Imported from: Google Blogger site
Original publish date: November 13, 2020
Origin of the word "Scripophily"
In case you missed it during your morning coffeee, I transcribed the following from the "Business Diary" section of the Times (of London), May 9, 1978, page 25.
Business Diary section of The Times...
Scripophily: is our word your bond?
Ross Davies, Business Diary's Editor, reports on the outcome of Business Diary's name-the-hobby competitions.
The winner of our competition to find a name for the hobby of collecting old bonds and share certificates is Arthur Howell, of Brighton.
He suggested "scripophily," a word effectively half-English and half-Greek, combining scrip (a provisional certificate as for shares, share certificates, or shares or stock collectively – an abbreviation from subscription receipt) with philein (to love).
He wins a price of £10-worth of bonds offered by the originator of the competition, Commander Donald Ross. The Commander is a keen collector and is secretary of the Vintners' Company.
Howell will also receive a collection valued at £100 from Colin Narbeth, a joint managing director of dealers Stanley Gibbons Currency Limited. They weighed in with this offer on reading of the competition in the Business Diary.
The winner will receive his prizes at a luncheon in his honour which Gibbons is throwing in London on Monday week.
Left to his own devices, Howell would probably lose little sleep if he never saw a bond or a share certificate again. He is a retired solicitor who spent much of his life handling clients' certificates and it has not left him much of a "phile" – he neither collects the things nor is a habitual competition entrant.
Howell oh-so-narrowly beat Mrs. J. J. Santilhana of Bristol, who pulled up the same roots but suggested using them in reverse order as in "philoscripy".
Commander Ross and I sat down to puzzle through the postcards and came to a gratifyingly quick and painless agreement. We reconsidered over a bottle of Château Malescot St. Exupery Margeaux 1971, but remained unshaken in our resolve. Howell and scripophily it was.
The commander had his way of reaching a conclusion and I mine. He had chosen four criteria, each carrying five marks.
One criterion was whether or not the word conveyed the sense of bonds or certificates and, if possible, deadness. The chosen word would also have to signify love of collection; it had to convey a picture and, lastly, it had to come trippingly off the tongue.
My choice, thank heaven, the same a my companion's, was made because it seemed a good idea at the time.
Mrs. Santilhana and her philoscripy, we decided, had to give way to Howell and his scripophily, as the latter was just that much easier to say. I do hope Mrs. Santilhana will not stop reading the Business Diary.
She, I trust, will reflect that the commander and I had also seen our suggestions bettered. Some weeks ago I had suggested "bondaphily" in print whereupon the commander wrote in to say that my choice "smacks of cheese" and then offered to fund a competition to thrash out the matter.
Postcards, some covered in entries, came in from England, Scotland and Wales. There was even a delightful view of Lulworth Cove, which came to us from R. G. Holloway in Brussels of all places. He suggested "bonditry."
Perhaps the most elegant entry , again a multiple one, came from Bernard Slater, the senior classics master at Bradford Grammar School. I quite liked his "promissophily", but found his "syngraphophily" and "philosyngraphy" a little chewy.
Mrs. D. Bryden of Melrose, Roxburghshire, enlisted Shakespeare, quoting thus: "I'll have my bond; speak not against my bond. I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond."
What else could she then suggest but "Shyloxsis"? Mmm, thought the commander and I, we'll let you know.
Stanley Gibbons Currency Limited, which is to hold a first British auction of bonds and share certificates in November, declares our choice of scripophily "most apt." Robin Hendy, its advisor, has already been rechristened "scripophilic expert."
Yesterday I spoke to Mr. Robert Burchfield, the editor of Oxford English Dictionaries. He says that Howell's word could be in volume three of the supplement to the OED which is to appear in two years' time. [ed. And it did!]
Commander Ross, meanwhile, plans to start a scripophiles' club: we will give the address to write to shortly.
[Note: For those who did not suffer through three long years of Mrs. Lanham's Latin class, I suggest the word scrip needs a bit more explanation. It certainly goes back much further than "subscription receipt."
According to the esteemed Mr. Noah Webster, LL.D., in the George and Charles Merriam's 1852 edition of An American Dictionary of the English Language, scrip comes from the Latin noun, scriptum, the perfect passive participle of scrībō (“to write”). Part of 1852's definition explained, "A certificate of stock subscribed to a bank or other company, or of a share of other joint property, is called in America a 'scrip.'"
The latest edition of Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary carries the essential parts of that earlier definition and suggests the first use of "scrip" in this context appeared in 1590.]