Remember Me?

 Straight Dope Message Board Remember Me?

#1
05-19-2000, 09:32 PM
 Hail Ants BANNED Join Date: Jan 2000 Location: NY USA Posts: 7,635
Okay I know what a Pound is, but do these mean the same thing:

Quid
Shilling
Guinea
Crown
Bob

I remember reading that Australia switched from an Imperial monetary system to decimal around 1968 or so. Is Britain's system 100 whatevers to the pound?
__________________
I for one welcome our new insect overlords... - K. Brockman
#2
05-19-2000, 09:46 PM
 aseymayo Guest Join Date: Apr 1999 Location: Sto Lat Posts: 1,420
The British system used to be based on 240 pennies to the pound (quid). They went to a decimal system in 1971. Here's a handy chart of names and values.
#3
05-20-2000, 06:59 AM
 Crusoe Guest Join Date: Nov 1999 Location: London, UK Posts: 7,130
Decimalisation occurred in Britain in (I think) 1973. It's now 100 new pence (more commonly just "pence") to the pound Sterling.
#4
05-20-2000, 07:33 AM
 Gilligan Guest Join Date: May 1999 Location: Columbus, OH Posts: 1,223
On a related note, I can recall watching various British comedies and occasionally seeing prices listed as "4/6" or spoken as "four and six". Similar to "a dollar fifty" in U.S. terms. What do the four and six stand for? Four pounds plus six shillings or pence, or four shillings plus six pence?
#5
05-20-2000, 08:54 AM
 London_Calling Guest Join Date: May 2000 Location: What ? Posts: 5,972
Hail Ants - You don't really need to know about all the old terminology. Only things that matter are:
A 'quid' is a £ (pound)

There are 100 'pence' (pennies)in a £

Every £ you spend is roughly equal to \$1.55/\$1.60, or

A \$ is roughly equal to 65-70 pence

BTW: (i think...it was 1973!)
A shilling equals 5 pence
A Guinea equals 21 shillings/£1.10 pence
A Crown equals 2 shillings/10 pence
A bob is a shilling

err...hope that's clear.
#6
05-20-2000, 08:56 AM
 London_Calling Guest Join Date: May 2000 Location: What ? Posts: 5,972
Opps, a Guinea equals 21 shillings/£1.05 pence.
#7
05-20-2000, 12:02 PM
 Diceman Guest Join Date: Mar 1999 Location: Suburbs of Detroit, MI Posts: 9,859
Thanks, aseymayo, your link is very enlightening. I remember an old text adventure game that I found on an archive sight. It was pretty good, except that I had to buy things with bizzare alien coinages like "Florins" and
"Half-Crowns."
__________________
Reality is an illusion caused by lack of alcohol.
#8
05-20-2000, 01:07 PM
 C K Dexter Haven Right Hand of the Master Charter Member Join Date: Feb 1999 Location: Chicago north suburb Posts: 16,078
London_c says: << You don't really need to know about all the old terminology >>

Not unless you happen to be reading a book, or watching a movie or tv show, from before 1970, say.
#9
05-20-2000, 02:17 PM
 London_Calling Guest Join Date: May 2000 Location: What ? Posts: 5,972
CK, I guess you're right - i assumed incorrectly that Hail Ants was carrying out a little pre-tourism research.

Got to say, I didn't know for years the respective value's of dimes, nickels, quarters, etc and it was a little frustrating.
#10
05-20-2000, 03:06 PM
 aseymayo Guest Join Date: Apr 1999 Location: Sto Lat Posts: 1,420
The American-British - British-American Dictionary has some more in-depth information about old and new British money. Warning - this site uses (ugh) frames; click on the British->American link in the "Search Instructions" frame, then scroll down to the pound symbol (it's near the top).

The author of the above site says the move to decimalization began in 1968 (another site I found said Queen Elizabeth herself struck the first decimal coins in '68) and the conversion was completed by the official start date of Feb 15, 1971. He also explains the L/d/s designations (for Gilligan).
#11
05-20-2000, 10:28 PM
 Kipper Guest Join Date: Apr 2000 Location: New Zealand Posts: 273
In the old, predecimal system:

1 pound = 20 shillings

1 shilling = 12 pence

Pounds can be refered to as Quid or Reddies (pound notes used to be colored red but now are replaced by coins).

2/6 means two shillings and six pence and is refered to as half a bob or a half crown. A crown was a five shilling piece or one bob. The smallest paper currency was the 10 shilling note.

A guinea was a gold coin worth 21 shillings or slightly more than one pound.

Pennies are abreviated as p but some times you will see them refered to by the abreviation d, for example on old stamps. The d stands for denarius from the latin for penny.

As a note of interest pennies were in medieval times minted from silver. 24O pennies weighed one pound hence the name pound and the expression pound stirling (stirling silver) for the British currency.

The move to decimicialtion was officially in 1971 athough there was a transitional period. Now one pound = 100 pennies which were refered to as "New Pence" although now one now need this explanation. The shilling ceased to exist as a form of currency.
__________________
Of the events of war, I have not ventured to speak from any chance information, nor according to any notion of my own. I have described nothing but what I saw myself, or learned from others of whom I made the most careful and particular enquiry. Thucydides, Peloponnesian War.

I've just jazzed mine up a little. Spike Milligan, WWII
#12
05-21-2000, 12:04 AM
 Initial Entry Guest Join Date: May 2000 Posts: 277
Did anyone else, upon a first reading, think this thread was titled "Please explain British money to a yak..."?
__________________
Onto a more serious note, Screw the French.
-GaWD
#13
05-21-2000, 05:12 AM
 casdave Member Join Date: Mar 2000 Posts: 8,126
When were pound notes red?

A far as I remember they have always been green.

Maybe you are thinking too literally. "Reddies" should be "readies" as in ready money, cash not cheques.

The old 10/- (10shilling) was a a slightly reddish brown.

I used to love the old money .Those coins were far more substantial.
In the days when men were men you could see them limping after running for the bus due to the change bashing round in their manly but unfortunately deep pockets, heh!
#14
05-21-2000, 06:47 AM
 notquitekarpov Guest Join Date: May 2000 Location: Edinburgh, UK Posts: 1,328
Slang-wise there was also the "tanner" which I think was sixpence. Slightly off message but related there is also slang used for multiples of pounds - restricted to horse racing circles mostly - involving monkeys (£50 ?), ponies (£20 I think) et al. Does anybody know the full list - and is it the same in the USA or do you guys have your own code?
__________________
"Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe."
#15
05-21-2000, 08:19 AM
 London_Calling Guest Join Date: May 2000 Location: What ? Posts: 5,972

A Fiver = £5
A Tenner = £10
A Score = £20
A Pony = £25
A Bullseye = £50
A One-er = £100
A Monkey = £500
A Grand = £1,000
An Archer = varies, not settled yet but usually £2,000
#16
05-21-2000, 08:30 AM
 Gilligan Guest Join Date: May 1999 Location: Columbus, OH Posts: 1,223
Some U.S. examples I can think of off the top of my head:

A fin - \$5
A sawbuck - \$10
A C-note - \$100

Thanks for "tenner"; this now makes clear a line from Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick: "...he coughed up a tenner on a premium bond win..." I never knew what the heck he was talking about.
#17
05-21-2000, 01:30 PM
 Wendell Wagner Charter Member Join Date: Jul 1999 Location: Greenbelt, Maryland Posts: 13,782
Also in the U.S. there's "a grand" for \$1000. "Fin", "sawbuck", "C-note", and "grand" are all rather old-fashioned and cutesy tough. I can imagine hearing "grand", although I wouldn't use it, but I can't imagine hearing someone today using the others.
#18
05-21-2000, 03:37 PM
 samclem Graphite is a great Moderator Join Date: Aug 1999 Location: Akron, Ohio Posts: 26,003
In the US, a \$20 is a double sawbuck. But, as WW said, I can't imagine the average person using most of the terms. Once in a while, I'll hear a "high roller" using 'C-note'.

Considering the fact that we still have a candy bar called 100 Grand it certainly still gets used.
#19
05-21-2000, 08:50 PM
 Chronos Charter Member Moderator Join Date: Jan 2000 Location: The Land of Cleves Posts: 74,539
From my experience with British books, the British "quid" is about equivalent in usage to the American "buck", i.e., "can you lend me a couple quid?" as opposed to "can you lend me a couple bucks?". Just my two, um, small units of currency.
__________________
Time travels in divers paces with divers persons.
--As You Like It, III:ii:328
Check out my dice in the Marketplace
#20
05-22-2000, 04:09 AM
 TheMadHun BANNED Join Date: Feb 2000 Location: Posts: 17,579 Posts: 816
Quote:
 Pounds can be refered to as Quid or Reddies (pound notes used to be colored red but now are replaced by coins).
Except in Scotland where we still have our old green-coloured pound notes
#21
05-22-2000, 12:26 PM
 jayron 32 Guest Join Date: Jun 1999 Posts: 881
U.S. money slang I've heard in common parlance

\$.25 -- Two bits (from when Dollar coins were based on the Spanish Reals, and were often cut into 8 pieces or "bits" to make smaller change)

\$1.00 -- Buck (Buck is also colloquial slang for the number (not denomination) "hundred". Where I grew up, we'd say "rolling a buck" for driving 100 miles/hour)

\$5.00 -- Fin, finster, fiver

\$10.00 -- Sawbuck (goes back to old ten dollar notes which had the roman numeral X printed on them... resembled a sawhorse (sawbuck))

\$20.00 -- Double Sawbuck

\$100.00 -- C-note, Hundy, Benjamin

\$1000.00 -- Grand, G
__________________
Jason R Remy

Your hands and feet are mangoes
You're gonna be a genius anyways

-- Phish "The Mango Song"
#22
05-22-2000, 12:29 PM
 RussellM Guest Join Date: Feb 2000 Posts: 265
We probably shouldn't remind them that Scottish notes can be printed by The Bank of Scotland, The Royal Bank of Scotland and the Clydesdale bank - and that all of them look different.

Russell
#23
05-22-2000, 05:04 PM
 ruadh Guest Join Date: May 1999 Location: Baile Átha Cliath Posts: 7,666
... and don't forget the Northern Ireland notes either!
#24
05-22-2000, 06:29 PM
 Crusoe Guest Join Date: Nov 1999 Location: London, UK Posts: 7,130
...of course, here we go with Gibraltar coinage...
#25
05-22-2000, 06:56 PM
 London_Calling Guest Join Date: May 2000 Location: What ? Posts: 5,972
They also use 'pounds' in Egypt - different kind.

My linguistic abilities - not being what they should be - cannot confirm that 500 pounds in Cairo is known to the locals as 'a camal'
#26
05-22-2000, 10:16 PM
 samclem Graphite is a great Moderator Join Date: Aug 1999 Location: Akron, Ohio Posts: 26,003
Jayron 32 said
Quote:
 \$.25 -- Two bits (from when Dollar coins were based on the Spanish Reals, and were often cut into 8 pieces or "bits" to make smaller change)
Not to hijack this thread, but I have been considering writing a thread as to how I believe this to be an UL.

As a professional coin dealer for over 30 years, specializing in World Coins, these cut-up pieces of 8 Real coins just don't show up! Yet people pass along the story that they were cut into fractional bits. BS I say!
#27
05-23-2000, 06:59 AM
 Moonshine Guest Join Date: May 1999 Location: My home is the open road, the sky is my roof etc etc Posts: 534
In trading we call a billion of anything a "yard" after the imperial measure of distance (not the place you put your pool).
__________________
Bees making honey, what a peculiar concept. I mean, do squirrels make chutney, do lemmings make marmalade?
#28
07-30-2002, 08:08 PM
 tracer Charter Member Join Date: May 1999 Location: Silicon Valley, Cal., USA Posts: 15,800
Quote:
 Originally posted by samclem Considering the fact that we still have a candy bar called 100 Grand it certainly still gets used.
Just for the record, Nestle's "100 Grand" bar used to be called the "\$100,000 Bar".

No, really!
#29
07-30-2002, 09:37 PM
 tracer Charter Member Join Date: May 1999 Location: Silicon Valley, Cal., USA Posts: 15,800
Quote:
 Originally posted by samclem Considering the fact that we still have a candy bar called 100 Grand it certainly still gets used.
Just for the record, Nestle's "100 Grand" bar used to be called the "\$100,000 Bar".

No, really!
#30
07-30-2002, 10:50 PM
 Kalashnikov Guest Join Date: Jun 2001 Location: NH - Live Free Or Die! Posts: 892
also if you were to buy a "dime bag"`of certain illicit substances, you'd be buying \$10 worth
#31
07-30-2002, 11:15 PM
 Bernard Marx Member Join Date: Jun 2002 Location: Australia Posts: 245
Quote:
 originally posted by Kipper 2/6 means two shillings and six pence and is refered to as half a bob or a half crown. A crown was a five shilling piece or one bob.
Actually a bob was the same as a shilling. See http://65.107.211.206/economics/currency.html
#32
07-31-2002, 12:17 AM
 Cap'n Crude Guest Join Date: Jul 1999 Location: In front of my computer Posts: 838
Quote:
 Originally posted by samclem Jayron 32 said Not to hijack this thread, but I have been considering writing a thread as to how I believe this to be an UL. As a professional coin dealer for over 30 years, specializing in World Coins, these cut-up pieces of 8 Real coins just don't show up! Yet people pass along the story that they were cut into fractional bits. BS I say!
As far as I know, the American term "two bits" has nothing to do with cutting up coins -- you're thinking of "pieces of eight." The story I heard was that during the period when the phrase came into use, two bits (the thing that goes in a horse's mouth that is attached to the reins) cost 25 cents.
__________________
The heavy is the root of the light.
The unmoved is the source of all movement.
-- Lao-Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Gravity is a harsh mistress. -- The Tick
#33
07-31-2002, 09:20 AM
 Futile Gesture Guest Join Date: Aug 2001 Location: UK Posts: 3,362
Quote:
 Originally posted by London_Calling Top of my head..... A Fiver = £5 A Tenner = £10 A Score = £20 A Pony = £25 A Bullseye = £50 A One-er = £100 A Monkey = £500 A Grand = £1,000 An Archer = varies, not settled yet but usually £2,000
It should be emphasised that you don't need to know most of these terms unless you are intend opening up a market stall in east London and doing business with dodgy cockney geezers.

Using them anywhere else is likely to get you called "a plonka" and accused of watching too much TV.
#34
07-31-2002, 09:36 AM
 owlstretchingtime Guest Join Date: Aug 2001 Location: The Paxton Rd end Posts: 3,266
On similar lines to the above:

A Jacks (alive) =£5

A cockle (and hen) =£10

A McGarret = £50 (from Hawaii five-0)

A Carpet = £300 (no idea why)

A Ton = £100

A Burlington (Bertie) £30

hope this helps me old china.

Also a groat was 4d
#35
07-31-2002, 12:02 PM
 yabob Charter Member Join Date: Mar 2000 Posts: 7,815
Quote:
 Originally posted by samclem Jayron 32 said Not to hijack this thread, but I have been considering writing a thread as to how I believe this to be an UL. As a professional coin dealer for over 30 years, specializing in World Coins, these cut-up pieces of 8 Real coins just don't show up! Yet people pass along the story that they were cut into fractional bits. BS I say!
The slightly different variant I've heard is that when the Spanish dollar and US dollar circulated at equal value, actual one Real coins (not cut up 8 Real dollar pieces) were known as "bits", leading to a quarter = 2 bits. Perhaps you could comment on the veracity of that notion. It also begs the question of why the Real would have been called a "bit".
#36
07-31-2002, 12:52 PM
 Rayne Man Guest Join Date: Jan 2001 Location: Newark-On-Trent UK Posts: 3,743
Pounds are also the currency in Cyprus but they are divided into 100 cents and not pence. Currently the Cyprus pound is worth about 10% more than the UK pound. On the question of what " four and six " means this helped to trap a German spy in WW2. He had landed by parachute in England and walked to a railway station to buy a ticket. The clerk told him it was something like " three and six " and he gave the clerk three pounds and six shillings instead of three shillings and six pence. The clerk became suspicious , called the police and the spy was arrested.
#37
07-31-2002, 01:05 PM
 Pábitel Guest Join Date: Oct 2000 Location: Hardwick, VT Posts: 1,353
Quote:
 Originally posted by Cap'n Crude As far as I know, the American term "two bits" has nothing to do with cutting up coins -- you're thinking of "pieces of eight." The story I heard was that during the period when the phrase came into use, two bits (the thing that goes in a horse's mouth that is attached to the reins) cost 25 cents.
Um, no.

This slang comes from the southwest of USA. There was a Spanish coin that was called a bit that was equal to 1/8th of a Spanish dollar. The term bit took on the colloquial meaning of 1/8th of something. 1/8th of a dollar is 12.5 cents. Therefore a quarter, or any other combination of coins equaling 25 cents, was referred to as two bits. There was at one point even a slang term for the dime that referred to it as a "short bit".

I used to have a really good link for this one but can't find it right now. Here is another that says pretty much the same thing amongst a great deal of dancing about.

http://www.randomhouse.com/wotd/inde...?date=19971006
#38
07-31-2002, 04:57 PM
 HPL Guest Join Date: Mar 2002 Location: Somewhere non-euclidian. Posts: 6,741
Quote:
 Originally posted by C K Dexter Haven London_c says: << You don't really need to know about all the old terminology >> Not unless you happen to be reading a book, or watching a movie or tv show, from before 1970, say.
I've heard a lot of terms from watching the various "Blackadder"
series, all of which take place before 1918.

 Bookmarks

 Thread Tools Display Modes Linear Mode

 Posting Rules You may not post new threads You may not post replies You may not post attachments You may not edit your posts BB code is On Smilies are On [IMG] code is Off HTML code is Off Forum Rules
 Forum Jump User Control Panel Private Messages Subscriptions Who's Online Search Forums Forums Home Main     About This Message Board     Comments on Cecil's Columns/Staff Reports     General Questions     Great Debates     Elections     Cafe Society     The Game Room     Thread Games     In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)     Mundane Pointless Stuff I Must Share (MPSIMS)     Marketplace     The BBQ Pit

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:16 PM.

 -- Straight Dope v3.7.3 -- Sultantheme's Responsive vB3-blue Contact Us - Straight Dope Homepage - Archive - Top

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com