It’s strange but true — your crisp “dollar” comes from the word “Joachimsthaler.” Here’s the story.: “The U.S. is one of many countries to call their currency a dollar. The common ancestor is the taler (pronounced like ‘dollar’), also spelled thaler, a series of silver coins minted in Germany in the 1500s. You can thank a man with a great name, Count Hieronymus Schlick of Bohemia, for coining the term Joachimsthaler after the place where the silver was mined in what is now the Czech Republic. It won’t surprise you to learn that this five-syllable mouthful was shortened to taler in everyday use, and transformed into dollar by English speakers.
(Via The Hot Word Blog.)