Where did the dollar sign originate?
Based on the study of old manuscripts, it appears to have originated with an abbreviation for "pesos." In revolutionary times-before the United States was independent, let alone printing its own currency-the Spanish dollar was widely used in the colonies. Spanish dollars were also called also known as pesos de 8 reales, or pieces of eight, and "pesos" was abbreviated "ps." Over time, the "p" and "s" overlapped and merged, forming what we now know as the dollar sign, $.
Similarly, the word "dollar" comes from the Spanish dollar.
-The Fact Monster