It’s a term we use in our everyday life, but few people actually know the exact origin of why ‘buck’ is used when we refer to US dollars. But of course, this is something that you, the loyal I’m A Useless Info Junkie reader, ought to know.
Here’s the story.
Even though a lot of theories have emerged over the years as to the etymology of ‘buck’ (the majority of them are quite weird actually*), the origin of why ‘buck’ is a slang term for dollar comes from a time when deerskin was used as a currency. In fact, the term dates as early as 1748. While travelling through the Indian territory, diplomat Conrad Weiser wrote in his journal: (the article continues after the ad)
“He has been robbed of the value of 300 Bucks.”
Even though deerskin of course, has not been used as form of trade for centuries, the name stuck and that is why, even today, people refer to the US dollars as ‘bucks’.
* The most weird one has to do with slavery. The theory suggests that the term originated during the slave years. Because male slaves were used as beasts of burden, they were often called ‘bucks’. Since slaves at the time were used as a form of trade, you could trade them for a wagon and therefore the wagon was worth ‘two bucks’!