Anonymous
Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceWords & Wordplay · 1 decade ago

Why was a shilling called a bob?

Origin of the word "BOB" for a shilling in old English money.

6 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favourite answer

    Usage of bob for shilling dates back to the late 1700s. Origin is not known for sure.

    Possibilities include a connection with the church or bell-ringing since 'bob' meant a set of changes rung on the bells. This would be consistent with one of the possible origins and associations of the root of the word Shilling, (from Proto-Germanic 'skell' meaning to sound or ring).

    There is possibly an association with plumb-bob, being another symbolic piece of metal, made of lead and used to mark a vertical position in certain trades, notably masons.

    Brewer's 1870 Dictionary of Phrase and Fable states that 'bob' could be derived from 'Bawbee', which was 16-19th century slang for a half-penny, in turn derived from: French 'bas billon', meaning debased copper money (coins were commonly cut to make change).

    Brewer also references the Laird of Sillabawby, a 16th century mintmaster, as a possible origin. Also perhaps a connection with a plumb-bob, made of lead and used to mark a vertical position in certain trades, notably masons.

  • Dando
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The short answer is that nobody knows, though the term bob has been used since the 1700s. Possibilities include a connection with the church or bell-ringing since 'bob' meant a set of changes rung on the bells. There is possibly an association with plumb-bob, being another symbolic piece of metal, made of lead and used to mark a vertical position in certain trades, notably masons. Brewer's 1870 Dictionary of Phrase and Fable states that 'bob' could be derived from 'Bawbee', which was 16-19th century slang for a half-penny.

    Oddly enough, "bob" was never used in the plural, so people referred to ten shillings as ten bob, never ten bobs.

  • sease
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    A Shilling

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    flor·in flor·in [fláwrin] (plural flor·ins) n 1. old British coin: a unit of currency used in Britain between 1849 and 1968, equivalent to two shillings 2. gold or silver coin: a gold or silver coin, especially a Dutch guilder 3. Florentine coin: a gold coin first minted in Florence in 1252, or any similar coin used elsewhere in Europe [14th century. Via Old French from, ultimately, Italian fiore “flower” (because the name was first used for a coin bearing the figure of a fleur-de-lis), from Latin flor- (see flora).]

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  • 1 decade ago

    Why was a sixpence called a tanner ?

  • 1 decade ago

    It was the name of the money in 1812 .

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