AAllan at AOL.COM AAllan at AOL.COM
Fri Mar 9 18:12:26 UTC 2001

>From (ahem!) _America in So Many Words_ by Barnhart & Metcalf (Houghton
Mifflin, 1997 & 1999):

1786 Dime

   A year before the Constitutional Convention determined what kind of
government we wanted for the United States of America, we had already made up
our mind about our money: dollars and dimes. On August 8, 1786, an ordinance
of the Continental Congress called for "Mills, Cents, Dimes, Dollars," with
dimes explained as "the lowest silver coin, ten of which shall be equal to
the dollar."
   Thomas Jefferson has been credited with proposing the names for the coins
of the new nation. Among them was disme, based on the French word for
"tenth," dixième. He suggested that disme be pronounced as if it were spelled
deem. But the s was dropped by the Congress, and the adopted spelling dime
suggested pronunciation in keeping with time and rime. . . .

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