August 18, 2012
greenback (noun)
\GREEN-bak\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a piece of U.S. paper money
How do you use it?
Stan asked if I would trade him four quarters for his greenback so he could play his favorite video game at the arcade.
Are you a word wiz?

"Greenback" isn't as crisp and young as a brand-new dollar bill. How old do you think the word "greenback" is?

If you chose answer C, you're right on the money! Before the Civil War, most money was printed in black ink. The United States government decided that if paper money was printed in a very unique green ink, it would be harder for anyone to counterfeit (to make illegal copies). That special -- and expensive -- ink was originally printed only on the back side of the bills. This new kind of money was first issued in March of 1862. Soon the Civil War soldiers who were paid with these cool new bills were calling them "greenbacks."
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