Why Do We Refer to a Pound as a ‘Quid’?
25/11/2016 4 Quid News & Blogs
- Brewster’s suggests it comes from ‘quid pro quo’, an equivalent amount for something, and also suggests that it originally referred to a sovereign.
Mike Whittaker, Stapleton Shropshire
- It’s short for “quid pro quo”.
Mark Power, Dublin
- One upon a time Gaelic-speaking Irishmen in the British Army would refer to “my money” as “mo chuid”: “cuid”(pronounced, very roughly, “quid”) being an omnibus Gaelic word for “thing”, “piece”, “possessesion”, “collection”, “money” (as in this case) – or even “a bout of sexual intercourse”! English soldiers adopted the reference to what they heard as “quid”, to mean the pound.
Richard Thompson, Allerod Denmark
- Perhaps as in quid pro quo. Just as notes offer the statement “promise to pay the bearer on demand the sum” thereby indicating that they are not really worth anything except that they may be “cashed” in, then the quid comes from this idea of a like for like exchange? But I am guessing.
Siobhan, London UK
- Quid Pro Quo – a thing exchanged for something else.
Peter Brooke, Kinmuck Scotland
- When the American west was being opening up, all trading was by barter rather than money. Seeking for a common unit of exchange plugs of (chewing) tobacco called a QUID gradually gained poularity. Etymology of this is thought to be “cud” (as in “chewing”). Don’t know how quids came back to UK though – so maybe just a coincidence.
Peter, Slough UK
- I have no way of backing this up, but I was once told that it comes from the QUID in the term ‘liquid assets’.
Ian Flude, Vienna, Austria
- In Irish “mo chuid” means roughly “my portion” and is still very much used to talk of one’s own portion of countable nouns: – mo chuid airgid = my (portion of) money, mo chuid eadaigh = my (portion of) clothes, mo chuid bia = my (portion of) food.
Joe S, London
- In ancient Britain, a common form of currency was squid. Over time the pronunciation changed slightly to which reflects the current spelling ‘quid’
Jack Mehoff, Unda da see USA
- The paper for Bank of England notes came from Quidhampton and good notes were know as Quidhampton Notes, hence “Quids”
Mitch, Winchester Hants
- A radio 4 quiz, broadcast around 18th Aug. 2011 said ‘quid’ originated as a word made up as a bet – to prove it could be done – by someone working in the city, saying it would be all round the city in 24 hours. He won. I don’t know if it’s true though.
Peter Stiles, Bristol
- My guess is that “quid” is derived from “quintal” which stands for 100 base units. Because, 1 quid = 100 pence.
Surath Chatterji, Banbury, UK
- Quote=”Because, 1 quid = 100 pence.” Well, it won’t be that because “quid” has been in use since before decimalisation. In those days 1 pound = 20 shillings and one shilling = 12 pennies. So, one quid was 240 pennies.
Niko Grimshaw, Leeds England
- The British word “Quid” originated from the American Colonies (circa-1700’s) when the descendants of the original Scots-Irish colonists returned to the seas as Marines for what was to become the U.S. Navy. These Marines (fighting Sailors) were known as “Squids…” (I, myself, was a “Squid” in the latter 1900’s). When ousted from the colonies, the British soldiers and sailors returned home. Out of respect for the “Squids” (the descendants of the original Scots-Irish settlers of the American Colonies), prior to reaching Britain the British Soldiers and Sailors swore an oath that, because they got their “S” (then commonly known as “ass” or “arse”) kicked by the Scots-Irish “Squids” of the Colonies, they vowed to never again utter the word “Squid.” So they dropped the “S” and became forever known as “Quid.”
Gerald Alann, Way Out West, Wyoming U.S.A.