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Jitney
Posted: 17 November 2011 05:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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OP (Tipping), the only other nickname I ever heard for Oz currency was to call the old paper $10 note a Henry Lawson, for the poet whose face was on it. If you want to get a blank look from most of my countryfolk, ask them who the people are on the ‘new’ polymer notes, and why they were considered important enough to be put on the money in the first place. Bunnies in the headlights time.
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They don’t know who Banjo Paterson is? Fuck me ragged, as they say in my country.

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Posted: 18 November 2011 07:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Didn’t Aussies have oxfords (oxford scholar = dollar) once? It may also have been used for Brit pounds.
Most Brit slang terms for coins were wiped out overnight when Britain adopted decimal coinage in the Sixties. Ha’penny became half a pee, a bob five pee, thrupence three pee, florin 10 pee, half-a-crowns didn’t even have an equivalent new coin, etc.  I recall tosheroons from somewhere and it says online this was a crown which was before my time.
There were also angular thrupenny bits cf. American bits.
I was sorry we lost all these names which haven’t been replaced since and the same must have happened with European slang terms for units of currency when most countries went Euro though Britain stuck with its pounds and pees.

[ Edited: 18 November 2011 07:49 AM by venomousbede ]
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Posted: 18 November 2011 12:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Regarding British coin terms - why was it necessary to change the name from pence to p(ee)? I can’t see how sticking with the old name would cause any confusion, and given human nature, getting people to change an everyday word seems like a difficult task.

Forgive me if this has been covered before, but I couldn’t find it.

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Posted: 19 November 2011 01:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Interesting question.  I don’t think it’s ever been officially renamed, though I might be wrong.  The Royal Mint refers to “one penny” “two pence” etc on its website.

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Posted: 19 November 2011 04:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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As far as I can tell, pence, penny, and p/pee are all in use. From the cites in the OED, it would seem that pee came into widespread use with the switch to decimal currency in 1971.

1971 Observer 14 Feb. 9/5 “Everyone at the Decimal Currency Board has taken to calling new pence ‘pee.’”

The big dictionary has p as an abbreviation for pence about the same time. There’s an earlier citation of the abbreviation in 1909, but that’s from the Century Dictionary, which is American.

Prior to the advent of decimal currency, the abbreviation d (for the Latin denarius) was used to denote pence. The cites in the OED would suggest that the pronunciation pee resulted from the switch in abbreviation.

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Posted: 19 November 2011 05:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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I remember that some decimal coins were uttered about a year or so before the switchover. For instance the new 10p coin was one of the first issued and circulated alongside the old florin or 2 shilling piece, both coins having an identical shape, size and value, although the new one bore the legend 10p. (My 2 year old son called them lion bobs because of the lion on the reverse.) Also for some time after the switchover many shopkeepers and customers spoke of new pee (That’ll be 25 new pee. sir). I think the simple truth is that the public associated the words penny and pence with the old coinage and by the time any chance of confusion had long passed it stuck with the new term. Personally I’ve always disliked it and I’ll still occasionally say things like, “Where’s my tuppənce change” for no reason other than sheer bloody-mindedness. (At one point I thought pence and even pənce (as in thrəpənce, fourpənce, etc) would return but now I feel that regrettably pee is here to stay).

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Posted: 19 November 2011 06:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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My old English currency math skills are sadly lacking, never having been put to the test, but it looks like the old penny was not equal in value to the new p, so, during the transition period it would have been critical to have different terms for them.

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Posted: 19 November 2011 10:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Exactly so, Faldage. One new penny was worth 2.4 of the old pennies (which is why the florin proved such an exact match for the new 10p piece, being 2 shillings, or 24 old pennies.)

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Posted: 20 November 2011 08:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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I may have mentioned this before, but since decimalisation in the UK some people have fallen into the trap of saying ”one pence. How long before this becomes standard?

“Dollar” was a BrE slang expression, pre-decimalisation, for five shillings, partly because the exchange rate was once four US dollars to the (20-shilling) pound, although according to this website “In 1804 ... Spanish dollars were overstruck by the Bank of England with a portrait of the King on the obverse and Britannia on the reverse, with an inscription BANK OF ENGLAND 1804 FIVE SHILLINGS DOLLAR.”

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Posted: 22 November 2011 11:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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I was using pee to reflect pronunciation and my disapproval of the new currency nomenclature. It was always written 10p. I’d forgotten people would often say “new pee” in the early days. It’s in the David Bowie song Andy Warhol as pence though (1971):

Like to take a cement fix
Be a standing cinema
Dress my friends up
Just for show
See them as they really are
Put a peephole in my brain
Two New Pence to have a go
I’d like to be a gallery
Put you all inside my show

£sd was the old designation - d for ancient denarius as Dave said. I think it was rendered sometimes LSD (depending on typeface available?) Maybe Timothy Leary et al drug connotations eventually did for that. The reasoning was that decimal was easier to convert into foreign currencies and it is true LSD was unwieldy and hard to grasp for foreigners. Like aldi I just liked the old names for their history and euphony especially florin.

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Posted: 22 November 2011 01:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Yes. it was even pronounced LSD (quite properly as it stood for libra, solidi, denarii). There was little chance of confusion with the drug as this didn’t really gain traction in the British media until 1966/1967, leaving only a few years to overlap with the currency initialism

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Posted: 22 November 2011 03:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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The reasoning was that decimal was easier to convert into foreign currencies and it is true LSD was unwieldy and hard to grasp for foreigners.
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It was also more complicated for non-foreigners. It was, basically, needlessly complicated.

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Posted: 23 November 2011 08:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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But many of the best things in life are needlessly complicated.

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