from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A Portuguese gold coin, originated in 1722, the half-dobra of 6,400 reis: one of the most popular gold coins of the New World in the eighteenth century.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The war of which I am now writing, however, brought a great many guineas among us, most of the troops being paid in that species of coin; but the contractors, in general, found it easier to command the half-joe than the guinea.
Pieces of eight, or dollars, are our commonest coin, it is true, but we make good use of the half-joe in all heavy transactions.