Pound vs Quid (With Table)

Wondering what’s the difference between Pound and Quid? Here is an easy-to-understand table for a quick view of Pound vs. Quid.

Comparison Table: Pound vs Quid

CriteriaPound Quid
DefinitionThe currency of the United Kingdom, crown dependencies Gibraltar, Falkland Islands.Slang term for currency of United Kingdom
EtymologyPound comes from the Latin word “poundus” meaning weight.It is generally accepted that quid comes from the Latin word “ quid pro quo” meaning “something for something”.
Date of originIt was first used by the Anglo-Saxons in 775 A.D. I.e. the 8th century.Quid in its modem meaning was used for the first time in 17 the century.
DesignationThe official term for the currency of England. The term “Pound” is officially used worldwide.The slang term for pound. Usually used in colloquial language
Pound Vs Quid Table
Pound vs Quid: Difference Between Pound And Quid
Difference Between Pound And Quid

Currencies are at the crux of the capitalist society that we live in today. Within the complex economic web that we live in today, each country has its own currency and its respective unique value. This is the base of trade and commerce and thus the economy of the world. Much like their unique values in the world market, each currency has its own history.  

Before the advent of paper money, the whole system of trading was different. It was called the barter system, which depended on the exchange of products and services for some other product or service. In other words, there was no piece of paper that determined the value of a product or service.

Lydia (present-day western Turkey) in Europe was the first place to manufacture coins to be used in trade as early as 600 B.C. However, it was China in approximately 770 B.C. that developed a system of monetary transactions for the first time.

Today the four most important or traded currencies in the world are U.S. dollars, Euro, Japanese Yen, and Pound Sterling.

The Pound is the official currency of the United Kingdom and some other regions in the Commonwealth. The Pound is the colloquial term for the currency and the official terms for it are Pound Sterling and the Great Britain Pound.

Quid is also a term associated with the British currency but it is the slang term for Pound like buck is for Dollars.

About Pound Sterling

Like the currencies of the rest of Europe, the Pound Sterling had its origin in continental Europe during the Roman Era. The pound coin first appeared in England during the reign of King Henry VII, in 1489.

The pound banknotes started circulating in 1694 after the establishment of the Bank of England. In the present day, alongside the United Kingdom, the Pound is also traded in Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha alongside their own pound money.

Some crown dependencies like Guernsey, Isle of Man, and Jersey make their own issues of the GBP. Presently this currency has notes of four denominations-5,10,20 and 50 GBP. Coins come in 1,2,5,10,20 and 50 pence and 1 and 2 GBP.

The Pound Sterling is the oldest continuous currency in the world. The term pound comes from Latin “poundus” meaning weight. In the most recent times, the value of 1 pound equates to 1.33 U.S. dollars.

Pound Symbol

About Quid

The Cambridge dictionary defines quid as one pound in British money. The origin of this word is said to be Latin “quid pro quo” meaning “something for something”. There are other variations to the story of its origin. Some are of the opinion that the term comes from the Italian “scudo”, which was the term for clips in 19th century Italy.

The Italian immigrants brought the word over to England. There is also a village in England called QuidHampton where there once was a Royal mint paper mill. Some are of the opinion this is from where the term Quid meaning pound or money originated. Thus, the real origin of the word is a mystery yet to be solved.

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Difference Between Pound and Quid

1) Meaning

The pound or Pound Sterling is the official name given to the currency used in the United Kingdom, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands. Quid is the slang term for the official pound or GBP. It similar to what “Buck” means for “Dollar”.

2) Origin

The English term “pound” has its origin in the Latin term “poundus” meaning weight. The origin of the term quid is a bit murky. However, it is generally accepted that it originates from Latin “quid pro quo” which means “something for something”.

3) Date of Origin

The pound was used for the first time by the Anglo-Saxons as early as the 8th century A.D. It was in 1971 that the pound was officially adopted as the currency of the United Kingdom under the decimal system. Quid, as it has come to mean today, was used in this sense for the first time in the 17th century

4) Designation

The Pound is the official term. The British currency is traded in this name worldwide. Quid is the slang term for the official pound. It is used in informal colloquial language.

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Not only is the pound the oldest running currency but its value in today’s market is higher than U.S. Dollars. It is a highly prestigious currency in the world market.

In 2002, most European countries agreed to name Euro as their common currency but Britain rejected the notion and continued with the Pound.

The pound, however, has had its own ups and downs. In 2016, when Britain voted for leaving the European Union, the pound saw one of its worst days ever hitting a 30 year low. It equated to 1.33 pounds per dollar.

Quid isn’t the lone slang term for the pound. There are others like maker, sovereign, nicker. As all of these are colloquial terms they can get confusing for immigrants or foreigners to decipher.

They usually consider both the terms to be one and the same, which it is in a way but the real difference lies in the designation and treatment of the terms. The pound isn’t the only currency to have slang attributed to it. As discussed above, the dollar has some too and so do other currencies. This is not an isolated practice.

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