- money (n.)
- mid-13c., "coinage, metal currency," from Old French monoie "money, coin, currency; change" (Modern French monnaie), from Latin moneta "place for coining money, mint; coined money, money, coinage," from Moneta, a title or surname of the Roman goddess Juno, in or near whose temple money was coined; perhaps from monere "advise, warn" (see monitor (n.)), with the sense of "admonishing goddess," which is sensible, but the etymology is difficult. Extended early 19c. to include paper money.
It had been justly stated by a British writer that the power to make a small piece of paper, not worth one cent, by the inscribing of a few names, to be worth a thousand dollars, was a power too high to be entrusted to the hands of mortal man. [John C. Calhoun, speech, U.S. Senate, Dec. 29, 1841]
To make money "earn pay" is first attested mid-15c. Highwayman's threat your money or your life first attested 1841. Phrase in the money (1902) originally meant "one who finishes among the prize-winners" (in a horse race, etc.). The challenge to put (one's) money where (one's) mouth is is first recorded 1942, American English. money-grub "one who is sordidly intent on amassing money" is from 1768. The image of money burning a hole in someone's pocket is attested from 1520s.
I am not interested in money but in the things of which money is the symbol. [Henry Ford]