Dollar

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The word "dollar" has come to represent the currency of many national economies. Examples include the U.S. dollar, Canadian dollar, Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar and others.

The word "dollar" is derived from "thaler," itself an abbreviation of Joachimsthal, a silver mine in the Valley of St. Joachim in Bohemia, which is currently part of the Czech Republic[1].

Silver from that mine was used to mint coins called Guldengroschen, or "great guilder." They became known as "Joachimsthalers," which was shortened to "thaler." Variants on "thaler" include "tolar," in Slovenian, the dutch "daalder," and "daler," in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian.

The English word "dollar" has been in use since the sixteenth century, and was used by William Shakespeare to refer to money in Macbeth Act I, Scene 2[2]:

"That now Sweno, the Norway's 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."

And also The Tempest, Act II, Scene 1: Gonzalo:

   "When every grief is entertain'd that's offer'd, Comes to th' entertainer - 

Sebastian:

   "A dollar." 

Gonzalo:

   "Dolour comes to him, indeed: you have spoken truer than you purpos'd." 

References

  1. Etymology of the term dollar. The Titi Tudorancea Bulletin.
  2. The Word "Dollar" and the Dollar Sign $ - Origins, History and Geography of Dollar Currencies. History of Money from Ancient Times to the Present Day by Glyn Davies.