Why Is A Dollar Called A Buck?

You’ve probably heard the phrase “a buck” used to refer to a dollar, but have you ever wondered where it came from? “Buck” is an informal term for “dollar” that originated in the mid-18th century and has been in use ever since. Despite its long-standing popularity, the exact origins of the term are surprisingly mysterious.

Keep reading to learn why a buck means a dollar, how it’s changed over time, and what other terms have been used to refer to a dollar. Who knows, maybe you’ll be surprised by what you discover!

Why is a dollar called a Buck?

The term ‘Buck’ is an American slang term used to refer to the U. S.

Dollar. Its origin is closely linked to an animal highly present in the early days of the discoveries of the American continent: the American bison.

The American History behind the word ‘Buck’

In the early days of American exploration of the continent, craftsman used the fur of the Bison, also known as Buffalo to trade with natives for goods. The American Bison was and is still today a very common animal in the United States and was, during the time of the explorations, the most important animals for trading.

As a result of the abundance of the animal and its fur, the word ‘Buck’ was coined as a slang term for the American Dollar. This was done as a reference to the animal being used as a tool of currency.

The Usage of ‘Buck’ to refer to a Dollar

The usage of the word to refer to a Dollar is, as a result, an incredibly old one, with usage of the term as old as the beginning of the 19th century.

The usage of the word ‘Buck’ however is only really used in the Unites States and can be considered as one of the most common slang terms when it comes to speaking about the American Dollar.


The usage of the word ‘Buck’ to refer to an American Dollar is a very old one, stemming from the similarities between the fur of a Bison and the colour of an American Dollar bill. As a result, Craftsman in the process of exploration ended up referring to the Dollar as a ‘Buck’ as a reference to the animal that was used to it trade.

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