Australian dollars

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ewie

Senior Member
English English
I've often wondered: do Australians [or anywhere else English-speaking that uses dollars] use pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars etc. the way Americans do?
 
  • cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    No. We use dollars and cents. We no longer have a one cent piece, which would be our equivalent to a penny. We have:

    5c piece
    10c piece
    20c piece
    50c piece
    1 dollar coin
    2 dollar coin

    Then we get into the notes.
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    No, strangely enough! Not oft used ones, anyway. The only thing I can think of is something like "Have you got two/five/ten... bucks you can lend me?" You wouldn't say "a buck", singular.

    There used to be some, however, as my housemate just reminded me. According to him, a (pre-decimal) sixpence used to be called a "zack", and there was the BE "bob" for a shilling, and "Oxford scholar" for dollar. The only one I've heard of is "bob", but that's from reading too many English books!
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    OK - thanks. That matches our post-decimalisation experience. There were various familiar expressions for the old £sd stuff, but nothing of note has emerged for £p. Odd, really.
     

    ewie

    Senior Member
    English English
    OK - thanks. That matches our post-decimalisation experience. There were various familiar expressions for the old £sd stuff, but nothing of note has emerged for £p. Odd, really.
    It is odd, isn't it? We don't even say two-pee-bit or similar. Maybe we'll have to wait a few hundred years till the decimal system has fully bedded in before we get any slang for it;)
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    It is very odd that the 50c piece in Australia is not called a "half dollar". When you had the 1c pieces, did you call them pennies? With US currency, a "dime" is the proper name of a 10c piece (part of the whole decimal thing, you see; 1/10 of a dollar is a dime, 1/10 of a dime is a cent, and 1/10 of a cent -- although it is not a coin, but it is a term used in taxation -- is a mill; Meanwhile, 10 dollars are an "eagle"), and a 25c piece says "quarter dollar" on it, but "penny" is obviously an inherited habit from our history as a British colony, because the coin is a one-cent-piece, but on one ever says that. "Nickels" are also properly five-cent-pieces, but they are named for the metal from which they were made at one time.
     

    nzfauna

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    Likewise, in New Zealand (another British colony right next to Australia, for those that don't know), we don't do pet names for coins or notes. But we do sometimes use the term "buck" to mean a dollar (even in the singular, contrary to Cycloneviv's comment about Australian bucks)

    For interest, we in NZ have:

    10 cent piece (or 10 cent coin)
    20 cent piece
    50 cent piece

    5 dollar note
    10 dollar note
    20 dollar note
    50 dollar note
    100 dollar note
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    As has been noted previouisly, New Zealand is not properly called a "British colony", for it has not been a colony for a century. Like New York or Virginia, it may be called a former British colony, or it may be referred to as a Dominon in the Commonwealth, but it is not today a colony of any kind, whether British or otherwise.
     

    Gwan

    Senior Member
    New Zealand, English
    As has been noted previouisly, New Zealand is not properly called a "British colony", for it has not been a colony for a century. Like New York or Virginia, it may be called a former British colony, or it may be referred to as a Dominon in the Commonwealth, but it is not today a colony of any kind, whether British or otherwise.
    I assume nzfauna meant it ironically (coupled with the "for those who don't know"). I would question, however, if you'd call it a 'dominion'. I've never heard that and, historically speaking, NZ was officially a 'dominion' AFTER being a colony but BEFORE achieving full independence. A bit off topic, but hey...

    On topic - I would say "10 cent coin" etc. would be far more used than "10 cent piece" in NZ. And no, no half-dollars, dimes, nickels etc.
     

    Brioche

    Senior Member
    Australia English
    It is very odd that the 50c piece in Australia is not called a "half dollar". When you had the 1c pieces, did you call them pennies? With US currency, a "dime" is the proper name of a 10c piece
    US coins actually have "dime", "quarter dollar" and "half dollar" stamped on them.

    Pre-decimal Australian coins had half penny, penny, three pence, six pence, shilling, florin stamped on them, and when we went decimal 1 cent, 2 cents, 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, so that's what we call them.

    They did mint Australian five shilling pieces, called crowns, but only in 1937-38
     
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