from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small silver coin used in America and the West Indies during the 18th century.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A Spanish silver coin worth two reals, used as common currency in the Americas in the 18th century.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An old Spanish silver coin of the value of about twenty cents.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In the West Indies, the peseta.


Probably alteration of Spanish peseta, peseta; see peseta.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)



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  • hee hee

    October 28, 2009

  • "...the British pound, alas, goes spiralling down to emerge as a pistareen. You don't know what a pistareen is, Jacqueline? You know what it sounds like, but not what it is. It is a debased coin, and as such the best symbol of the age in which we live, all of us together in the soup, under the soupistareen."

    - Malcolm Lowry, October Ferry to Gabriola

    July 30, 2008