blue-back, noun

Origin:
See quotation 1965.
historical
A bank-note issued by the South African (Transvaal) Republic in 1865; a bank-note of the Free State Republic. Also attributive.
Note:
The blue-back became notorious for failing to hold its face value.
1867 Blue Bk for Col. 1866 JJ39The only means of payment are blue-backs, which are almost useless in the Colony.
1870 E. Prov. Herald 14 Jan.A diamond..was exhibited for sale on our market this morning. It was held in, as not more than ninety-five bluebacks were offered for it.
1872 J.L. Babe S. Afr. Diamond Fields 64Lillienveld and Webb..purchased this farm..for £2,000 in ‘bluebacks’ (Orange Free State currency).
1882 C. Du Val With Show through Sn Afr. II. 216He supposed ‘the reign of bluebacks would return’, an allusion to the paper currency in circulation under the former Boer Government, the value of which depreciated to an extraordinary extent, and became actually more or less fictitious.
1893 Cape Illust. Mag. Vol.4 No.8, 284[The Republic] left behind it an empty exchequer, a floating debt represented by ‘bluebacks’ worth 3/6 in the £, and a long list of arrear salaries.
1900 Daily News 17 Sept. 5President Kruger has deserted them, taking all the gold, and leaving them only ‘blue-backs’.
1919 M.M. Steyn Diary 146We were asked if we wished to pay in cash or ‘blue-backs’ — ‘blue-backs’ were Free State Government Notes.
1928 E.A. Walker Hist. of S. Afr. 332At the end of the wars £126 000 in paper were in circulation; the £5 ‘blueback’ was worth £3.
1940 F.B. Young City of Gold 213The Republican paper currency was worth as little as its ‘goodfors,’ pound ‘blue-back’ notes were fetching a shilling apiece.
1965 T.V. Bulpin Lost Trails of Tvl 101The government had run right out of hard cash and had been forced to print £10 500 in notes. These were crudely and hastily printed on blue foolscap paper and were promptly named ‘bluebacks’.
A bank-note issued by the South African (Transvaal) Republic in 1865; a bank-note of the Free State Republic. Also attributive.

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18671965