Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Chilean Escudo, Before and After

For those of you waiting with bated breath, or simply insufficiently curious to research the answer to last Saturday’s quiz, Chile’s official currency between 1960 and 1975 was the escudo, which takes its name from the country’s coat of arms (the word, however, is not exclusive to Chilean Spanish). In the early independence era, Chile also issued gold escudos.
The escudo replaced an earlier peso after a period of hyper-inflation, and disappeared after another similar period. The image above is the one-half escudo banknote of the time. Before entering the European Union, Portugal and its colonies also used escudo as the name of its currency (the word is identical in Spanish and Portuguese).

In the days since I posted the quiz, I had five correct responses; the second and third were virtual ties, so I’m giving away three books instead of two. Those will go to Jennifer Rose of Morelia, Mexico; Steve Behaegel of Merelbeke, Belgium; and Owen Lipsett of Incheon, Korea (my readers are a little widespread than I had figured on, though Owen is presently visiting his hometown of Scarborough, New York).

The Beer Amendment
Since I finished this piece, an anonymous correspondent (see the comments below) reminded me that I had overlooked another meaning for Escudo - it's one of Chile's most popular beers. I don't feel all that bad about the omission, as it's a pretty generic supermarket beer that can't come close to the craft brews Chile now produces, and my own beer consumption amounts to less than a six pack per annum - I far prefer Chilean wine (and its Argentine and Uruguayan counterparts). Still, in the interest of thorough coverage, I mention it here.

Social Media Update
Meanwhile, I don’t recall whether or not I have mentioned that I now have a Facebook account, which I use primarily for photography; please feel free to visit and to give me a “like” (presuming, of course, that you actually like it). More recently, I have opened a Twitter account (@southernconetrv), which lets me refer readers to items of interest that I don’t have time to explore in greater depth, and to make succinct editorial comments. Please feel free to follow me.


Anonymous said...

Hey WBB, Bob Hendley here. What are the "hinterlands" of BA?

Wayne Bernhardson said...

That's a good question. I would say the surrounding parts of Buenos Aires province, where estancias have become the local counterpart of North American dude ranches, but perhaps as far as the relatively low mountain ranges of Tandil and Sierra de la Ventana in the southern part of the province.

Anonymous said...


Wayne Bernhardson said...

You are absolutely correct, and I have revised the text above to acknowledge that.

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