Episode 45: To Coin a Phrase – and Money

At the end of the 8th century, Western Europe saw its most powerful kings to date.  That included Charlemagne in Francia and Offa in Britain.  Those kings shared a close relationship which extended to their currency. The establishment of an official currency in both kingdoms spurred trade in northern Europe. And the remote beneficiaries of that trade were the Scandinavians.  Meanwhile, Charlemagne’s reforms in Francia led to the emergence of the Carolingian Renaissance. In this episode, we explore the impact of these events on the English language.


8 thoughts on “Episode 45: To Coin a Phrase – and Money

  1. Hello, Kevin!

    So what is the origin of the word Theodish? Wikipedia seems to think it’s a religion of sorts, not an early name for Dutch.

    Thank you! : ^}

  2. I believe that from Offa onwards 1 sciling = 4 penningas in Mercia and 1 sciling = 5 penningas in Wessex. It appears that in the very late Anglo-Saxon period we get 1 sciling = 12 penningas and that is how the Normans standardised it.

  3. Kevin, I’m a huge fan of the podcast.
    From your first reference to Mercia, I’ve wondered if has a connection to the River Mersey.
    Finally took time to look it up.
    “River Mersey (/ˈmɜːrzi/) is a major river in North West England. Its name derives from Old English and means “boundary river”, possibly referring to its having been a border between the ancient kingdoms of Mercia and and Northumbria.”

    Does this match your understanding?

    • Yes, it is my understanding that Mercia and Mersey are cognate, both deriving from the same root word meaning a ‘border region.’

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