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Bank and BankruptEdit

Hi there. Welcome to this week's Etymology( Words with an Interesting History). On this week's programme I'm going to show where the word "Bank" exactly comes from. Then as the programme proceeds on I will show where the word "Bankrupt" one of Bank's derivatives originates.

Well as you know bank is where we put our money and valuable things (e.g jewelry,...), exchange currencies and do lots of other things. But did you know the bank we have nowadays was primarily just a single ordinary bench?! Don't believe it? Scroll down to know more.


The word "Bank" dates back to late 15 century A.D when Jews where most eminent in Italy. It derives from the Italian word banco (i.e bench). Jewish businessmen in Lombardy ( Italy) sat on these benches in their market places exchanging money and bill.

Now you know that bank firstly meant bench, I'll help you with the second part of the word which is rupt that means "to break". Now you'd probably guess who's bankrupt. Could you?

Yes, You'r right. That's simple; When a banker failed, people would break his bench, hence, he became bank-rupt.

Shawneetown bank 02

Bank





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