The som, sum, or soum is a unit of currency used in Turkic-speaking countries in Central Asia. Its name comes from words in the respective languages (including Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Uyghur and Uzbek) for "pure", referring to historical coins of pure gold.
Speakers of Kazakh, Kyrgyz and Uzbek in the then Soviet Union called the ruble by these names, and were accommodated by the word appearing on the backs of banknotes. The som of Kyrgyzstan and som of Uzbekistan are post-Soviet examples.
- Этимологический словарь тюркских языков. Общетюркские и межтюркские основы на буквы «Л», «М», «Н», «П», «С» (in Russian). Москва: Восточная литература РАН. 2003. pp. 325–327.
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