Marked thus $, either scutum or 8, a dollar being a
“piece of eight” [reals]. The two lines indicate a contraction, as in
The word is a variant of thaler (Low German, dahler;
Danish, daler, and means “a valley,” our dale. The counts
of Schlick, at the close of the fifteenth century, extracted from the
mines at Joachim's thal (Joachim's valley) silver which they
coined into ounce-pieces. These pieces, called Joachim's-thalers,
gained such high repute that they became a standard coin. Other coins
being made like them were called thalers only. The American
dollar equals 100 cents, in English money a little more than four
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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