Simoleon (1883)

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Wed Nov 23 14:16:09 UTC 2005

I've never heard of a "simon."

  Maybe it was originally a belnd of "Uncle _Sam_" and "napoleon."


Bapopik at AOL.COM wrote:
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Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Bapopik at AOL.COM
Subject: Simoleon (1883)

I forgot what we had for this "origin unknown."
_THAT WONDERFUL DOLLAR.; A Silver "Samoleon" with a Plug of Gold. _
G. Boston Daily Globe (1872-1960). Boston, Mass.: Feb 13, 1891. p. 3 (1
_OUR ASH WIELDERS.; Ball Players' Path Not RoseStrewn. Life Upon the
Road--Terrors to Boarding Mistress. How Victory or Defeat Affects the
Team--Base-Running Dangers. ... Ball Carefully Laid Training Becomes More Serious. Not to
Irregular Habits Life Looks Very Rosy. Playing Ball is Hard Work _
JOHN MONTGOMERY WARD. Boston Daily Globe. Sep 9, 1888. p. 18 (1 page)
("Simoleon" is here somewhere.)
_The Salem Daily News_
( _Thursday,
November 07, 1889_
( _Salem,_
( _Ohio_
...strong or weak, and schemers bold or SIMOLEONS speak I Some men have

_The Davenport Gazette_
( _Tuesday, June
26, 1883_
( _Davenport,_
( _Iowa_
ange:1753-1893) ...unto Mr. and did offer to him manv fat SIMOLEONS and
tal- ents of gold and..
A dollar.
1896 _G. ADE_ ( Artie
vii. 63 He said I could have it for four hundred samoleons. 1913 _C. E.
MULFORD_ ( Coming of
Cassidy vii. 112 Sixty-two bucks, three score an' two simoleons; all I've
got, every cent. 1952 _A. LOMAX_
( Mister Jelly Roll 194 By the late twenties the golden simoleons
began rolling in. 1977 D. ANTHONY Stud Game i. 8, I bet the limit, five
thousand simoleons.

The deal is, someone doesn't know how to spell. The slang word simoleon 'a
dollar' is found in all major college dictionaries, spelled that way. It's
usually considered somewhat old-fashioned, but is still in use.
The word's origin is uncertain. The most widely accepted theory suggests that
it's a blend of simon, an obsolete slang term for a dollar, and napoleon, a
gold coin of France that was worth 20 francs.
"Simoleon" is first found in the very late 19th century and is an Americanism
through and through.

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