sell. And a deer hide was one of the standards–with it, one could barter, trade, or get hard currency. Want to take a guess at how much a buck’s hide was worth?
That’s right. One dollar. So buck and dollar were equivalent. If something was worth a dollar, it was worth a buck, so the two began to be used interchangeably–both in speech and in practice.
What could you get for a buck when you were a kid? (I’m guessing not an entire hide, LOL)
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