One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The basic monetary unit of several Latin American countries and of the Philippines, equal to 100 centésimos in Uruguay and 100 centavos elsewhere.
- ‘Cuba now has an odd dual economy in which some stores accept only pesos and others accept only dollars.’
- ‘Mexican pesos and US dollars are interchanged at the general exchange rate of 10 pesos per $.’
- ‘The Uruguayan peso, whose value has halved since the middle of June, plunged even further when foreign exchange controls were lifted.’
- ‘At the height of vote counting in the Congress last week, the peso tumbled to an all-time low of 56.43 pesos to the U.S. dollar.’
- ‘Now, he is told, his savings have been converted into pesos, currently worth a third of a dollar, and he cannot touch them until next year.’
Spanish, literally ‘weight’, from Latin pensum ‘something weighed’, from the verb pendere ‘weigh’.
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