Here’s How Currencies Of The World Got Their Names

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Unit Currency was first used in ancient Lidya back on 600 BC. At that point in time, money meant nothing but standardized pieces of Silver and Gold often bearing the name and symbol of the government or entity that issued it. However, as trade expanded and countries became more stable and financially secure, they began to deal in paper currency that had no intrinsic value. Different countries in the modern world have currencies that despite having no link with the gold or silver currency, have names that resonate the earlier value-measuring processes. Here is how some famous currencies and their names evolved over time:

1. Dollar

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Not just the US Dollar, but the currency’s name has been adopted by many countries around the world like Canada, Australia, Singapore, Singapore and New Zealand. It all began with the German Silver mines in Joachim’s valley. The coins made from this silver were named Joachimsthaler and then just Thaler which eventually became the Dollar.

2. Peso

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Peso was the symbolic currency of Spanish and Spanish-speaking territories before Euro took over in Spain. It means weight in Spanish so 1 Peso would mean one standard bit of weight.

3. Lira

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The name originates from Italy where the currency has been disbanded following the introduction of Euro. It is still being used Turkey and comes from the Latin word Libra meaning pound.

4. Mark

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The former currency of Germany also stands for weight. It was in use till Euro was introduced.

5. Riyal.

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Saudi and Irani Riyals come from the Latin word Rigalis which means royal. Even Spain used to name its currency Real since it is a monarchy as well.

6. Rupee

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Indian, Pakistani and Indonesian Rupee comes from Sanskrit word Rupya which means wrought silver.

7. Rand

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The South African currency’s name comes from the Dutch word Witwatersrand which means an area rich in Gold.

8. Krona

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Many Scandinavian countries like Sweden, Norway and Iceland use Krona, which means Crown in Latin.

9. Dinar

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The currency used in the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Serbia and even Algeria comes from the Latin word Denarius which was an ancient Roman coin.

10. Pound

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The Pound was also derived from a Latin word. It was Poundus which means weight. Now Egypt, Syria, Sudan and formerly Ireland all had their currencies named pound.

11. Ruble

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The currency of Russia and Belarus stands for weight in Silver in old Russian.

12. Zloty

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The Polish currency before it embraced the Euro was Zloty. It means golden.

13. Florint

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The Hungarian currency Florint comes from Italian word Fiorino which was a Gold coin from the Kingdom of Florence.

14. Ringgit

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When coins were being made, their edges would be shaved off to maintain the round shape. The waste bits of metal would be used again to make counterfeit coins which only had a fraction of the value. Then countries began to end this practice by using jagged coins that showed they hadn’t been tampered with to create waste metal coins. The Malaysian word for jagged was Ringgit, and that’s where the name came from as we know it.

Which origins story did you like the most?


  1. Szil Reply

    Hungary has the Forint, and never had ‘Florint’, just look at the picture.

  2. Fawad Reply

    correction required: Zloty is still the Polish currency, it is not replaced by Euro as yet

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