Topic: What are the official names of Canadian coins?  (Read 5164 times)
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« on: November 27, 2019, 12:54:10 pm »


I have an ongoing disagreement with a colleague who says that our coins are called pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.  I believe that he is incorrect; I was always taught that Canadian coins are one cent pieces, five cent pieces, etc... Who is correct?  Is there an official source?  The RCM website lists circulation coins according to my way but there is no official statement from them.


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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2019, 04:28:38 pm »

 Winsor. :D
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« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2021, 09:41:54 am »

I personally think terms such as "penny", "nickel", "dime" and "quarter" are all slang terms for our coins valued at 1¢, 5¢, 10¢ and 25¢ respectively.  I know the term "nickel" was due to being originally made up of nickel (and may no longer be the case today), and the term "quarter" was due to being a quarter of a dollar.  I am, however, interested in finding out where the slang terms "penny" and "dime" originated.

The slang term "loonie" is due to the presence of a loon (a bird) on one side of the coin, and the "toonie" is more a replacing of the L with a T, plus it corresponds with the $2 value.

Amazingly, even credible news sources, such as CBC, use such slang terms when doing reports about coins.
« Last Edit: July 23, 2021, 09:43:30 am by AJG »
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« Reply #3 on: July 23, 2021, 05:37:43 pm »

The mint itself uses these terms sometimes.



Technically, nothing is "official" since the Currency Act doesn't specify the names or even the denominations of circulating coins, just that they must be denominated in dollars and cents. And I can find nothing from the Mint either about official nomenclature.

So as per the OP's question of who is right? I'd say neither of you are, and at the same time you both are.

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