Weird name for a currency, isn’t it.

I’ve done some research and pulled this together.

One of the earliest attestations of the term is in Old French form esterlin , in a charter of the abbey of Les Préaux, dating to either 1085 or 1104. The English chronicler Orderic Vitalis (1075 – c. 1142) uses the Latin forms libræ sterilensium and libræ sterilensis monetæ . The word in origin refers to the newly introduced Norman silver penny.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the most plausible etymology is derivation from a late Old English steorling (with (or like) a “little star”), as some early Norman pennies were imprinted with a small star. There are a number of obsolete[ citation needed ] hypotheses. One suggests a connection with starling, because four birds (in fact martlets) were depicted on a penny of Edward I.

Another argument is that the Hanseatic League was the origin for both the origin of its definition and manufacture, and in its name is that the German name for the Baltic is “Ost See”, or “East Sea”, and from this the Baltic merchants were called “Osterlings”, or “Easterlings”. In 1260, Henry III granted them a charter of protection. Because the League’s money was not frequently debased like that of England, English traders stipulated to be paid in pounds of the Easterlings , which was contracted to sterling .[4] and land for their Kontor, the Steelyard of London, which by the 1340s was also called “Easterlings Hall”, or Esterlingeshalle.[5] The Hanseatic League was officially active in the London trade from 1266 to 1597. This etymology may have been first suggested by Walter de Pinchebek (ca. 1300) with the explanation that the coin was originally made by moneyers from that region.[6] The claim has also been made in Henry Spelman’s glossary (Glossarium Archaiologicum) as referenced in Commentaries on the Laws of England .[7] Yet another claim on this same hypothesis is from Camden, as quoted in Chamber’s Journal of Popular Literature, Science and Arts, Volume 4.[8] By 1854, the tie between Easterling and Sterling was well-established, as Ronald Zupko quotes in his dictionary of weights.[9]

The British numismatist Philip Grierson disagrees with the “star” etymology, as the stars appeared on Norman pennies only for the single three-year issue from 1077–1080 (the Normans changed coin designs every three years). Grierson’s proposed alternative is that “sterling” derives from “ster”[note 1] meaning “strong” or “stout”, by analogy with the Byzantine solidus, originally known as the solidus aureus meaning “solid gold” or “reliable gold”. In support of this he cites the fact that one of the first acts of the Normans was to restore the coinage to the consistent weight and purity it had in the days of Offa, King of Mercia. This would have been perceived as a contrast to the progressive debasement of the intervening 200 years, and would therefore be a likely source for a nickname.[10]

S.E. Rigold disputes the origin being Norman, stating, “that, while medieval British coins seldom copy or are copied by those of France, they have many typological connexions with the lands to the east—the Netherlands, the Baltic, Germany, and even deeper regions of central Europe.”[11]

Sterling work!


Jolly good furniture store, but.

Horrible childhood memories of being dragged round it.

does the adjective come from the silver standard or the other way about

Yes, and the nearby garden centre. I am sure that these experiences damaged me.

Now though as an adult with a house, I positively froth at the gash at the thought of getting to look at wardrobes.


Yeah, I think it’s weird as well. I call it “pound” but then it’s actually called “sterling”

I need to go wardrobe shopping this weekend actually, as the sellers have upped their price on the current fitted wardrobes from £0 to £300. “They cost us £625!”, they’re wailing. Aye but they’re ugly as fuck and I’m not subsidising your poor decisions. Get them in the bin.

We still have no wardrobes, nearly 20 months in this house now. :crazy_face:

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Despite being a huge Twilight Zone fan I keep thinking Rod Serling’s name is actually Rod Sterling.

That’s all I’ve got on the subject of Sterling. I hope this contribution has added something worthwhile to this thread.

It has not.

also where the actual fuck did they get fitted wardrobes done so cheaply? They cost thousands normally. Yucky yucky thousands. (apologies to anybody who has them. I am swayed between getting them (convenient and easy to just shove stuff in and hide lots of mess) and not getting them (bit ugly) all the time).

I’m sorry for wasting your time, eps.

They’re not actually fitted, they’re ugly mirrored free-standing things that they’ve bolted to the fucking walls for some reason.

oh my.

You’re just jealous of my flamingo shirt.

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Yeah. We were going to keep them for the time being because it would be one less thing to sort, but I’m not going to pay actual money for them, ffs

So you’re telling me his surname isn’t Sterling? I genuinely thought it was too…

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