Monday, February 18, 2013

Where Did We Get the Word "Budget?"

Part 1 of a 5-part series on word histories

Many of the most common words, to borrow a phrase from Nietszche, are "coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins."

Where did we get the word "budget?"

The Ancient Romans called a leather pouch a bulga.

The French, by the 12th century, called it a bougette.

The English borrowed the French word in the 15th century, transforming it into bowgette.

By the 16th century, the English pronounced the word as budget. To them, budget meant the contents of a pouch.

Flash forward to the 18th century and you'll find the English government using budget to mean a statement of our financial position.

By the 19th century, budget was being used to mean the money available for households and businesses, as well the government.
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