Where Did the Terms “Broke” and “Bankrupt” Come From and What Do the Words Mean?

The word “bank” comes from the Italian word “banca”, meaning “bench,” over which medieval moneylenders did business in the streets of Venice.

If he became insolvent, the law intervened and broke the lender’s bench, which in Italian is banca rotta.

the word “rotta” referred to the broken bench, but another figurative word in use for a broken man was the Latin ruptus.

With his bench broken, the banker’s spirit was “banca ruptus”.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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