Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Two Bits

At my local hardware store, I picked up twenty finishing nails which were sold by the pound.  The manager of the store told me the cost was two bits and I just stood there looking at him, unable to figure out how much that was.  He let me know that two bits were twenty-five cents and the term comes from the old Spanish coins "pieces of eight" where each one was worth 12.5 cents.  The Spanish dollar was much larger than the other coins and was often cut into eight smaller parts, hence each one was worth an eighth of the dollar. Therefore, with two bits of this Spanish dollar, you had 25 cents.

It probably didn't help that I'm a computer guy and a bit means something totally different to me...

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