The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 18, Number 37, September 13, 2015, Article 34


Gary Beals of Segovia Spain submitted this take on some denomination names in Albert Frey’s 1917 book, A Dictionary Of Numismatic Names Their Official And Popular Designations. Thanks! -Editor

Albert Frey's classic work contains 4,111 terms. A century on from Albert’s book we find a lot of words he noted have a whole different meaning to us.

The best name for a new fast food franchise —

Frey said: A false silver Penny from Luxemburg brought into England, in the reign of Edward III.

We say: I am seeing neon signs, mounds of French fries, grilled meat and toasted buns.

The coins most likely to be used by Harry Potter —

Frey said: English slang in the 1800s for a small amount of money. In Northumberland it is a 20th of a farthing.

We say: People needed change for a farthing, which itself was ¼ of a penny?

Coin name most likely to become a factory-made snack —

Frey said: A silver coin of 20 pence, struck in 1636 for Scotland.

We say: From silver coin to a crunchy snack made from a slurry of dried potatoes and salt? Pass me that can

And here is the rest:

What is a four-letter word for recycling?

Frey said: A name generally applied to any small coin of unusual thickness.

We say: Come on! You are supposed to separate those plastic jugs and glass bottles and the paper.

Coin name most likely to someday become a horror movie —

Frey said: A popular name for the copper coin of five cents struck for Ceylon in 1909 and 1910.

We say: I’ll get the big tub of buttered popcorn for us.

The most unlikely word to refer to great riches

Frey said: Dutch for an ingot of gold. The word means a lump.

We say: The good folks of the Netherlands seem to have gold bars and the sound of those wooden shoes confused.

The most elegant term for telling citizens: “All your currency is really worthless”
Fiat Money

Frey said: A paper currency issued by a government but which is not redeemable in coin or bullion.

We say: Cash so I can buy that Italian sports car — great! Oh – that’s not it? Well, nuts!

Coin name most likely to next week’s special dish at The Olive Garden Restaurants —

Frey said: Certain Archbishop of Orvieto coins of the same value as Piceoli in 1398.

We say: Do we get the bread sticks with that?

A coin name of the 1400s now best known as an ice cream flavor

Frey said: Slang in Naples for the small Denaro of Alfonso I

We say: Are these the nuts from California — or Iran?

A illegal coin later to become vast quantities of awful music

Frey said: A counterfeit coin in Ireland after the regular coinage had ceased in 1696.

We say: I know my Mom hated Elvis, I guess rap is my reward for not understanding her.

Coin name least likely to be a chocolate drink sold by one of the world’s biggest companies
Gros de Nesle

Frey said: A billon coin of France first struck by Henri II about 1500.

We say: Do we have any of those little marshmallows for this stuff?

Mr. Frey, someday after the model T Ford there came cars from a man named Porsche

Frey said: An early billon silver coin of the Duchy of Bretagne, of 1459.

We say: Now that is a chick magnet. The monthly payments are how much?

Something that is usually not good for coins and no improvement on people

Frey said: A coin or medal that has a hole in it. This is sometimes done by the issuer … but is more often the work of vandals.

We say: Does they still hurt? Will that hole go away when you take the thing out?

The Asian coin most likely to become a rusted out clunker your brother-in-law drives

Frey said: Annamese for the Chinese Wen pieces of the Emperor Tu Due (1847-1883).

We say: Could you park that thing on the other side of the street, please?

Perhaps not the investment in the anniversary party you had in mind
Veal Money

Frey said: Veale Noble Money in use in 1684 within Bradford, in Wiltshire.

We say: Those poor little penned up calves. Let’s go with pork roast — the other grey meat.

Just add water to that coin and it tastes a lot like …

Frey said: A rectangular copper bar coin issued by the Dutch East India Company for Ceylon. And an Armenian copper coin.

We say: If it is good enough for our astronauts, then by golly I’ll have some.

The title of the new science fiction movie from Europe

Frey said: Tokens or jetons as are struck to indicate some compelled service in Germany

We say: I still like ‘Forbidden Planet,’ don’t you?

Vital defense funding is now in the hands of your bowling league
Trophy Money

Frey said: Money raised in several counties of England providing maintenance for the militia.

We say: More trophies? Don’t we have enough of those out in the garage already?

We pay our utility bills but the bath water never seems hot enough.

Frey said: A base English silver coin of the period of Edward I circa 1285.

We say: Hey, you going to spend all day in that tub?

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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