One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An English name for: the écu, a French gold coin of the 15th and 16th centuries, with a value of four English shillings.
2Used punningly: the baldness caused by syphilis.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in Nicholas Udall (1504–1556), schoolmaster and playwright. From French + crown, so called to distinguish it from the coin of the same name minted in England.
French crown/frɛn(t)ʃ ˈkraʊn/
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