Quiz: how well do you speak money?
When the US Congress passed the original National Currency Act on February 25, 1863, a single currency for the United States of America was established for the first time. This momentous event not only brought the nation together economically, it also ushered in completely new and dynamic ways to talk about money. The Oxford English Dictionary lists eight different colloquial and slang terms for the US five dollar bill alone, including V-note, five-spot, and fin. Additionally, words like certified check, clearing house, and automatic teller (later ATM) arrived not too long after 1864’s National Banking Act, which superseded the currency act and created a national banking system for the US.
150 years later, money has become a universal language—a lingua franca that unites the global economy and the people who support it under a common value (whether we’d like to admit it or not).