The article has been automatically translated into English by Google Translate from Russian and has not been edited.

Why are American dollars called bucks?


Source: "English | English Winglish" on "Yandex.Zen"

Perhaps, in every language there is more than one slang name for money. In Russian, this is "cabbage", and "grandmother", and "loot", and even - dear mother! - "lave", and we also have a "wooden" ruble, but the dollar is "green", reminds the author of the channel “English | English Winglish ”on“ Yandex.Zen ”.

Photo: Shutterstock

Americans also call their money differently: moola or moolah / ˈmʊlə / (the origin of the word has not been established), benjamins (the portrait of one of the founding fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin, flaunts on a hundred-dollar bill), stacks / stæks / (literally: “Bales, piles, packs”), cheddar (“cheddar” - a type of cheese), dough / dəʊ / (“dough”), clams / klæmz / (“shellfish”)

But today let's talk about the origin of the most common slang name for the dollar - the word buck / bʌk /.

Version # 1, most popular

Buck is a male animal, especially a deer or antelope. In the 18th century, American settlers and Indians often used deerskins or buckskins instead of currency. For example, according to the records of 1748, a barrel of whiskey was worth “5 bucks” (5 bucks), that is, 5 deer skins.

And although the American dollar appeared in circulation only a few decades later than this date, most Americans are sure that its slang name buck is associated precisely with the tradition of paying with animal skins.

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Version No. 2, card

According to another theory, when playing poker, a knife with a buckhorn handle was used as a turn marker - it was placed next to the dealer.

Probably, this is where the expression pass the buck (literally: to pass the deer) came from - that is, “to shift responsibility, to translate“ arrows ”. Over time, the knife was replaced with a silver dollar - the expression remained, and the word buck stuck to the name of the coin.

Version number 3, the most believable

However, a number of American linguists believe that the word buck is an abbreviation for sawbuck, which is the slang name for a 10-dollar bill. In fact, a sawbuck is a sawbuck for sawing wood. On the first paper bills of 10 dollars, the number “10” was written with the Roman numeral “X”, which in its shape resembles these same goats, sawbuck.

In support of this theory, experts argue that the name buck in relation to the dollar began to be used practically throughout the United States only after the start of issuing paper money, that is, only in the last third of the 19th century.

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However, scientists do not exclude that the word has several sources of origin and therefore is so firmly entrenched in the language. But what history the word buck did not have, the main thing is to have bucks in your pocket (to have bucks in your pocket), which is what I wish you!

PS By the way, the word “buck” in the meaning of “dollar” has already passed into Russian. Don't believe me? Look into any dictionary of the modern Russian language!

Original column published on the blog. “English | English Winglish ”on“ Yandex.Zen ”

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