Moolah. Benjamins. Stacks. Big ones. Cheddar. They have a lot of slang terms for money in the world over.
While the meaning behind some of these terms may seem obvious, it’s less intuitive for others. “Bucks”, which has become synonymous with “dollars” in modern vernacular, is one example of the latter.
So why do we call dollars “bucks”?
A widely held belief involves the use of the word “buck” to mean “a male animal; especially, a male deer or antelope”. Back in the 18th century, European settlers and Native Americans often traded buckskins, or deerskins, as a form of currency.
One of the earliest cited references to bucks as a currency is a 1748 journal entry from Conrad Weiser, a Pennsylvania Dutch pioneer, interpreter, and diplomat. In his journal, he described the rate for a cask of whiskey as “5 Bucks”, reportedly in reference to deerskins. The journal also cited a man who was “robbed of the value of 300 Bucks.”