Dear word Detective: mine husband and I to be watching TV, and the typical word “grand” was offered for “one thousands dollars.” can you phone call me the origin of this usage? ns have discovered one place that states it began with bookies in the 1920’s, however that is every I deserve to locate. — Annie Rowland, Marble Falls, Texas.

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That’s an interesting question. Incidentally, has it ever struck anyone else as odd that the word “bookie” is reserved for civilization who facilitate illegal gambling (from keeping the “books,” or ledgers, of bets), and isn’t offered for civilization who enjoy reading books, who need to travel under the awkward and vaguely creepy brand “book lovers”? I might be a tiny sensitive on this subject, due to the fact that many years back I created a publication called “The publication Lover’s guide to the Internet,” and I can’t aid but suspect that “The Bookie’s Guide…” would have sold better. (Yes, I recognize that renders no sense.)

By the way, that publication is still because that sale in many places. Please execute not purchase it. It was last to update in 1996, which, in internet terms, was approximately the 15th century.

Speaking the the 15th century, that’s when English embraced the Old French indigenous “grant” (ultimately from the Latin “grandis,” an excellent or large) as “grand,” through the sense of not just “large,” but additionally “imposing” or “great, famous, exalted or important.” over the next couple of centuries “grand” was frequently used in official titles (e.g., grand Marshall), and also in unshened appellations honoring individuals (“grand old warrior,” etc.), and applied come events and also things judged to be of an excellent importance. Eventually, “grand” take it on a an ext general feeling in the well-known vocabulary that “impressively large” (e.g., grand Canyon) or “noble.” (The usage of “grand” in “grandfather” and “grandmother,” however, is rooted in parallel terms in French, and actually precedes the usage of the “large” sort of “grand” in English by a century.)

Over the years, “grand” likewise acquired a range of vernacular and slang senses, including “grand” definition a big piano, and such develops as “grand prize” and “grand slam,” the last once a term in whist or bridge, now used to mean “complete triumph” in any field.

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The usage of “grand” to median “one thousands dollars” does without doubt come indigenous American underworld slang, first appearing around 1915. That was one of a number of slang terms, part still in use, for details denominations of receipt (or that amount that money), including “c-note” (or “century note”) for a one-hundred dollar bill (from the Roman character “C,” denoting 100). A “sawbuck” to be a ten-dollar bill, from the same of the Roman character “X” (ten) that once appeared thereon come a sawhorse, and also a twenty-dollar invoice was well-known as, logically, a “double sawbuck.”

The use of “grand” for a thousands dollars (or a thousand-dollar bill) may seem puzzling in today of hedge-fund managers and their billion-dollar bonuses, but in 1915 one thousands dollars to be a very huge sum of money, far an ext than the average working stubborn would ever possess in ~ one time. So the made feeling to pay tribute to such an superior sum with words “grand,” and the name stuck.