Coin purse

A coin purse is a small money bag or pouch, similar to a wallet, but typically used by women and include a compartment for coins.[citation needed] In some countries, it is known simply as a purse.[citation needed] In other countries, such as the United States, the term purse refers to a handbag.[citation needed]

The word purse is derived from the Latin bursa, from the Greek βύρσα, býrsa, oxhide.[1]


The comical cane toad purse

The oldest known purse was found with Ötzi the Iceman[2] who lived around 3,300 BCE. Another early example is on Egyptian hieroglyphs, which show pouches worn around the waist. The Purse Cover from Sutton Hoo Burial is a very elaborate, probably royal, metalwork cover for a (presumably) leather Anglo-Saxon purse of about 600AD. In Europe they often showed social status based on the embroidery and quality of the bag.

An antique Indian female purse

In the 15th century, both men and women wore purses. They were often finely embroidered or ornamented with gold. It was also customary for men to give their new brides purses embroidered with an illustration of a love story.

In the 17th century, bags became more complex and elaborate. Girls were taught skills such as embroidery and needlework that could assist them in finding a husband. These skills gave rise to stitched artwork on bags. Around the year 1670, men's breeches were made with built-in pockets, which caused them to stop carrying purses. They did however carry little netted purses in their pocket to carry money.[citation needed]


See also

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Look at other dictionaries:

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