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Apparent contradiction in article
The etymology section of the article says the word comes from the Latin capsa - "from the original sense of a box or a chest, the word came to refer to a sum of money such as was or might be contained in one." Then later the article says it came from the name of a South Indian monetary unit. These explanations do not make sense together. It appears that the article is talking about homonyms, but this could be clearer. PubliusFL 02:50, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Why not look into one of the old dictionaries:
CASH , s. A name applied by Europeans to sundry coins of low value in various parts of the Indies. The word in its original form is of extreme antiquity, "Skt. karsha . . . a weight of silver or gold equal to 1⁄400 of a Tulā" (Williams, Skt. Dict.; and see also a Note on the Kārsha, or rather kārshāpaṇa, as a copper coin of great antiquity, in E. Thomas's Pathân Kings of Delhi, 361-362). From the Tam. form kāsu, or perhaps from some Konkani form which we have not traced, the Portuguese seem to have made caixa, whence the English cash. In Singalese also kāsi is used for 'coin' in general. The English term was appropriated in the monetary system which prevailed in S. India up to 1818; thus there was a copper coin for use in Madras struck in England in 1803, which bears on the reverse, "XX Cash." A figure of this coin is given in Ruding. Under this system 80 cash=1 fanam, 42 fanams=1 star pagoda. But from an early date the Portuguese had applied caixa to the small money of foreign systems, such as those of the Malay Islands, and especially to that of the Chinese. In China the word cash is used, by Europeans and their hangers-on, as the synonym of the Chinese le and tsien, which are those coins made of an alloy of copper and lead with a square hole in the middle, which in former days ran 1000 to the liang or tael (q.v.), and which are strung in certain numbers on cords. [This type of money, as was recently pointed out by Lord Avebury, is a survival of the primitive currency, which was in the shape of an axe.] Rouleaux of coin thus strung are represented on the surviving bank-notes of the Ming dynasty (A.D. 1368 onwards), and probably were also on the notes of their Mongol predecessors.
The existence of the distinct English word cash may probably have affected the form of the corruption before us. This word had a European origin from It. cassa, French caisse, 'the moneychest': this word in book-keeping having given name to the heading of account under which actual disbursements of coin were entered (see Wedgwood and N.E.D. s.v.). In Minsheu (2nd ed. 1627) the present sense of the word is not attained. He only gives "a tradesman's Cash, or Counter to keepe money in."
source: Yule, Henry, Sir. Hobson-Jobson: A glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive. New ed. edited by William Crooke, B.A. London: J. Murray, 1903. http://dsal.uchicago.edu/cgi-bin/philologic/getobject.pl?c.0:1:421.hobson G.B. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 13:19, 12 May 2010 (UTC)
- Or check out Oxford Dictionaries
- At any rate, most I have read do not attribute the English word to Indian, or indeed other Asian influences, but rather state that the Tamil reinforced usage a hundred years after the term was already in use.
- When in doubt, check Shakespeare - Henry V (1599), Act II Scene 1; "PISTOL. In cash most justly paid." Chaosdruid (talk) 13:38, 31 May 2012 (UTC)