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Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'

RoyH (Burl) 27 Feb 13 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,999 27 Feb 13 - 07:37 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Feb 13 - 08:02 AM
MGM·Lion 27 Feb 13 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,999 27 Feb 13 - 08:32 AM
Ron Davies 27 Feb 13 - 01:02 PM
kendall 27 Feb 13 - 01:06 PM
Ron Davies 27 Feb 13 - 01:10 PM
Megan L 27 Feb 13 - 01:19 PM
GUEST,JTT 27 Feb 13 - 01:21 PM
meself 27 Feb 13 - 02:23 PM
Bill D 27 Feb 13 - 02:45 PM
Ron Davies 27 Feb 13 - 02:49 PM
michaelr 27 Feb 13 - 03:25 PM
Lighter 27 Feb 13 - 04:11 PM
dick greenhaus 27 Feb 13 - 04:46 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Feb 13 - 04:52 PM
MGM·Lion 27 Feb 13 - 06:27 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 27 Feb 13 - 06:35 PM
Bill D 27 Feb 13 - 06:44 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Feb 13 - 06:50 PM
Ed T 27 Feb 13 - 06:57 PM
Lighter 27 Feb 13 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,999 27 Feb 13 - 09:43 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 27 Feb 13 - 09:43 PM
Lighter 27 Feb 13 - 09:46 PM
number 6 27 Feb 13 - 09:54 PM
Ed T 27 Feb 13 - 10:07 PM
Lighter 27 Feb 13 - 10:39 PM
Mr Happy 28 Feb 13 - 09:09 AM
meself 28 Feb 13 - 10:23 AM
Lighter 28 Feb 13 - 12:50 PM
GUEST,999 28 Feb 13 - 01:55 PM
MGM·Lion 28 Feb 13 - 02:01 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Feb 13 - 02:44 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 28 Feb 13 - 03:24 PM
dick greenhaus 28 Feb 13 - 05:39 PM
Lighter 28 Feb 13 - 06:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Mar 13 - 09:20 AM
Will Fly 01 Mar 13 - 10:00 AM
Bob the Postman 01 Mar 13 - 10:00 AM
JohnInKansas 01 Mar 13 - 10:10 AM
Lighter 01 Mar 13 - 10:40 AM
beardedbruce 01 Mar 13 - 12:30 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Mar 13 - 12:59 PM
dick greenhaus 01 Mar 13 - 01:50 PM
GUEST,olddude 01 Mar 13 - 02:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 Mar 13 - 04:17 PM
Ron Davies 02 Mar 13 - 10:38 AM
Lighter 02 Mar 13 - 11:06 AM
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Subject: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: RoyH (Burl)
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 07:11 AM

I have often wondered why this is. Can anyone tell me? I would also like to know, What is 'Moxie' and why is it good tohave plenty? I await the usual Mudcat informative response. Thank You. Roy.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 07:37 AM

The term buck as a dollar from Snopes.

I'll leave moxie for others. No point ending a good thread before it takes off.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 08:02 AM

mox·ie (mks)
n. Slang
1. The ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage.
2. Aggressive energy; initiative: "His prose has moxie, though it rushes and stumbles from a pent-up surge" (Patricia Hampl).
3. Skill; know-how.
[From Moxie, trademark for a soft drink.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

moxie [ˈmɒksɪ] n
US and Canadian slang courage, nerve, or vigour
[from the trademark Moxie, a soft drink]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003

.,,.

A word I have always been fond of; came across it first in the works of the great Damon Runyon as part of the lively NY slang in use among his guys and dolls.

buck 3 (bk)
n. Informal
1. A dollar.
2. An amount of money: working overtime to make an extra buck.
[Short for buckskin (from its use in trade).]


Not sure how authenticated that ~~ sound as if might be a bit of post hoc folk etymology to me. But FWIW, guess it will do till a better derivation happens by...



Cheers, Roy

~Michael~


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 08:05 AM

... though, on 2nd look at the C18 quote in the Snopes entry ref'd by 999 above, it does appear to ring true.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 08:32 AM

http://muse.jhu.edu/login?auth=0&type=summary&url=/journals/dictionaries/v016/16.cassidy.pdf

About moxie.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 01:02 PM

The "previous pastor" in the Snopes question is amazingly supersensitive--and ignorant.

Even beyond the the question of buck as being racist --which as Snopes says is hogwash--even the term "young buck" is also not racist.   

Lots of whites use it--on themselves.    Gamble Rogers, for instance, says of his childhood in one of his stories::    "We were just young bucks-- boys growing up."

That quote from Scopes needs to be emblazoned on the foreheads of some Mudcatters--the one about "As fashionable as it is now" to see racism in all sorts of words "as if we could erase our history by eliminating some words from our vocabulary", that's absurd.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: kendall
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 01:06 PM

Yes, Ron, the word is from our past, which is where it should be left.

Moxie is a soft drink, popular in the northeast. Foul tasting and bitter.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 01:10 PM

I'll have to disagree with you, Kendall.   It's part of the richness of the language--and there's no reason it needs to be left in the past.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Megan L
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 01:19 PM

The only reference I ever saw to Young Buck was to an elegant young gentleman in regency period, it refered to their penchant for wearing Buckskin breeches. It was Beau Brummel who was credited with changing from breeches to trousers.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: GUEST,JTT
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 01:21 PM

Regency 'bucks' was a pronunciation of regency beaux.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: meself
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 02:23 PM

'Young buck' is a term I've heard and occasionally used for about as long as I can remember. Nothing racist about it, as far as I know. Not to say that the term 'buck' hasn't been used in racist ways (cf. The Great Gatsby) ....


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 02:45 PM

Our local 'open sing' always has a suggested theme.

A number of years ago, when my wife (Ferrara) led it, she chose

"Moxie, Chutzpah, Gall and Effrontery" .. a good time was had by all


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 02:49 PM

"heard and occasionally used..."   Exactly. That's why it's absurd to assume racist intent on the part of the speaker.

The Snopes quote is:   "As fashionable as it has become lately to ascribe all sorts of racist origins to ordinary words (as if we could eradicate unsavory aspects of our history by simply eliminating a chunk of our vocabulary)   ..."

Perfect.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: michaelr
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 03:25 PM

English songwriter Steve Tilston used "young buck" in his song "The Slip Jigs and Reels" to describe a young white immigrant.

Why is the British pound called a quid?


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 04:11 PM

Well, I suggest there's usually a difference between a "young buck" of any description and a "black buck."

I suppose we've all heard the claims that "the jig is up" refers to lynchings and that "niggardly" is racist. Both ideas are historically absurd, though the assertions have been around for so long now that many people believe them.

Yesterday there was this:

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/OTUS/us-census-bureau-drops-negro-surveys/story?id=18591761

In my day (the time of the Civil Rights movement) "Negro" (as in "American Negro College Fund") was, along with "colored people" (as in "National Association for the Advancement of Colored People") as neutral as "African American" is today. "Black" was truly insulting - at least when used by whites.

"People of color" is now as neutral as "Negro" was formerly. But "colored people" is now offensive.

Go figure.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 04:46 PM

"The Indians taught the European settlers the value of a buck. In the eighteenth century, that meant a deerskin, used for trading in its own right and as a unit of value for trading anything else. So in 1748, while in Indian territory on a visit to the Ohio, Conrad Weiser wrote in his journal, "He has been robbed of the value of 300 Bucks"; and later, "Every cask of Whiskey shall be sold...for 5 Bucks in your town."
Buck wasn't specific for one dollar bill. but originally referred to whatever unit of currency wAS COMMONLY USED.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 04:52 PM

"I was a lonely, teenage broncin' buck with a pink carnation and a pickup truck, but...
I knew I was out of luck the day the music died "


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 06:27 PM

There is confusion here as to the use of 'buck' for 'man' [as distinct from the $; tho as will appear there is some connection relating to 'buckskin', the skin of a male deer]. The point is that there is not just one word, but there are two, which, though identical in form, and both basically meaning 'man', are differently derived and hence differ in overtone.

1. The fine young men from mid-C18 onwards, the 'young bucks' (originally plural in form, note), as a derivation from beaux.

2. An Afro slave offered for sale in the US [the female equivalent beiing 'wench'], described and catalogued by the slave-trader as a 'buck', as that iniquitous business could only exist by being predicated on the dehumanisation of its victims: part of which was thus accomplished by using a word for 'male-of-the-species' derived, not from humanity, but from various members of the animal kingdom.

So the usages derived from 1 are non-racial, complimentary even, as e.g. in Don MacLean's American Pie or Steve Tilston's Slip Jigs & Reels cited above; while those deriving from 2, as in the second line of Johnny Come Down To Hilo, may well often appear as racist.

~M~


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 06:35 PM

I don't know why a dollar is called a "buck", but I know that "buck" rhymes with "fuck" and "dollar" rhymes with "holler". This coincidence has made it remarkably simple for any US citizen to create a passable bawdy rhyme having to do with prostitution.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Bill D
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 06:44 PM

I was a member of my college chapter of the NAACP in the early 60s, and watched the black/colored/Negro/Afro-American contingent...etc. argue among themselves about what word(s) were appropriate. I stayed VERY quiet in meetings as the debate continued. I knew some terms were not a good idea, but even the 'worst' were used **within** the community in certain circumstances.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 06:50 PM

I would think t pretty probable that the use of the word buck by slavers was essentially the same meaning as when used to refer to young men generally, meaning more or lless "a fine specimen of his kind".    Presumably arising from the same meaning in relation to young male deer.

This ties both uses, money or young men, to a common origin, namely deer, assuming that the "buckskin" source for the monetary use is correct, which sounds pretty convincing.

So it all comes back to Bambi...


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Ed T
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 06:57 PM

Thee Canadian dollar is also called a "buck". Here is the origin of the Canadian term "buck" from a Canadian government heritage web page:


Canadian origin of Buck


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 09:12 PM

According to that Canadian site:

" A coin was struck that was equal to the value of one male beaver pelt – it was known as a « buck »."

Significantly, no shred of evidence is given to show why this would have been the case. Or even that it was the case.

Supposedly it was in the 1600s - but Oxford dates the "dollar" sense only to 1856.

Of course, beavers do have buck teeth and Bucky Beaver used to advertise Ipana toothpaste. Brusha brusha brusha!


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 09:43 PM

In Canada, beaver has two meanings.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 09:43 PM

Buck, in the sense of a dollar:

OEDS: 1856 "Bernard, assault and battery upon Wm. Croft, mulcted in the sum of twenty bucks."

J. E. Lighter, Historical Dictionary of American Slang, vol. I.

This quotation would indicate that the term is older than 1856.

OEDS: Oxford English Dictionary Supplement.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 09:46 PM

But not over 150 years older.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: number 6
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 09:54 PM

ok .. ok

so much for the meaning of a "buck"

I would like to know

why

a quarter is called "2 bits"


biLL


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Ed T
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 10:07 PM

Probably pages of a more accurate site on coinage/trade and New World history is below. (The earlier one I linked does seem a bit suspect, now that I look at it again)?

HBC-Trade Silver - The Beaver

Fur trade barter

Early beaver dollars

Though there is no date cited of the early currencies used, it states that brooches (much like coins) were used in the fur trade as currency would be now (not to be confused with British currency): "A round silver brooch, the size of a shilling was rated at a shilling and a larger brooch, the size of a silver dollar, was rated at one Spanish dollar. Beaver pendants, approximately 1/2 inch in length were valued at one beaver skin.

In addition, throughout (what is now Canada) the early fur trade (French and British) the beaver pelt was a prized trade item and there seemed to be a shortage of currency, so a variety of currencies and items seemed to have been used to barter.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Lighter
Date: 27 Feb 13 - 10:39 PM

So, Ed, where is there even one quotation containing an actual usage of "buck," in Canada or anywhere else, to mean "dollar" before the 1850s?

While a "buck" can denote other male mammals (such as rams and male rabbits) in context, as a general rule it means specifically a male deer. And should we believe that only the pelts of male beavers ("buck beavers" presumably) were used as currency?

Even the 1856 example of "twenty bucks" (from California) is unusual. Examples in book, periodical, and newspaper databases now available strongly suggest the word didn't become familiar nationally till the 1890s.


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Mr Happy
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 09:09 AM

What puzzles me is the term 'person of colour' - surely everyone has a certain tinge to their skin, yet we don't refer to people generally by this term


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Subject: RE: BS: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: meself
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 10:23 AM

While the idea of 'buck' deriving from the beaver coin has some plausibility, I'm suspicious of it mainly because in the fair bit of reading I've done on the fur trade and related matters over the years, I don't believe I've ever come across that etymology.

Looking back at that 'Canadian Heritage' site, I see that there is some ambiguity in the wording - it says that the coin became known as a 'buck', and implies that that was because a male beaver pelt was known as a 'buck', but doesn't make either point directly. It leaves open the possibilities that a male beaver was not known as a 'buck', and that the coin may have been called a 'buck' for other reasons (such as that the term had already been applied to other currency?).


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 12:50 PM

Nor does it say *when* the dollar coins were first called "bucks," though it invites us to assume that the answer is "from the beginning."

Never assume.

My educated guess is that it only happened after the U.S. "buck" became generally familiar to Canadians.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: GUEST,999
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 01:55 PM

biLL: regarding two bits and the quarter, here ya go.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 02:01 PM

I have heard that familiar "Pom-tiddly-om-pom pom pom" coda or round-off tune verbalised as "Shave and a haircut, six bits!". When could you get those for 75 cents, I wonder? Well, not that long ago, actually. I remember when they would cost about 1/6 [a shilling and sixpence] here.

~M~


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 02:44 PM

A diller a taler, a ten o'clock scholar.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 03:24 PM

I should have noted that the 1856 quotation implying the use of buck for dollar came from a Sacramento (CA) newspaper. (OED)

By the 1890s, the expression seems to have been fairly common, at least in print.

No link to the Canadian "made beaver" or other fur trade token.

Dollar- a corruption of thaler, the silver coin that was common for several centuries in Europe. It was also acceptable elsewhere. They were re-struck and became common in trade because their weight was standard.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 05:39 PM

Wiester's quote was dated 1748, and suggests earlier usage.

BTW-does anyone remember the remarkably un-PC ad that showed a tired looking bAmerind, a fetching young lady and a caption "A buck well spent on a Springmaid Sheet?"


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Lighter
Date: 28 Feb 13 - 06:48 PM

Dick, Weiser's quote doesn't refer to a dollar bill or a dollar coin or a dollar in the abstract.

It means a buckskin that happens to be valued - we think - at a dollar. He was addressing a council of Indians in Pennsylvania to whom he gave "wampum" - not English money:

http://tinyurl.com/ctx75t9

What's more, the only kind of "dollar" in circulation at the time was the Spanish milled dollar ("piece of eight") - not the U.S. currency, which didn't appear until 1792.

It's a long, long way from 1748 to 1856.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 09:20 AM

Any link with the usage in the expression "the buck stops here"?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Will Fly
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 10:00 AM

From the Great & Glorious Wiki...

The expression is said to have originated from poker, in which a marker or counter (e.g., a knife with a buckhorn handle during the American Frontier era) was used to indicate the person whose turn it was to deal. If the player did not wish to deal he could pass the responsibility by passing the "buck", as the counter came to be called, to the next player.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Bob the Postman
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 10:00 AM

Mr. Google informs me that there are no special terms for male or female beavers, although juveniles are called "kits". He further states that, unusually among mammals, male beavers are typically smaller than females, so a prime beaver pelt would probably be from what might be but isn't called a "doe" beaver.

Finally, off my own bat, "buck" could refer to a deer CARCASE rather than its hide.   Hide for leather would have been much less valuable than pelts for luxury goods and so would be less likely to be reckoned a medium of exchange. But fresh venison was much in demand at trading posts and was typically purchased from local Natives.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 10:10 AM

At least in some parts of the US, the traditional explanation of "two bits" for the quarter (US version) is that there was very little coinage available, so a "dollar" coin was frequently cut into pieces to make change.

Cut across a diameter, it's easy to make eight "bits" by cutting each piece in half, each half in half again, and the each of the four pieces in half; but anything smaller is hard to keep track of and it's hard to tell if one was made by "honest cuts." (And only excellent geometers of the time could possibly cut one in tenths, although twelths would have been possible.)

For much of our history (a fair fraction of how long we've been around) there was no "official" coinage available for widespread use, and each bank, or sometimes each individual shopkeeper**, issed their own. (One might assume that wooden dollars were a lot easier to cut into "bits" than metal ones, but "local coins" made out of local materials could be made in many more denominations?)

This explanation is frequently seen in historical reports, but verification would be difficult due to the number of conflicting fantasies.

"Explaining" US slang terms on the basis of British precedents is not generally as reliable as some may assume, although "every good lie needs at least a half truth buried within it."

** "or saloon" might be added. A belt buckle I've worn for about 50 years is claimed to be a derivative from a "coin" used for change at "Rosie's Saloon and Good Time Emporium - Good for one free redeye and ride." (If you could only get change in "house coin" you had to come back and spend the change at the same place?)

John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Lighter
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 10:40 AM

> verification would be difficult due to the number of conflicting fantasies.

Truer and truer about more and more with each passing day.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: beardedbruce
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 12:30 PM

John,

During the colonial period, the spanish pillar dollar "Piece of eight" ,which was often cut into halves and quarters , was in circulation, along with many other coins. The weight was the value- a silver piece that had the weight of a dollar was worth a dollar. In general the US dollar was not cut up.

For many years, the standard denomination used between banks to balance exchanges was the half-dollar- hence the avaliability of many older ones that had been in bank bags for the last 100-180 years.

US Coinage was started in 1792. In the early days, ANYONE could take assayed metal ( gold, silver) to the Mint and get coins of equal weight ( minus a small fee) made.

Trade tokens were sometimes used when small change was not available, especially during and after the Civil War. There were many "private" coinages of gold in California, post 1849.
In some, the weight rather than value was used- there were several series of small ingots with the assayed weight and purity that circulated.


BTW, the standard units of US coinage were the mill, the cent ( 10 mills), the dime ( 10 cents), the dollar ( 10 dimes or 100 cents) , the eagle ( 10 dollars), and the union ( 10 eagles)

Coinage has been in the following denominations:

1/2 cent ( copper)
1 cent (copper, steel, now zinc)
2 cents (copper)
3 cents ( both nickel and silver)
5 cents ( both nickel and silver)
10 cents (silver, now nickel and copper)
20 cents (silver)
25 cents ( gold, silver, now nickel and copper)
50 cents (gold, silver, now nickel and copper)
1 dollar ( gold, silver, nickel and copper, now manganese bronze)
$2.50 (gold)
$3 (gold)
$4 (gold)
$5 (gold)
$10 ( gold)
$20 (gold)
$50 (gold)

This does NOT include the current "bullion" coins, with face values of $1 for an ounce of silver and $100 for an ounce of Platinum. They are in 1 oz silver, 1/10 , 1/4, 1/2, and 1 oz gold, and 1/10 , 1/4, 1/2, and 1 oz platinum


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 12:59 PM

No argument that the US didn't have coinage from quite early. The point of the stories is that there wasn't enough of it widely available in many parts of the country until much later, so local "coins" (and printed bills) were fairly common in many places.

Most such "funny money" was not particularly durable, so few samples seem to have survived, but I don't know whether many have ever done significant collecting or that anyone has done much documentation of what they looked like.

Like Confederate money, if the issuing business failed (which was fairly frequent?) they were worthless, so it's likely most were discarded, lost, or in the case of bills used to start the campfire.

Although the stories are common, real evidence is scant; so the explanation is "lore" rather than history and it doesn't matter much whether it's the real truth.

John


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 01:50 PM

Jon-
My quote a only intended to illustrate the early use of "buck" as a unit of currency.

BTW, re "dollar", check out Macbeth: "That now
Sweno, the Norways' king, craves composition:
Nor would we deign him burial of his men
Till he disbursed at Saint Colme's inch
Ten thousand dollars to our general use.
Act 1 scene 2


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: GUEST,olddude
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 02:19 PM

In the early 1800's a dollar was worth a male deer .. literally a buck. Hence the term


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 Mar 13 - 04:17 PM

Nice myth, olddude.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Ron Davies
Date: 02 Mar 13 - 10:38 AM

"If the player did not wish to deal" from Wiki.

This may not be the last word.   Another site says that certainly the buck could have been the marker used in poker, but it had nothing to do with refusing to deal; it was simply procedure to pass the buck (often a knife with handle made of buck's horn) to the next person to deal. The ( buck's horn) knife signified the responsibility to deal. When that dealer was finished, he "passed the buck" on to the next person.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: why is the US dollar called a 'buck?'
From: Lighter
Date: 02 Mar 13 - 11:06 AM

In my understanding of poker, RD is correct.

Harry S Truman popularized "The buck stops here" by prominently keeping an engraved plaque with the saying on his White House desk.


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