Simoleon (1883)

Jonathon Green slang at ABECEDARY.NET
Wed Nov 23 14:47:57 UTC 2005

Jonathan Lighter wrote:
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM>
> Subject:      Re: Simoleon (1883)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> I've never heard of a "simon."
>   Maybe it was originally a belnd of "Uncle _Sam_" and "napoleon."
Simon: first cited as a UK sixpence (now 2.5 pence) in B.E's _Dict. of
the Canting Crew_ (c.1698). It is a pun on the synonymous _tanner_, a
sixpence, which itself stems from a ponderous Biblical joke about St
Peter’s supposed banking transaction when he ‘lodged with one Simon a
tanner’. The simon = dollar use, which of course may have emerged
separately, is cited in Mathews, _Dict. Americanisms_ (1951) - 1859
_Harper’s Mag._ Sep. 572/2: I was first in say [i.e. first to announce a
bet], and bet a _Simon_.


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