In the 17th century the Hudson Bay Company struck a coin with a value equal to the pelt of one male beaver. A male beaver is called a buck; the coin subsequently created the slang term "Buck" in Canada and the U.S.
In 1987, the one Dollar bill was replaced by a one Dollar coin. The coin featured a common loon on one side, garnering the nickname "Loonie." When the two Dollar coin was introduced in 1996, two was combined with Loonie, and the "Toonie" was born.
The British Pound Sterling is the oldest currency still in use.
The most widely used nickname for the Pound is "Quid," possibly derived from the Latin phrase "quid pro quo," meaning "something for something."
Most other banknotes have garnered nicknames also. A five Pound note may be referred to as "Jacks," a ten Pound note mat be called a "Cockle," or a "Tenner," and "Shrapnel" refers to lots of inconvenient coins.
The Swiss Franc had historically been considered a safe haven currency, experiencing nearly zero inflation, being backed by very large quantities of gold, and guarded by Switzerland's geo-political neutrality. However, this link to gold was severed in 2000 by an amendment to the Swiss Constitution brought on by allegations Swiss banks held assets of holocaust victims.
The Swiss Franc is heavily traded internationally, and is referred to as a "Swissy" by traders.
In June 1949 the Renminbi, "people's currency," was officially adopted in Mainland China.
The Renminbi is divided into 10 Jiao meaning "horn," and 100 Fen meaning "point."
In China "Yuan" is a common slang term for money in general. In Chinese it simply means "round," describing the shape of coins since their inception.
The name Ruble is said to be derived from the Russian verb "rubit," meaning to chop.
Russian is rich in slang terms originating in criminal circles, called Fenya slang, "Goni babki" can be understood as "hand over the money."
Russian has also appropriated words from other languages to stand for money. "Juks," refers to one ruble, derived from Finnish "yksi" meaning one.
The Yen was officially adopted by the Meiji government on May 10, 1871.
The five hundred Yen coin is the highest valued circulating coin in the world.
In Japan "Zeni," and "Kane", both short for "okane" both refer to money in general and "Kozeni" refers to a small amount of it.
The word Dollar comes from a coin minted in 16th century Bohemia, called the "Thaler." The United States dollar was created in 1792, based upon the Spanish Milled Dollar. Since it's inception the U.S. Dollar has been defined as 24.057 grams of pure silver. Although, currently the U.S. dollar can only be redeemed for silver at that rate if the Secretary of the Treasury considers it appropriate.
During the 19th century Abraham Lincoln created demand note dollars to finance the Civil War for the north. The note was printed in black on the front and green on the back giving it the nickname "Greenback."
The U.S. Dollar is nicknamed "Coco" in Peru. Coco is a pet name for Jorge, referring to George Washington on the front of the 1 Dollar bill.
Euro bank notes all feature structures of general European architecture, but do not represent any specific locations.
In Austria and Germany the nickname "Teuro" was created by combining Euro with the word for expensive, "teuer," as many people felt prices increased after the euro was adopted
The one cent Euro coin was dubbed the "Feijoes," (bean) and the "Botao" (button) in Portugal as a comment on its near worthlessness.
The Mexican Peso was the first currency to use the "$" sign.
The Mexican Peso is nicknamed "Lana" in southern Mexico. Lana literally means "wool," but is probably short for "porcelana," Spanish for porcelain.
Feria are festivals and cultural events throughout Mexico, and "Feria" has become a term for money spent at these events.
Israeli Shekels are printed in South Korea, as Israel has no mint.
The two Shekel coin is nicknamed the "Shnekel" from "shnei Shekel" meaning two Shekels.
"Shekel" Is itself a Hebrew slang term for money. It's origins lie in ancient Mesopotamia where it was a unit of measure as early as 3000 B.C.
The Indian Rupee derives its name from the Hindi word "rupa," meaning silver. The Rupee was historically a silver based currency. When, in the 19th century, many large nations began mining large deposits of silver the Rupee lost a great amount of international value, this event became know as "The Fall of the Rupee."
British sailors returning from India brought terms like "Monkey" (five hundred Pounds) and "Pony" (twenty five Pounds) home with them in the 1800s. These terms are thought to come from early Rupee banknotes featuring the animals.
The languages of India use many variations of "Rupee," "Rupaya," in Hindi, "Roopayi," in Telugu, "Rubai," Tamil, and "Roopa," in Malayalam.
The Singapore Dollar was established on April 7, 1967, after Singapore gained independence from Malaysia.
In Singapore the one Dollar coin features an octagon that looks like a Feng Shui "ba gua," and thus could be considered as a good luck charm.
Singapore is a large center of international trade. Traders have given the Singapore Dollar the nickname "Singy."
The Hong Kong Dollar was officially adopted on November 9, 1935.
Hong Kong circulates banknotes issued from four different organizations.
The Singapore Dollar has a wealth of slang terms attached to different amounts. One Dollar is a "Big cracker," two Dollars is "Grass," "Bowl," or "Stripe," and one hundred Dollars is a "Lump," referring to a lump of water which associates with money in Cantonese.
The South African Rand gets its name from the Witwatersrand, (White-waters-ridge) the ridge that Johannesburg is built on.
In some parts of South Africa money is referred to as "Tom." This is a creation of Cockney rhyming slang, where the English word "jewelry" was rhymed with "tomfoolery," and foolery was then chopped off.
South Africa is populated by many different ethnic groups with many different languages resulting in a wealth of slang terms. Coloureds may refer to money as "Kroon" which also means "virginity." South African Indians call 100 Rands a "Clip," and may refer to money as "Pano."
The Australian Dollar is popular among international traders because of Australia's stable economy, high interest rates, and access to Asian economies. Traders may refer to it as an "Aussie."
The twenty Dollar bill has garnered the nickname "Lobster" due to its color.
Before 1966 while still using the pre-decimal Pound Australia maintained a wealth of slang terms including, "Trey" for a three pence, "Zack" for a sixpence, and "Bob" for a schilling.
The New Zealand Dollar was adopted on July 10, 1967.
The smallest denomination of the New Zealand Dollar currently circulated is a ten cent coin.
The one Dollar coin features a kiwi bird on one side and has created the nickname "Kiwi" for the New Zealand Dollar.