Remembering The Billfold

Discussion in 'Other Reminiscences' started by Hal Pollner, Oct 30, 2018.

  1. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Throughout most of my life, personal cash caddies were called Billfolds.

    This was a proper, descriptive term for the item, unlike the now popular, but stupid "Wallet".

    Hal
     
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  2. Martin Alonzo

    Martin Alonzo Veteran Member
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    I was a poor boy and we always called it a wallet probably because we did not have any folding money. I remember having a truckers wallet which was a large wallet with a chain that hooked with a loop to your belt. My mother seen me with it one day as she was working in a restaurant and said i hope you are not going to church wearing that. One minister who was in the restaurant spoke up and told my mother there is as many pickpockets in the church as there is in the streets. I felt better about using it.
     
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  3. Beatrice Taylor

    Beatrice Taylor Very Well-Known Member
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    I never needed anything more sophisticated than one of these.

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    Like @Martin Alonzo I have always called what I carried in a pants pocket a billfold, but when I carried a larger item in the inside pocket of a suit coat a wallet. Same function but different appearance. Now that I know longer carry a "wallet", I sometimes interchange the terms.
     
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  5. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I also grew up with "billfold" and agree that it's more descriptive than "wallet," which is currently used. Maybe not, though, given that I rarely have any bills folded in my wallet; mostly it's a place to carry my driver's license and credit cards.
     
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  6. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    I never considered myself stupid for calling the leather thing that holds my cash a wallet that is, if I have any cash to hold.
    Why, if I have no cash would I call a wallet a “billfold”? Certainly, if it holds no bills then it is no longer a billfold but just a leather thingy that I put in my pocket that simply holds my identification, which does not fold and my debit card, which also does not fold.

    If one looks at the source of the word “wallet” it is from German descent and has a couple of vague meanings but the English version is something akin to a rucksack.
    (Now what on earth would I be doing with a rucksack in my back pocket?).

    Nope, wallet is good enough for me because bill fold has some connotation that I might actually be carrying money.

    Now it’s off to play a good game of solitaire toe ketch............
     
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  7. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Veteran Member
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    Like Hal and other intelligent people, I still call it a billfold.:p
     
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  8. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    Where I grew up amongst cheap, er.......frugal, always conscious of money Czechs, they came to be called "grouch bags".

    Every time one was opened or unfolded, it let out a scream of protest!
    Frank
     
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  9. Thomas Stearn

    Thomas Stearn Well-Known Member
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    As a young boy I mostly heard grown-ups talk about a "Portomon(n)aie" (French words still had appeal in those days) which most people had. I had trouble spelling it correctly but finally managed to. Some people also mentioned their "wallet" which they mostly had in addition to a portomonaie. I found out that a wallet was what those people had who had more money, i.e. who owned bank notes. Interestingly, wallet was first recorded in 1834 in American English meaning a "flat case for carrying paper money". I never had that. That's why something which was made to hold coins made sense to me.
    As to the origin, "wallet" is not necessarily a word of German but of Germanic origin, i.e. old North French as well.
    These days portomonaie, although dated or extinct in English, is still being used in German. The equivalent word to wallet (or billfold) is not, presumably because these words are still not associated with coins. In addition, you can put all your credit cards and other service cards which are the size of a credit card into them. So what more do you want?
     
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  10. Maggie Mae

    Maggie Mae Well-Known Member
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    Dad always called it a wallet but Grandpa called it a billfold.

    Ladies purses also have a few different names ... handbag, pocketbook, purse, bag.
     
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  11. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    Going out with no bills in your billfold is like going out with your fly unzipped.

    Hal
     
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  12. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    99% of the time I wear pants which have no fly so that would mean that I am free to carry something that does not fold bills ergo.....a wallet for carrying my cards.
    Also, I do have some cases in my small collection which do not fold bills but do hold them as straight bills. Since they do not fold bills, they cannot by the very way that they are made, be called bill folds. :)
    (Unless of course, you fold your bills in a straight case which would be a tad untidy, now wouldn’t it) :)

    Edit: Either way, in my neighborhood the intelligent thing to do is to replace the “wallet or billfold” for something akin to a holster.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
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  13. Tex Dennis

    Tex Dennis Well-Known Member
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    When what ever you call it wears out do you patch it with Duck tape as I do? I have friends that put all together held by a rubber band and carried that way for years.
     
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    Last edited: Oct 31, 2018
  14. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Ah, then I have probably missed diagnosed the local robbers around the neighborhood for they too demand a billfold and have not, from what I have been told, demanded someone’s wallet. They must be very intelligent thieves contrary to my initial thoughts.
     
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  15. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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  16. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    I do love the fact that the word Wallet goes back so far. In comparison, it almost seems as though “billfold” was just a fad which accidentally caught on.

    “Time hath, my lord, a wallet at his back, wherein he puts alms for oblivion”. (Shakespeare) Troilus and Cressida
    Ah, the stupidity of Shakespeare to have not used “billfold” in his works..............
     
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  17. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Veteran Member
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    @Hal Pollner
    Is that something like put your money where your fly is, or put your fly where your money is?
    Frank
     
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  18. Tex Dennis

    Tex Dennis Well-Known Member
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    Brieftasche in German is the same for wallet or billfold
     
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  19. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    There’s a few bookers on my street who would probably opt for either one.
    Oh and, they carry small handbags instead of billfolds or wallets even though a wallet is still a handbag....or something like that.
     
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  20. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    The way to get your Camel to run is to hit it on the head with your riding crop and shout "Hut Hut Hut!"

    (From "Lawrence of Arabia".)

    Hal
     
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  21. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    And if it doesn't run, do the intelligent thing and make a wallets out of it's hide and sell them road side to all the other guys going hut, hut, hut...….
     
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    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
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