22 November 2009

92 Types of Payment

. . . "First, I charge a retainer; then I charge a reminder; next I charge a refresher; and then I charge a finisher." — attorney Judah P. Benjamin (1811–1884)

Who knows why we have special words for all these different things? They are all payments. English is strange and fun.

1. account. a pool of money, such as that belonging to one person and held by a bank on that person's behalf.

2. ad valorem or advalorem duty. an import duty proportional to the value assessed by customs.

3. agio. fee for currency exchange.

4. allowance. a small amount of spending money given weekly by parents to their children.

5. alms. money given to the poor.

6. amercement. a legal fine or penalty. Feudal era.

7. auction scrip. Originated in the 1930s by Donald F. Cochrane of Hartford, Michigan as a "newspaper stunt" in which the scrip was given out by merchants to customers who made purchases, then it was announced that the scrip would be the only legal tender for a public auction on Christmas Eve of merchandise from participating merchants. A successful scheme which was then copied elsewhere.

8. balance. amount remaining in a specific fund, or amount of a debt yet to be paid off.

9. banalities. fees paid to a lord for use of his gristmill, winepress, or similar equipment. Feudal era.

10. bribe. money paid secretly or illegally, often involving a government official, for secret or illegal services.

11. capital gains tax. percentage paid to government on profit made by buying and selling stocks or other valuables.

12. charge card. similar to a credit card but the bearer is not allowed to have a balance and must pay the full amount due each month. For example, American Express is a charge card, not a credit card.

13. check card. similar to a credit card but the money is deducted immediately from the bearer's checking account rather than being loaned to the bearer.

14. chevage. tax collected by the lord of a manor from peasants who lived outside the manor. Feudal era.

15. chit. general term for a piece of paper or card holding some value for exchange.

16. collection. term in the Roman Catholic church for money taken up by the church from worshipers during a worship service.

17. commission. 1) fee for services rendered, taken out of money gained. 2) euphemism for bribe.

18. contribution. 1) donation. 2) euphemism for bribe paid by a company to a government official.

19. coordinated deductible. deductible that is not paid until a separate company ponies up some of the money.

20. corrody. payment in the form of food and drink, and sometimes a room or other goods, paid by an abbot (church official) for services rendered.

21. credit card. card used in a system by which the bearer borrows money from a credit company in order to make purchases. Credit companies issue cards to consumers, set their interest rates, and charge fees to merchants who accept credit card payments.

22. damages. fee paid by person found guilty of a crime.

23. Danegeld. tax levied to fight off Danish invasion of England. Anglo-Saxon era.

24. deductible. a term in the insurance business; it is the amount of money the customer must first pay on a claim before the insurance company will pay.

25. deposit. 1) amount of money one puts into one's bank account. 2) amount of money less than the price of the item, paid to a merchant in order for the merchant to hold the item for the customer.

26. ding. slang term for any fee, deductible, surcharge, etc, forced on an innocent consumer by a corporation such as a bank, credit card company, or merchant account service. (Example: The bank dinged me for two overdraft fees.)

27. distraint. seizure of goods for nonpayment of rent (UK); also called forfeiture.

28. distress. another word for distraint.

29. dividend. a percentage of money invested paid to the investor.

30. donation. money given freely to an organization that performs public services or good works. Also called a charitable donation.

31. duty. fee paid on an item when moving it across the border from one country into another; it supposedly takes the place of the tax you would have paid if you had purchased the item within the country.

32. entry fee. payment by a tenant for admission to a holding. Feudal era.

33. expense or expenses. general term for money that must be paid out to keep the company running: expenses include office rent, worker salaries, cost of paper clips, etc.

34. farm bureau issue. a highly successful form of emergency currency issued and hand signed by the president and secretary of the farm bureau of Millington, Michigan, in 1933.

35. fee. general term for any additional payment required by a government, a merchant, an organizations, etc.

36. forfeiture. seizure of goods for nonpayment of rent (US); also called distraint.

37. fund. general term for an amount of money held for a specific purpose.

38. geldum. another term for tax. Pre-Norman England.

39. gersuma. fee paid to a lord on entering a holding. Feudal era.

40. guerdon. reward.

41. heriot. payment, usually in the form of the best specimen of livestock, made to a manor-lord at the time of death of a tenant, paid by the family of the tenant. Compare mortuary. Feudal era.

42. income tax. taxes paid to the government based on a person's income. Became part of the US Constitution with the 16th Amendment.

43. interest. 1) additional amount paid on a loan, over and above the value of the loan. 2) money earned on an investment.

44. jeton (French: jeter = to push). a small coin-like item used as a counter in making calculations. Called Rechenpfennig (REKH-en-pfen-ikh, reckoning pennies) in Germany. Made of bone, glass, metal, etc. In olden days, metal ones were struck like coins, usually decorated with an ownership mark, coat of arms, religious symbol, etc, but never with a denomination (value) or date. They were large and flat enough to stack well.

45. kola. bribe.

46. levy. 1) a tax. 2) a seizure of property taken to recover back taxes.

47. loan. money given from an individual or lending institution, to another individual or organization, who agrees to pay it back over time, with or without interest.

48. medkniche. fee paid by the haymaker to the lord of the manor, determined by how much hay the hayward (official in charge of haying) can lift to his knees with his middle finger. Feudal era.

49. millage. a type of property tax increase that goes to pay for schools, libraries, or other public services. A "mill" is one-thousandth of a dollar, or one-tenth of a penny; a "millage" is usually an increase of a very small percentage.

50. mortuary. gift given to the parish priest from the estate of a deceased parishioner, usually being the second best specimen of livestock. Compare heriot. Feudal era.

51. minimum order fee. amount added to your order to meet the minimum order amount.

52. mita. payment in the form of public service. Inca empire.

53. multure. gristmill tax. Scotland and feudal England.

54. offering or offertory. term used in most Protestant churches for money taken up by the church from worshipers during a worship service.

55. overhead. euphemism for business expenses.

56. overplus. extra amount over the base or balance.

57. pannage. payment made to a lord for the right of feeding livestock in the lord's forest. Feudal era.

58. payoff. 1) bribe. 2) payment.

59. payola. bribe paid to DJs for playing certain bands or songs on their radio programs. 1960s-1970s term.

60. payout. money spent from a fund.

61. pension. monthly amount paid by a company to retired workers who completed certain qualifications, such as 20 years with the company.

62. pittance. 1) donation to a religious community that has taken vows of poverty. 2) any amount so small it is useless.

63. presentations. payment for fishing rights. Pre-Norman England.

64. profit. general term for any amount of money achieved by buying low and selling high: for example, buying a used LP record for $1 and selling it for $5 results in a net profit of $4. (Gross profit is total profit regardless of expenses; net profit is profit after subtracting expenses.)

65. promissory note. a card or slip of paper written by one individual to the person s/he has borrowed money from, promising to pay the amount back. Also called an I.O.U.

66. prosperity certificate or prosperity scrip. a form of scrip issued by the federal treasury, similar to the trade dollars issued in Howell, Michigan.

67. protection. a type of bribe in which the victim pays a bully, gangster, or thug an amount of money rather than getting beaten up.

68. rate. general term for an amount.

69. reimbursement. money paid after the fact when an amount is necessarily paid out to obtain a specific item or service.

70. relief. a type of death tax: a fee paid by the heir of a vassal to his lord for the privilege of inheriting the vassal's estate. Feudal era.

71. rent. amount paid to a landlord for the privilege of living in his/her property.

72. replevin. recovery by legal mean of goods unlawfully taken from a person.

73. revenue. income; often refers to money collected via taxes.

74. salary. amount earned by a worker regardless of hours worked. Most executive jobs are salaried jobs. The opposite is a wage.

75. scale. general term for wage and/or salary amounts designated by a union. To be paid scale means to be paid the lowest possible amount on the scale according to the job you are doing.

76. scrip. a certificate representing currency, issued in lieu of government currency. Most often used in emergency situations for temporary payment.

77. scutage. fee paid by a knight in order to be excused from military service. Also called a shield tax.

78. settlement. general term for the end result of a lawsuit or legal proceeding; some settlements involve payment of some form.

79. shield tax. another name for scutage.

80. simony. amount paid for the purchase of a religious benefice or indulgence.

81. surcharge. general term for a fee added onto an existing fee.

82. surtax. 1) general term for a tax added onto an existing tax. 2) income tax.

83. tallage. tax paid by serfs to their manorial lord. Feudal era.

84. tariff. a tax paid by merchants who import goods.

85. tax. general term for any money required by the government, usually relating to specific goods or services, and usually determined by a percentage. Types include sales tax, income tax, property tax, television tax, estate tax, and capital gains tax.

86. toll. 1) fee for the privilege of using a private road. 2) fee paid to one's lord for the privilege of selling one's livestock. Feudal era.

87. trade dollar / trade scrip / stamp scrip / stamp money / prosperity scrip. a form of emergency currency invented by the Chamber of Commerce of Howell, Michigan in 1933. The unique feature was that the scrip lost value if it was not spent. Dollars were given away free at first, by participating merchants, who gave out one trade dollar for every $5 worth of goods purchased. If the individual who received it did not spend it within 3 days, s/he had to purchase a 2-cent stamp (also issued by the Chamber of Commerce) and affix it to the scrip. After one trade dollar had been spent 52 times, it had collected $1.04 in stamps and was redeemed for $1.00 in cash. The scheme doubled commerce in Howell and was soon copied by small towns all over Michigan.

88. tranche. a portion of something, usually money. Example: "We're lowering the lowest tranche fee (i.e. for items with a starting price of $0.01 to $0.99) from a quarter to twenty cents." -- eBay, Feb 2006

89. wage. amount earned by a worker who gets paid by the hour. Most jobs requiring little specialized knowledge or skills are wage jobs. The opposite is salary.

90. windfall. government term for any amount of money that comes into one's possession unexpectedly, such as from winning the lottery or having a rich relative die and leave you piles of money.

91. withdrawal. amount of money one takes out of one's bank account.

92. writ of replevin. see replevin.

(Information on auction scrip, farm bureau scrip, prosperity certificates and trade dollars came from Michigan Depression Scrip of the 1930s, by James J. Curto. Reprinted from 'The Numismatist,' copyright 1949. Published by the author, Grosse Pointe, Mich., no date (circa 1960-1970).


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