Answered my own question
Posted by Lotg (OZ) on August 31, 2004
In Reply to: Take a punt posted by Lotg (OZ) on August 31, 2004
: Does anyone know why the word 'punt' is used to mean gamble? I discovered from doing a search, that a punt was once the basic unit of money in Ireland; equal to 100 pence. Is there a connection between that and the use of the word in relation to gambling? Other than that, the only punts I ever knew were the kind that ferried you across the river.
More searching has revealed that the word 'punt' is derived from the French ponter, from ponte point in some games, play against the banker, from Spanish punto point, from Latin punctum - all in relation to pointing and playing against a banker. Hence no doubt, the gambling origin.