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Why is pawshop called pawshop?

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You mean 'pawnshop' right? Pawnshop, and pawning, are from the Latin word "patinum," (cloth or clothing). As people had so few material possessions, clothing was often all they could sell to raise money.

R Helms July 3, 2004, 2:27pm

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Sorry, it was stupid of me to spell pawNshop, pawnshop three times. Nevertheless, I still wonder, is a pawnshop TODAY a place to pawn something for money? Or it became generalized to some sort of shops.

goossun July 8, 2004, 9:55am

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A pawnshop is still (to my knowledge) a place where you pawn things for quick loans, and where those things are in turn sold to the public, once the original person defaults in their high-interest loan. I don't think any other sort of shop would want to adopt the name if it didn't accurately describe their business, because it has such negative associations with it.

Jun-Dai July 8, 2004, 10:29am

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Yes, a pawnshop is a commercial establishment where you can get a bit of cash quick by pledging something portable as a security; it's a place where you can get this kind of quick loan really. If you don't pay back in time, you forefeit the piece and the pawnbroker will sell it to recuperate the loss. It is also known as "lombard" or "lombard-house".

no August 6, 2004, 4:35am

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I just did not know that this kinda trade still exists. I guess I'm being too inosent!

goossun August 6, 2004, 4:43am

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There aren't many left, and those few that remain are usually located in rather run-down neighborhoods (well, unsurprisingly, if you think what their business is.) You won't find any at an upscale locale.

no August 6, 2004, 8:56am

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My dictionary says: the name 'pawnshop' comes from the Middle English word 'paun', which in turn was borrowed from the early French 'pan' meaning 'pledge, security', so a pawnshop is a place where sth is delivered to sb as a pledge or security for a loan.

marta September 3, 2004, 1:34am

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full stop, I can't decide whether Reno is considered up-scale ;-) but anyplace near a casino is an ideal place for pawnbrokers.

spaztic November 17, 2004, 8:15pm

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I agree. Pawn shops are not only found in run-down areas, although they are typically thought of as shady regardless of location. This is not usually true.

meg October 11, 2005, 10:51am

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