Guten Tag, mein gutes Volk!
It’s Tuesday and, as usual, it’s time for your weekly dose of Fun Etymology goodness.
If you’ve been following us on our journey so far, you know that words sometimes have the weirdest connections with other words. Today, we bring you another of those bizarre links: the one between “money” and “admonish”.
The word “money” is yet another word coming from the heap of vocabulary dumped on unsuspecting English by the French invaders in the Middle Ages and is directly cognate with modern French “monnaie”. The origin of both words can be found in the original Latin word “moneta” (which survived unchanged in Italian), and it’s the ultimate etymology of this word which is the most interesting part of our story today.
See, in ancient Rome, the official imperial mint was located right across the street from (or perhaps even inside) the city temple to the goddess Juno, the wife of Jupiter.
Now, those of you who know your Greco-Roman mythology will know that Jupiter (or Zeus) wasn’t exactly the most faithful husband a woman could wish for.
Perhaps because of her husband’s constant misbehaviour, Juno was known to be a pretty stern and severe goddess, and one of her nicknames in Archaic Latin was “Moneta”, “The Admonisher”, from “monere” “to admonish”. Sound familiar?
In ancient Rome, money was what came out of the Moneta temple, and was therefore called “moneta”, from which came Old French “monoie”, which then gave English the word “money”.
The same verb “monere” (plus the strengthening prefix “ad-“) gave English the word “admonish”, again through French.
Isn’t it amazing how the ancient religion of the Romans still influences the words we use today?