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Re: Pound

Posted by R. Berg on March 21, 2002

In Reply to: Re: Quid posted by James Briggs on March 21, 2002

: : : : : : : I am interested in the derivation of the word 'dosh ' meaning money.

: : : : : : : Can anyone help?

: : : : : : My 1994 Collin's Dictionary says: 'British and Australian slang for money. 20th century. Origin unknown.'
: : : : : : Hopefully, others can do a bit better! It's not recorded in my copy of the '1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.'

: : : : : I also am totally unable to track down any origins for dosh, but perhaps the following observation will soften the blow. We British have a huge number of slang terms for money or cash - to the extent that it's almost improbable. Wih no more than a moment's thought, I offer you the obvious "readies" and "wad", the more bizarre "wonga" and my personal utterly surreal favourite "spondoolicks" (sp?). There'll be plenty more - and this is before we even get into the slang for amounts of cash - monkeys and ponies, bottles, carpets and ladies to start with. But that's for another time.

: : : : I have never heard the word used in the U.S. I did find it in an American slang reference book, but its origin is unknown. To me it has the sound of "carny talk."

: : : Eric Partridge ("Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English") offers a speculation about its origin:
: : : DOSH. Money, esp. cash: Australian juvenile: since ca. 1944. . . . Perhaps a blend of "DOllars" + "caSH."

: : As long as we are on the subject, I'm curious about the word "quid". A quid, for those who aren't British, is a pound. It's sometimes referred to as a "squid" - just for fun as far as I can see. Has it always been a pound? It caused untold panic my first few days in London as I desperately studdied my money trying to find the quids.

: Always a pound £ (money, not weight) but, sadly, another one with absolutely no known origin.

Excuse me? The OED says "Originally, a pound weight of silver."