One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Money paid in advance as wages or against expenses to be incurred. Compare prest. Now rare.
2Money paid to a sailor or soldier on enlistment, the acceptance of which was held to constitute legal proof of his engagement.
Late Middle English. From prest + money. In some forms probably partly influenced by press, press.
press money/ˈprɛs ˌmʌni/
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