A certificate of interest which is to be cut off [French,
couper ] from a bond and presented for payment. It bears on its
face the date and amount of interest to be paid. If the coupons are
exhausted before the principal is paid off, new ones are gratuitously
supplied to the holder of the bond.
Most foreign state-bonds expire in a stated term of years,
generally a portion being paid off annually at par. Suppose there are
1,000 bonds, and 10 are paid off annually, then in 100 years all are
paid off and the obligation is cancelled.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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