The piastre or piaster was a unit of currency. It was originally equal to one silver dollar or peso, served as the major unit of currency of French Indochina (Present-day Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos), and in the Ottoman Empire.

As a main unit

* French Indochinese piastre
* Ottoman Turkish piastre

As a subunit

* 1/100 of the Egyptian pound
* 1/100 of the Jordanian dinar
* 1/100 of the Lebanese pound
* 1/100 of the Sudanese pound
* 1/100 of the Syrian pound

Informal usage

* Early private bank currency issues in French-speaking regions of Canada were denominated in piastres. The term is still unofficially used in Quebec and Acadian slang as a reference to the Canadian dollar (the official French term for the modern Canadian dollar is "dollar").

* "Piastre" was also the original French word for the United States dollar, used for example in the French text of the Louisiana Purchase and that usage is still common in Cajun French. Modern French uses "dollar" for this unit of currency as well. The term is still used as slang for US dollars in the French speaking Caribbean islands, most notably Haiti.

* "Piastre" is another name for kuruş, 1/100 of the Turkish new lira, as well as the old lira.

* The "Piastre" is still used in Mauritius when bidding in auction sales, similarly to the way that guineas are used at racehorse auctions. It is equivalent to 2 rupees.

ee also

* Piastra

Noted in pop group Steely Dan's song "Doctor Wu" -- "Just when I'd spent the last piastre I could borrow."

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  • piastre — [ pjastr ] n. f. • 1595; it. piastra ♦ Monnaie (actuelle ou ancienne) de divers pays. La piastre indochinoise, égyptienne. ♢ Spécialt (de la piastre espagnole) (Canada) Fam. Dollar. « Deux piastres et demie de profit en trois semaines. C est… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Piastre — de l Indochine française, 1885. La piastre était la monnaie utilisée en Turquie ottomane et par la république de Venise au XVIe siècle à travers ses comptoirs du Levant. La piastre était une pièce de monnaie en bronze. Le …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Piastre — Pi*as tre, n. See {Piaster}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • piastre — PIASTRE. s. f. Sorte de monnoye d argent, qui vaut un escu ou environ. Il en a eu vingt mille piastres. les piastres ont grand cours en Levant, &c …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • piastre — (pi a str ) s. f. Monnaie d argent qui se fabrique en différents pays : la piastre espagnole, qui est la plus connue et appelée absolument piastre, vaut 5 fr. 40 c. ; on l appelle quelquefois piastre forte pour la distinguer de sa fraction la… …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • PIASTRE — n. f. Nom de diverses monnaies d’argent. La piastre d’Indochine. La piastre indienne. La piastre turque. La piastre mexicaine. La piastre espagnole ou piastre forte …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • PIASTRE — s. f. Sorte de monnaie d argent, qui vaut environ cinq francs de notre monnaie, et qui se fabrique en Espagne et dans certains États d Amérique. Il reçut vingt mille piastres. Les piastres ont grand cours dans le Levant. On l appelle quelquefois… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • piastre — also piaster noun Etymology: French piastre, from Italian piastra thin metal plate, coin, from Latin emplastra, emplastrum plaster Date: 1592 1. piece of eight 2. see pound at money table …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Piastre — Kirchenstaat 1690 Piaster Papst Alexander VIII. Ägypten 1840 100 Piaster Sultan Abdülmecid I …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • piastre — /piˈæstə/ (say pee astuh) noun 1. any of various monetary units, as of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, and (formerly) of South Vietnam. 2. the old Spanish peso or dollar. Also, piaster. {French piastre, from Italian piastra metal plate (coin), from… …   Australian English dictionary

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