Sunday, 28 October 2007

The Origin of Business Words

"After a hard day at the Church service, make sure you put enough wedges from your salt allowance aside to pay off your tiles!"..... Etyomology is the study of words and their origins. This short list explains the derivation of some of commonly used business words.

This term is taken from the early English word band, which means a fastening. The word bond implies that one is "bound" to repay an obligation.

Broke (In the sense of having no money)
Many banks in post-Renaissance Europe issued small, porcelain "borrower's tiles" to their creditworthy customers. Like credit cards, these tiles were imprinted with the owner's name, his credit limit, and the name of the bank. Each time the customer wanted to borrow money, he had to present the tile to the bank teller, who would compare the imprinted credit limit with how much the customer had already borrowed. If the borrower were past the limit, the teller "broke" the tile on the spot.

In the Middle Ages, French merchants carried their money in a bougette, or "little bag". The word borrows from the Latin word bulga, meaning "a leather bag". Within the bag, one's monetary resources were kept.

Business originally applied to a person suspected of taking part in mischievous activity. Eventually, it related to any type of activity, and later still to a type of vocation.

This word comes ultimately from the Latin word for "head". The words capital and cattle come from this same root. Cattle were and are a source of wealth, and are typically measured in terms of how many "head of cattle".

This word originates with the Latin word charta, which means "paper" and led to the English word for chart. Initially, the word referred to a written challenge to a fight. Later, it changed its meaning and referred to a libelous written statement. By the 1600s, it became an agreement associated with prisoner of war exchanges. Eventually, the word came to take on its current meaning, "an agreement in restraint of trade".

This word stems from the Latin word for "box", cassa. Originally, the French used this term to refer to the "moneybox" holding any cash, but later the term applied to the cash itself.

The word coin comes originally from the Latin word cuneus, meaning "wedge". The term came to apply to the wedge-shaped die that made these small pieces of money. Later, the word coin was applied to the stamped image on the money, but eventually referred to the money itself.

This word is a combination of two Latin words: com, meaning "together"; and merx, meaning "goods".

The Latin words cum, "with", and panis, "bread", combine to form the source of the word company. Initially, the word was relational, corresponding with the word companion. Eventually, it came to exist within a business context as well.

The Latin term consumo means "eat up completely", which understandably led to our current use of the term consumer.

Finance derives from the Latin and Old French word for fine, which originally meant "end". The French word for finance came to mean both "payment" and "ending", but in the 18th century the English adapted it to mean "the management of money".

Originally was a medieval classification of angels into various ranks.

From the Latin word, Liber -- with a Short I -- meaning, "to peel," which would refer to the inner bark of a tree. Early manuscripts were writen on these bark, and from this bark we get the modern word "Library."

The word manager comes from the Italian word maneggiare, "to train horses", which derives from their word mano, meaning "hand".

The Roman word for "plunge" or "sink" is mergo.

One of the responsibilities of the Roman goddess Juno was to warn the Romans of impending danger. In this capacity, she was called Juno Moneta, where the name Moneta derives from a Latin word meaning "warn". As a tribute to Juno, the Romans built a temple in her honor on Capitoline Hill, which later became the place where coinage was kept. Becoming known also as the guardian of finances, the name Moneta would evolve into our word money.

Originally meant, "Church serivce."

The word revenue was created by combining the Latin words: re, which means "back"; and venio, which means "come".

The Latin word salarium, meaning "salt allowance", is the origin of the word salary. A necessary part of one's diet, Roman soldiers were supposedly given an allowance to buy salt as part of their income. In time, this word applied more generally to one's wages.

from 2 Celtic words: "slaugh" and "gheun" which mean, respectively, "battle" and "cry".

This word comes from an ancient Arabic term, tarrif, which means "notification".

When suppliers were less mobile, they walked between places where their goods were sold. The Old English word for "tread" is trod, and the root of the word trade.