Dollar - dolour

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Dollar and the less common dolour are homophones. They rhyme with 'collar' and 'scholar', IPA: /'dɒ lər/ - although an older pronunciation realizes dolour as 'DOUGH-ler', /'dəʊ lər/, and a local version is 'DULL-er', /'dʌ lər/.

  • A dollar is a unit of currency, most prominently the U.S. dollar, which is a standard currency of international trade. Its universally recognized symbol is $. Other countries call their currencies dollars, such as Australia, Canada, Fiji, Hong Kong, Jamaica, New Zealand, and Singapore: your readers will normally expect you to be writing of the the U.S. dollar if you are writing generally, so if you mean any of the others, it is important to identify the nationality clearly, as in "the Australian dollar" or $A.
Etymological note: dollar is derived from the early modern Dutch daler, which is a clipped form of Joachimstaler, which means 'a coin minted in Joachimsthal [in Bohemia, where there was a silver mine and a mint which produced these coins from 1519]'. Joachimsthal means '[the] Valley of [Saint] John'. From the sixteenth century, taler was written dollar in English.
The origin of the $ symbol is obscure. In its original (handwritten) form, there were two vertical strokes. These may be derived from the two 'Pillars of Hercules' (the ancient name for the Straits of Gibraltar) shown on the predecessor Spanish dollar, or 'piece of eight' (especially the type called the 'Pillar dollar'); it may show an S with a U superimposed (for 'United States'); or it amy be a simplification or distorion of any one of several pre-existing signs.
    • There is also a place in Clackmannanshire in Scotland called Dollar. Everett-Heath derives it from "the Celtic dόl 'water meadow' and ar 'place'. It is the home of a public school called Dollar Academy, famous for its pipe band and its fine buildings. The Dollar Glen, a little north of the town, runs through the Ochil Hills.
  • Dolour, from the Latin dolor, dolōrem, 'pain', 'grief', 'anger', which is a noun formed from the verb dolēre, 'to suffer pain or grief', now means 'mental pain or anguish', such as grief, sorrow or guilt. Historically it could be used, as in Latin, to mean physical pain, but this usage is no longer current; and it is no longer used to mean 'rage' or 'anger'. The adjective associated with dolour is dolorous, which is stressed on the first syllable: 'DOLL-er-us', IPA: /'dɒ lə rəs/. This is now used for mental states, either of a person feeling grief-stricken or for experiences that might lead to, or cause, such emotion.
    • Dolores ('doll-ORE-ez'. /dɒ 'lɔː rɪs (or z)/ is a Spanish forename for women. It is taken from one of the titles recognized in the Roman Catholic church for the Virgin Mary, Nuestra Señora de los Dolores ('Our Lady of Sorrows'). (OED cites the 1885 Catholic Dictionary on "the Seven Sorrows of Mary, ... i.e. at the prophecy of Simeon, in the flight to Egypt, at the three days' loss, at the carrying of the cross, at the crucifixion, at the descent of the cross, at the entombment. (Hence the appellation Our Lady of Dolours [or Sorrows])".)