Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A dugout covered with a roof of bamboo.
“Around the year 1000, with Romance languages replacing Latin as the spoken tongues of territories formerly within the Roman Empire, the Late Latin word bancus, on loan from a Germanic language, yielded the Italian word banca.”
“Every day, the money changers sat at their benches (called banca), coins piled high in front of them, shouting various exchange rates as currency ebbed and flowed.”
“A native "banca" is a "dug-out," a canoe hollowed out from the trunk of a tree.”
“Another thing which was unfortunate; that he could not know the nature of the man from whom he bought the "banca," any better than he could know the nature of the river, and so did not suspect that he was dealing with a "tulisane," to whom the little bag of money which the officer had shown when he had paid for the boat had looked like boundless wealth, to see which was to plan to possess.”
“banca," for three dollars, a sum of money which would make a native rich.”
“This time frame is central to our bank story: at the very historical moment that a Germanic root for a “workbench” was evolving into a banca in the Mediterranean, speakers of Old English were shaping the same root into the word benc, which was equally indispensable to their culture.”
“And while banca at first referred strictly to the old money-changing workbench, it soon came to refer to something else: the place where money or valuables were “mounded,” “piled,” “raised up,” or simply “banked.””
“While the Global English word bank finds its financial roots in Italy, whose banca descended from the Germanic north, English had its own related Germanic word, benc.”
“Within a few decades, English-speakers began to refer to the Italian idea of the banca or monte, anglicizing only the first, as bank.”
“There, the banca operated as a mobile office, offering money-changing and coin-weighing services.”
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