pelf

pelf

[pelf]
noun
money or wealth, especially when regarded with contempt or acquired by reprehensible means.

Origin:
1300–50; Middle English < Old French pelfre booty

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World English Dictionary
pelf (pɛlf)
 
n
derogatory money or wealth, esp if dishonestly acquired; lucre
 
[C14: from Old French pelfre booty; related to Latin pilāre to despoil]

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Word Origin & History

pelf
late 14c., from Anglo-Fr. pelf, from O.Fr. pelfre "booty, spoils" (11c.), of unknown origin, related to pilfer (q.v.). Meaning "money, riches," with a pejorative overtone first recorded c.1500.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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