What is the origin of the word 'bob' in referring to an English shilling?
#17021. Asked by Jojo. (Mar 08 02 11:29 PM)
According to most sources the origin is obscure. Possibly this name for a shilling comes from the old low-denomination Scottish coin bawbee.
Mar 08 02, 11:42 PM
Cassell's dictionary of slang throws no more light on the answer - it refers to a bob/bobstick (late 18th century) as a shilling's worth of gin but no definitive source as to the reason why.
Mar 09 02, 12:09 AM
Brewers phrase and fable is no more helpful. Term dates from around 1800.
Mar 09 02, 12:12 AM
The Oxford English Dictionary gives the possibility of the Old French word for a coin 'bobe' as passing into English slang in the 14th century - but not proven. At the time a bobe was worth about 1 and 1/2d
Mar 09 02, 12:32 PM
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