Love words? Sign up for our Word of the Day!
mid-13c., "coinage, metal currency," from Old French monoie "money, coin, currency; change" (Modern French monnaie), from Latin moneta "place for coining money, mint; coined money, money, coinage," from Moneta, a title or surname of the Roman goddess Juno, in or near whose temple money was coined; perhaps from monere "advise, warn" (see monitor (n.)), with the sense of "admonishing goddess," which is sensible, but the etymology is difficult. Extended early 19c. to include paper money.
It had been justly stated by a British writer that the power to make a small piece of paper, not worth one cent, by the inscribing of a few names, to be worth a thousand dollars, was a power too high to be entrusted to the hands of mortal man. [John C. Calhoun, speech, U.S. Senate, Dec. 29, 1841]To make money "earn pay" is first attested mid-15c. Highwayman's threat your money or your life first attested 1841. Phrase in the money (1902) originally meant "one who finishes among the prize-winners" (in a horse race, etc.). The challenge to put (one's) money where (one's) mouth is is first recorded 1942, American English. money-grub "one who is sordidly intent on amassing money" is from 1768. The image of money burning a hole in someone's pocket is attested from 1520s.
I am not interested in money but in the things of which money is the symbol. [Henry Ford]
bait money, black money, bug money, chicken feed, coin money, fall money, folding money, front money, funny money, green money, heavy money, in the money, a license to print money, mad money, make money hand over fist, on the money, put one's money where one's mouth is, right money, the smart money, soft money, throw money at something, tight money, white money
Of uncoined money the first notice we have is in the history of Abraham (Gen. 13:2; 20:16; 24:35). Next, this word is used in connection with the purchase of the cave of Machpelah (23:16), and again in connection with Jacob's purchase of a field at Shalem (Gen. 33:18, 19) for "an hundred pieces of money"=an hundred Hebrew kesitahs (q.v.), i.e., probably pieces of money, as is supposed, bearing the figure of a lamb. The history of Joseph affords evidence of the constant use of money, silver of a fixed weight. This appears also in all the subsequent history of the Jewish people, in all their internal as well as foreign transactions. There were in common use in trade silver pieces of a definite weight, shekels, half-shekels, and quarter-shekels. But these were not properly coins, which are pieces of metal authoritatively issued, and bearing a stamp. Of the use of coined money we have no early notice among the Hebrews. The first mentioned is of Persian coinage, the daric (Ezra 2:69; Neh. 7:70) and the 'adarkon (Ezra 8:27). The daric (q.v.) was a gold piece current in Palestine in the time of Cyrus. As long as the Jews, after the Exile, lived under Persian rule, they used Persian coins. These gave place to Greek coins when Palestine came under the dominion of the Greeks (B.C. 331), the coins consisting of gold, silver, and copper pieces. The usual gold pieces were staters (q.v.), and the silver coins tetradrachms and drachms. In the year B.C. 140, Antiochus VII. gave permission to Simon the Maccabee to coin Jewish money. Shekels (q.v.) were then coined bearing the figure of the almond rod and the pot of manna.