Halves: Why do so many people call them 50 cent pieces or 50 cent coins instead of...

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Drago the Wolf, Mar 29, 2012.

  1. Drago the Wolf

    Drago the Wolf Junior Member


    I just do not understand why so many people call halves "fifty-cent pieces" or fifty-cent coins" or even, "half-dollars" I don't ever hear anyone going around, calling dollar coins "one hundred cent coins" or "one hundred cent pieces", (athough I have head "one-dollar "piece" or just "dollar piece" at times and Canada's $2 coin as a "two-dollar piece") and we don't call quarters "twenty-five cent pieces" or or twenty-five cent coins" or "quarter-DOLLARS" very often. And I don't hear people calling dimes "ten cent pieces" or "ten cent coins" or calling nickels "five cent coins" or five cent pieces", or pennies "one cent coins" or "one cent pieces" (although "cent" is the proper term for the "penny" isn't it?)

    The point of this topic is, since we all recognize our lower coinage as "Penny/Pennies, Nickel/Nickels, Dime/Dimes, Quarter/Quarters, why do we not think of the other two denominations as Half/Halves Dollar/Dollars?

    I guess the main purpose for calling halves a half "dollar", is because, unlike quarter, which is a denomination we are all acustomed to, we would not say "A quarter what?" if someone asks you, "Can I borrow a quarter?" But if you say, "Can I borrow a "half"? Someone may be more likely to say "A half, what?" And I guess for the "whole" dollar coin (Guess you couldn't call dollar coins "Wholes" and I have never seen or heard that one before but I guess if you wanted to call them Wholes, you could :rolleyes: ) , people just call it a one dollar piece going back from the the Old West, where cowboys would call their gold coins a $20 gold piece or a $10 gold piece, and so on.

    Sorry. Just worthless ranting. But I do hope that, if I ever do by some one in a million chance, succeed in getting $2 bills and halves circulating widely again, I was hoping people would start addressing them as a half, or halves, because "fifty cent piece" or "fifty cent coin" sounds too old for these new modern day times, while half and halves have more of a modern slang to them. :thumb:
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.
  3. rickmp

    rickmp The other White Meat.

    Yes, as usual, just worthless ranting!
  4. mackwork

    mackwork Caretaker of old coins & currency

  5. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball Cannot Re-Member

    So, if I were to ask a hunter just returning from a successful weekend trip if I could borrow a half buck, what should I expect to get from him?

    Some of your rant makes no cents because we have a hard enough time getting others to use SpellCheck.

  6. zach67005

    zach67005 New Member

    For the same reason I spell out every word when I text message. Also the reason I make sure all four of my kids (juvenile goats?) enunciate when speaking at home or in school.
  7. rodeoclown

    rodeoclown Dodging Bulls

    If the monetary system is based on the dollar, when it's a dollar or higher, you simply say 1 dollar, 2 dollars, 10 dollars.. 1 gazillion dollars..

    Since our monetary system is based on the dollar, anything less than the dollar you can assume half is one half of a dollar, a quarter is one quarter of a dollar, etc.. Because if you mean to say, $250,000.00 dollars, you would say Quarter of a Million. But saying them alone would go against just the lone dollar, because our monetary system is based on the dollar.

    It really does make sense when you know that our monetary system is based on the dollar.

    So even if you do get $2 bills and halves circulating again (gonna never happen unless you become some rich influential CEO that can influence our government), 50 cent pieces will continue to be called halves by some and 2 dollar bills will be called, well, 2 dollars, since our monetary system is again, based on the dollar.

    Remember, our monetary system is based on the dollar! Did I say it enough already? Dollar, dollar, dollar!

    Don't mind me, I'm just ranting about your rant. ;)
  8. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball Cannot Re-Member

    Our monetary system is decimal-based, 100 parts to the dollar. The term "quarter" was derived from the fractional use of the reale where "1 bit" equalled 12-1/2 cents. Most of us are familiar with the old school cheer, "Two bits, four bits, six bits, a dollar! All for (insert your school name) stand up and holler!

  9. Copper Head

    Copper Head Active Member

    I hear five dollar bills called 'fivers' and ten dollar bills called 'tenners'. I would not expect to hear 'oner' or 'twentier' or even a 'twoer'. It's just what people call things. You can tune a piano but you can't tunafish.
  10. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Why do they call them 50 cent pieces or half dollars ? Pretty simple answer - because that's the mint put on them for many years. And the names stuck.

    View attachment 169930

    View attachment 169931

  11. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    Bigger question is why are you calling our cents "pennies". Of all of the common nomenclature used, "Penny" and "nickel" are the two that are wrong. Dime, (disme), quarter dollar, half dollar, and dollar are all correct and originate from the coins themselves as Doug mentioned.

    I know where the words came from, "penny" from british coins that widely circulated in the early US, and "nickel" from the fact the new 5 cent piece was nickel based rather than being a silver half dime. They are still patently incorrect words to describe our coins, though.
  12. DrunkNumismatic

    DrunkNumismatic New Member


    Is your question really just "why don't everbody talk alike a-me"?
  13. Drago the Wolf

    Drago the Wolf Junior Member

    I'm just going to ignore the morons in this thread.

    However, I have called, and heard $100 bills being called "Hundos"
  14. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Honestly Drago, why would you ask such a question when since the early 1800's the coins have had either 50 cents (50 C) or half dollar right on them ?

    I mean given that, what else would you expect people to call them ?
  15. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball Cannot Re-Member

    Gem BU!
  16. VACookey

    VACookey New Member

    Maybe I'm missing something, but why is everyone, even an administrator, jumping someone for opening up a topic for discussion? I've always wondered why they were called 50 cent pieces too.
  17. quartertapper

    quartertapper Numismatist

    I'm thinking that some of the names might be regional for certain denominations. And why is the five cent piece called a nickel. I understand it's composition contains nickel, but only 25%. The Canadians truly had the right up until 1982 to call their nickel a nickel in my opinion!
  18. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball Cannot Re-Member

    It is just something that has been passed down from one generation to the next without anyone taking note of how or when it started.

    We call a coin that we carry in our pocket a "pocket piece".

    A pocketwatch used to be called a timepiece.

    Who knows!

  19. Drago the Wolf

    Drago the Wolf Junior Member

    What about our quarters? They have had "quarter DOLLAR" on them forever, as well, and I do not hear people going around calling them "quarter dollars" H:devil:ll, I believe that our older U.S. quarters also had "25 cents" on them, just like you speak of "50 cents" being on halves. And no one ever seems to call them "twentyfive cent pieces"
  20. mackwork

    mackwork Caretaker of old coins & currency

    I've never even heard anyone call them a 50 cent piece. All I've ever heard is half dollars & halfs/halves.
  21. Drago the Wolf

    Drago the Wolf Junior Member

    Well, Thank You, VACookey! Exactly! Why does everyone here, jump on my edited every time I try to talk about something?
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page