Duit

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The duit was a copper Dutch coin worth 2 penning, with 8 duit pieces equal to one stuiver and 160 duit pieces equal to one gulden. In Dutch Indonesia 4 duit pieces were equal to one stuiver. To prevent smuggling, the Dutch East India company ordered special coins with the VOC monogram on it. Only those pieces were valid in Indonesia. It was once used in the Americas while under Dutch rule.

The name of the coin was preserved for a long time in the 'fourduitcoin' (or plak), because it was worth 4 duiten = half a stuiver (or 2,5 cent).

In the Dutch language, there are many expressions, proverbs and sayings which feature the word 'duit'.

  • Putting a duit in the bag (Een duit in het zakje doen) - to contribute something
  • He is a duit-thief (Hij is een duitendief) - he is very greedy
  • He has much shit, but little duit (Hij heeft veel kak, maar weinig duiten) - he is a boaster
  • To be courageous like a three-duit haddock (Moed hebben als een schelvis van drie duiten) - to be cowardly
  • To give someone of four duit back (Iemand van vier duiten weerom geven) - to tell someone the truth

The duit is also referred to as the "New York Penny" due to its use as a Colonial monetary unit in Dutch New Amsterdam (later New York) and for years later, long after Dutch rule had passed. It was part of the coinage used to purchase the island of Manhattan from the locals.

Duit is also the Malay and the informal Indonesian equivalent of the English term "money". This happened because of centuries of Dutch rule in Indonesia.

  • Saya mengambil duit dari dompet - I put out (some) money from (a/the) wallet
  • wanita itu mata-duitan - she is a materialistic girl, (mata-duitan, a phrase to express a materialistic person)

Non-copper duit[edit]

In addition to copper, proof coinage of the duit was also minted in silver and gold.[1]

References[edit]