One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Credit in the form of promissory notes, payment orders, cheques, etc. [Sometimes derogatory, with the suggestion that such credit may often be unsecured.]
2As a count noun: a letter of credit, a cheque, etc., especially one intended to be transferred within the banking system without being redeemed.
Late 17th century. From paper + credit. Compare paper money.
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