from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A gold coin (called in Portuguese joão) formerly current in Portugal, worth about $9: probably so called from having been first issued by one of the Portuguese kings named John.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun (Numis.) A Portuguese gold coin of the value of eight dollars, named from the figure of King John which it bears; -- often contracted into joe.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An old Portuguese gold coin bearing a figure of John V of Portugal.


Sorry, no etymologies found.



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  • "Lin Liang had so arranged the available funds that he had an eighth part in pagodas, and three quarters in rix-dollars and taels, silver being much more current than gold in these regions... and this, he said, shooting the balls of an abacus to and fro with extraordinary speed, represented certain proportions of the sequins, ducats, guineas, louis d'or and johannes deposited with Shao Yen."

    --Patrick O'Brian, The Thirteen Gun Salute, 187

    March 4, 2008

  • Also quite common first name in Finland.

    March 4, 2008

  • Joe is (was) used as slang, short for johannes. Usage on mohur.

    March 16, 2008