1560s, "pertaining to public revenue," from M.Fr. fiscal, from L.L. fiscalis "of or belonging to the state treasury," from L. fiscus "treasury," originally "purse, basket made of twigs (in which money was kept)," of unknown origin. The general sense of "financial" (1865, Amer.Eng.) was abstracted from phrases like fiscal calendar, fiscal year. Related: Fiscally.