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View Full Version : So, why do they call a dollar a buck?



Rick Potter
05-25-2012, 2:08 PM
This is one of those questions that probably have several answers. Mine comes from the George Washington exhibit I just went to last week. Another post on that.

At the exhibit were several exhibits on colonial times. One of them mentioned that there was coinage of many types and countries being used at the time, one of the most popular being the Spanish Dollar. Fur traders would pay hunters one dollar for each buck they brought in. Eventually 'buck' became slang for a Spanish Dollar.

What story have you heard?

Rick Potter

harry hood
05-25-2012, 2:18 PM
As always, Cecil Adams to the rescue and he even makes it on-topic:
http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/725/whats-the-origin-of-the-word-buck

Michael Weber
05-25-2012, 6:34 PM
Poker and a buck knife? I don't know. Ricks posting makes better sense to me.

harry hood
05-25-2012, 7:08 PM
Poker and a buck knife? I don't know. Ricks posting makes better sense to me.

That's why his comment on that is "Uh-huh". Cecil settles on basically the same explanation as the Washington exhibit but you have read the second paragraph.

Randy Anderson
05-25-2012, 8:39 PM
On the American frontier in the late 1700s and early 1800s, buckskins were used for trading instead of paper money. This was shortened to "one buck" and the term transferred to paper money as the economy shifted from buckskins to greenbacks in the 1800s.

ray hampton
05-25-2012, 9:20 PM
On the American frontier in the late 1700s and early 1800s, buckskins were used for trading instead of paper money. This was shortened to "one buck" and the term transferred to paper money as the economy shifted from buckskins to greenbacks in the 1800s.

can you imagine giving a clerk a C note and getting ten buckskins in change