Origins of Common Words - Dime

About the history, origins, and definitions of the common word dime.

UNCOMMON STORIES BEHIND COMMON WORDS

Dime - In 1785 Thomas Jefferson proposed a U.S. currency based on the dollar, comprising the mill, cent, disme, dollar, and eagle. Seven years later, with the passage of the Act Establishing a Mint, an American monetary system--and the dime--was born. The word itself comes from the Old French disme and Latin decima, "one tenth." People offered such dimes--or tithes--to their rulers and to the church. Not until the 18th century was a dime a particular coin, and in those days it probably rhymed with team.

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