Cash: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A hundred dollar bill wrapped around a wad of ones

Cash refers to money in the physical form of currency, such as banknotes and coins. The word comes from the modern French word caisse, which means "money box," coming from Provençal word caissa, from the Italian cassa, from the Latin capsa which means "box". In the 18th century, the word passed to refer to the money instead of the actual box containing it. Used as a verb it means "to convert to cash"; for example in the expression "to cash a check".[1] In bookkeeping and finance, "cash" refers to current assets comprising currency or currency equivalents that can be accessed immediately or near-immediately (as in the case of money market accounts). Cash is seen either as a reserve for payments, in case of a structural or incidental negative cash flow or as a way to avoid a downturn on financial markets.



In Western Europe, after the collapse of the Western Roman empire, coins, silver jewelry and hacksilver (silver objects hacked into pieces) were for centuries the only form of money, until Venetian merchants started using silver bars for large transactions in the early Middle Ages. In a separate development, Venetian merchants started using paper bills, instructing their banker to make payments. Similar marked silver bars were in use in lands where the Venetian merchants had established representative offices. The Byzantine empire and several states in the Balkan area and Russia also used marked silver bars for large payments. As the world economy developed and silver supplies increased, in particular after the colonization of South America, coins became larger and a standard coin for international payment developed from the 15th century: the Spanish and Spanish colonial coin of 8 reales. Its counterpart in gold was the Venetian ducat.

Coin types would compete for markets. By conquering foreign markets, the issuing rulers would enjoy extra income from seigniorage (the difference between the value of the coin and the value of the metal the coin was made of). Successful coin types of high nobility would be copied by lower nobility for seigniorage. Imitations were usually of a lower weight, undermining the popularity of the original. As feudal states coalesced into kingdoms, imitation of silver types abated, but gold coins, in particular the gold ducat and the gold florin were still issued as trade coins: coins without a fixed value, going by weight. Colonial powers also sought to take away market share from Spain by issuing trade coin equivalents of silver Spanish coins, without much success.

Meanwhile, paper money had been developed. At first, it was thought of as emergency issues, so that they were most popular in the colonies of European powers. In the 18th century, important paper issues were made in colonies such as Ceylon and the bordering colonies of Essequibo, Demerara and Berbice. John Law did pioneering work on banknotes with the Banque Royale. However, the relation between money supply and inflation was still imperfectly understood and the bank went under, while its notes became worthless when they were over-issued. The lessons learned were applied to the Bank of England, which played a crucial role in financing Wellington's Peninsular war, against French troops, hamstrung by a metallic Franc de Germinal.

The ability to create paper money made nation-states responsible for the management of inflation, through control of the money supply. It also made a direct relation between the metal of the coin and its denomination superfluous. From 1816, coins generally became token money, though some large silver and gold coins remained standard coins until 1927. The first world war saw standard coins disappear to a very large extent. Afterwards, standard gold coins, mainly British sovereigns, would still be used in colonies and less developed economies and silver Maria Theresa thalers dated 1780 would be struck as trade coins for countries in East Asia until 1946 and possibly later locally.

Cash has now become a very small part of the money supply. Its remaining role is to make small payments conveniently and promptly, a role which is constantly undermined by electronic forms of payment.

Further reading

  • Clyn Davies - A History of Money From Ancient Times to the Present Day (University of Wales Press, 1994) ISBN 0-7083-1351-5
  • Peter Spufford - How rarely did medieval merchants use coin? (Geldmuseum, Utrecht, 2008) ISBN 978-90-73882-21-8

See also


  1. ^

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CASH. (1) (From O. Fr. casse, mod. caisse, a box or chest; cf. "case"), a term which, originally meaning a box in which money is kept, is now commonly applied to ready money or coin. In commercial and banking usage "cash" is sometimes confined to specie; it is also, in opposition to bills, drafts or securities, applied to bank-notes. Hence "to cash" means to convert cheques and other negotiable instruments into coin. In bookkeeping, in such expressions as "petty cash," "cash-book," and the like, it has the same significance, and so also in "cash-payment" or ready-money payment as opposed to "credit," however the payment may be made, by coin, notes or cheque.

The "cash on delivery" or "collect on delivery" system, known as C.O.D., is one whereby a tradesman can, through a delivery agency, send goods to a customer, and have the money due to him collected on the delivery of the same, with a guarantee from the carrier that, if no money be collected, the goods shall be returned. The function of such an agency is performed in the United States of America by the express companies (see Express). In most countries of the continent of Europe the post office acts as such an agent, as in Germany (where the system is known as Post-Nachnahme) and in France (contre remboursement). It is also in use in India, where it is known as "value payable," and was introduced in 1877 in Australia. The advantages of the system are obvious, from the point of view both of the customer, who can, by post or telegram, order and obtain speedy delivery from large towns, and of the tradesman, whose area of trade is indefinitely extended. The system does away with credit or the delay and inconvenience of paying in advance. The success of the large "catalogue" houses in America has been mainly due to the system as operated by the express companies. At various times, notably in 1904, it has been proposed that the General Post Office of the United Kingdom should adopt the system. The consistent opposition of the retail traders in large urban centres other than the large stores, and of the country shopkeeper generally, has been sufficient to secure the refusal of the postmaster-general to the proposed scheme, but a commencement was made in 1908 for orders not exceeding X20 between the United Kingdom and Egypt, Cyprus and Malta, and certain British post offices in Turkey and Tangier.

(2) (From Tamil kasu, Sinhalese kasi, a small coin, adopted by Portuguese as caixa, a box, and similarly assimilated in English to "cash" above), a name given by English residents in the East to native coins of small value, and particularly to the copper coinage of China, the native name for which is tsien. This, the only coin minted by the government, should bear a fixed ratio of l000 cash to one tael of silver, but in practice there is no such fixed value. It is the universal medium of exchange throughout China for all retail transactions. The tsien is a round disk of copper alloy, with a square hole punched through the centre for stringing. A "string of cash" amounts to Soo or 1000 cash, strung in divisions of 50 or Too.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to cash article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary




Etymology 1

From Middle French caisse (money box), from Old Provençal caissa, from Latin capsa (box, case) from capere (to take, to seize, to receive) from Proto-Indo-European *kap- (to grasp).




cash (uncountable)

  1. Money in the form of notes/bills and coins, as opposed to cheques/checks or electronic transactions.
  2. (informal) Money.
  3. (Canadian) Cash register.
Derived terms


to cash

Third person singular

Simple past

Past participle

Present participle

to cash (third-person singular simple present cashes, present participle cashing, simple past and past participle cashed)

  1. (transitive) To exchange (a check/cheque) for money in the form of notes/bills.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From Tamil காசு (kāsu).




cash (plural cash)

  1. Any of several low-denomination coins of India or China, especially the Chinese copper coin.





cash m. and f. (no plural, no diminutive)

  1. cash


cash (not inflected not comparable)

  1. (of money) In coins and bills/notes.
    • Heb je cash geld? — Do you have cash?




From English cash.




  1. (colloquial) in cash (of paying)


  • Anagrams of achs
  • chas

Simple English

The English Wiktionary has a dictionary definition (meanings of a word) for:

Cash is a form of liquid currency, such as banknotes or coins. There is usually different sorts in every country.

Bookkeeping and finance

In bookkeeping and finance, cash can also refer to checks, money orders, cashier's checks, bank drafts, or traveler's checks. In all these forms, the term indicates the most liquid form of assets, which have a fixed value and can be easily converted to currency: "ready money". For example, wages or salaries paid as "cash" (as opposed to, e.g., stock options) would in most countries normally be paid with checks or direct bank deposits, which are trivially convertible to currency.

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