Friday, January 09, 2015

Word of the Day -- Farthing

The British farthing (¼d) coin, from "fourthing," was a unit of currency of one quarter of a penny, or one nine hundred and sixtieth of a pound sterling. It was minted in bronze, and replaced the earlier copper farthings. It was used during the reign of six monarchs: Victoria, Edward VII, George V, Edward VIII, George VI and Elizabeth II, ceasing to be legal tender in 1960. It featured two different designs on its reverse during its one hundred years in circulation. From 1860 until 1936 the image of Britannia, and from 1937 onwards the image of a wren. Like all British coinage, it bore the portrait of the monarch on the obverse.

Before Decimal Day in 1971 there were two hundred and forty pence in one pound sterling. There were four farthings in a penny. Twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were usually written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. three shillings and six pence (3/6), pronounced "three and six" or "three and sixpence". Values of less than a shilling were simply written in terms of pence, e.g. 8d, pronounced "eightpence". A price with a farthing in it would be written like this: (19/11¼), pronounced "nineteen and elevenpence farthing".
sixpence (6d). The slang word 'tanner' meaning sixpence dates from the early 1800s and is derived most probably from Romany gypsy 'tawno' meaning small one, and Italian 'danaro' meaning small change. The 'tanner' slang was later reinforced (Ack L Bamford) via jocular reference to a biblical extract about St Peter lodging with Simon, a tanner (of hides). The biblical text (from Acts chapter 10 verse 6) is: "He (Peter) lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side..", which was construed by jokers as banking transaction instead of a reference to overnight accommodation. Nick Ratnieks suggests the tanner was named after a Master of the Mint of that name. A further suggestion (ack S Kopec) refers to sixpence being connected with pricing in the leather trade. An obscure point of nostalgic trivia about the tanner is apparently (thanks J Veitch) a rhyme, from around the mid-1900s, sung to the tune of Rule Britannia: "Rule Brittania, two tanners make a bob, three make eighteen pence and four two bob…" My limited research suggests this rhyme was not from London. - See more at: http://www.learnenglish.de/slang/moneyslang.html#sthash.yoqvtks6.dpuf
sixpence (6d). The slang word 'tanner' meaning sixpence dates from the early 1800s and is derived most probably from Romany gypsy 'tawno' meaning small one, and Italian 'danaro' meaning small change. The 'tanner' slang was later reinforced (Ack L Bamford) via jocular reference to a biblical extract about St Peter lodging with Simon, a tanner (of hides). The biblical text (from Acts chapter 10 verse 6) is: "He (Peter) lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side..", which was construed by jokers as banking transaction instead of a reference to overnight accommodation. Nick Ratnieks suggests the tanner was named after a Master of the Mint of that name. A further suggestion (ack S Kopec) refers to sixpence being connected with pricing in the leather trade. An obscure point of nostalgic trivia about the tanner is apparently (thanks J Veitch) a rhyme, from around the mid-1900s, sung to the tune of Rule Britannia: "Rule Brittania, two tanners make a bob, three make eighteen pence and four two bob…" My limited research suggests this rhyme was not from London. - See more at: http://www.learnenglish.de/slang/moneyslang.html#sthash.yoqvtks6.dpuf
sixpence (6d). The slang word 'tanner' meaning sixpence dates from the early 1800s and is derived most probably from Romany gypsy 'tawno' meaning small one, and Italian 'danaro' meaning small change. The 'tanner' slang was later reinforced (Ack L Bamford) via jocular reference to a biblical extract about St Peter lodging with Simon, a tanner (of hides). The biblical text (from Acts chapter 10 verse 6) is: "He (Peter) lodgeth with one Simon a tanner, whose house is by the sea side..", which was construed by jokers as banking transaction instead of a reference to overnight accommodation. Nick Ratnieks suggests the tanner was named after a Master of the Mint of that name. A further suggestion (ack S Kopec) refers to sixpence being connected with pricing in the leather trade. An obscure point of nostalgic trivia about the tanner is apparently (thanks J Veitch) a rhyme, from around the mid-1900s, sung to the tune of Rule Britannia: "Rule Brittania, two tanners make a bob, three make eighteen pence and four two bob…" My limited research suggests this rhyme was not from London. - See more at: http://www.learnenglish.de/slang/moneyslang.html#sthash.yoqvtks6.dpuf

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The word "Pence" was pronounced as "punce", so two pence was "tuppunce", and three pence was "Thruppunce", although still written as "Tuppence" and "thruppence" in prose.

ZD