If celery were salary 
perhaps we’d all live healthily
but money’s bought and money’s sold
no longer backed by the price of gold
the salt of the earth if you work hard enough
not worth your salt if the getting gets tough
in times of Rome it was salt you see
whose ownership would set you free
but what’s that got to do with the price of fish?
now pass the salt for my mackerel dish
Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

The word ‘salary’ comes from the Latin ‘salarium’, which means ‘salt money’. Salt was a form of currency as early as 6000 BC and was used by the Ancient Greek’s and Roman’s to buy slaves and pay soldiers. It is still used for money amongst the nomads of Ethiopia’s Danakil Plains. In the digital currency revolution, people question how digital assets can be worth anything, yet fiat money is backed by nothing but our trust and faith in governments. If salt can be of value because it’s culturally accepted as such, why not crypto currency? Food for thought.

6 thoughts on “Salary

  1. I didn’t know about the derivation of the word ‘salary.’ Interesting. Did you ever read the historical novel about the tulip bulb craze in Holland in [maybe?] the 1600s? It was all about owning bulbs that *might* bloom certain colors later. I am reminded of that craze whenever I hear about crypto currency.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know either until I started looking into the history of money, it’s fascinating. I haven’t read that book but now I want to research it, I like the analogy.

      Time will tell with crypto, but I visited the British museum recently and they were tokenising their art work on the Ethereum blockchain, I feel we could be on the precipice of some big changes, and technological change is often initially met with skepticism: apparently, at their time of invention there were skeptics about the lightbulb, cars and televisions, but we’d struggle to imagine life without them now.

      It’s my son’s birthday coming up and all he wants for gifts are tokens to spend in the online games he plays. It’s interesting to see how the next generation could be more concerned with consumption in the virtual world than the real one.

      At the very least it’s going to mean a few less unwanted toys in our house at the end of the month. Every cloud ⛅️

      Liked by 1 person

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