Login

user_8029's Blog

31 Aug 2017

Money Related Idioms

Young Numismatists Exchange | user_8029

Money has always been a large part of society, and, because of this, has become a part of our speech. An idiom is a phrase that means something different than it says and is commonly said meaning this. Examples include “tighten your belt” and “pony up”, among others. In this post, I shall write about idioms that relate to numismatics and how they came to be. The two covered will be “worth one’s salt” and “Don’t take a wooden nickel”.

                Salt is valuable. Maybe not economically, but it is one of the chemicals that is necessary for human life. Water is another. In the past, salt was worth far more. In ancient civilizations, salt was worth quite a bit, economically. According to phrases.org, the English word salary came from a Roman word called “salarium”. This did not, as its phonetic English equivalent does, mean what one is paid in wages, but was the allotment of money for the purchase of salt. If you were a Roman soldier, you would get a salary, a reimbursement for your services to the army and a salarium for your daily salt. The phrase “worth one’s salt” sprung up around this as sort of an equivalent to “worth one’s weight in gold”. It meant that you were worth your pay.

                A wooden nickel is just as it sounds. A nickel made of wood used as a sort of a counterfeit. Or is it more complicated than that? The phrase “Don’t take a wooden nickel” basically means don’t let yourself get cheated out of what is yours. However, this is a case of numismatic confusion. Both counterfeits and wooden nickels existed, but one was not involved with the other. This phrase fell into use in the 19th century and was addressed to country people venturing into the city. People who were seen as unfamiliar to the town were likely to be cheated and swindled, and wooden nickels were used as a blanket term for this. Wooden nickels, however, were not used to swindle, as who would think that wood is metal? It would be pretty hard to pull off. No, these nickels were intended as promotions at a bank or grocery store (Bring in this wooden nickel to Bob’s Grocery and you’ll get a free apple!).

                These two phrases speak about                how money is very much ingrained into civilization. These idioms offer a unique view into their respective histories and are interesting to learn about. If humanity went extinct, future explorers could probably find out about our culture from our idioms and clichés.

 

References:

http://phrases.org.uk/meanings/worth-ones-salt.html

http://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/Don't+take+any+wooden+nickels

https://www.learn4good.com/languages/evrd_idioms/id-m.php3#penny-wise and pound foolish

Comments

user_45732

Level 2

Nice article

ZanzibarCoins

Level 4

Very interesting! Great blog. I have a few wooden nickels too. :)

World_Coin_Nut

Level 5

Well, I enjoyed that. Quite the departure from the ordinary.

Kepi

Level 6

I enjoyed your blog! Fun to read...I have some wooden nickels too... haha

Conan Barbarian

Level 5

i own a few wooden nickels they are pretty cool but not that desirable to me

"SUN"

Level 6

A great read. Thanks

Numinerd9

Level 5

Have you checked out our list of money-related idioms on this website? https://www.money.org/money-musements/coin-a-phrase -Sam Gelberd, ANA Numismatic Educator

user_9073

Level 5

Wooden nickels have been used as emergency money in a few places , not just as advertising promotions. Check out TENINO, Washington.

Mike

Level 7

I think the best information you can get for your blogs is from books. I tried these sites and the web the information is never updated causing the blog to be outdated. The real and good information comes from books not the web. Anyone can read the web. It's the collector who buys and reads books. These are all general information. If you want to make them great read books. We have a saying here buy the book before the coin. I can sit here all day and read the web and write blogs. If you want to learn books is the answer. Not the web.

Mike

Level 7

Enjoyable.

CoinLady

Level 6

This was fun to read. Don't take any wooden nickels!

Tags
    No tags are attached to this post.
We use cookies to provide users the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we'll assume that you agree to receive all cookies on money.org. You may disable cookies at any time using your internet browser configuration. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use. To learn more about how we use cookies and to review our privacy policy, click here.