The ruble or rouble[pronunciation?] (Russian: ру́бль, IPA: [ˈrublʲ]) is a unit of currency. Currently, the currency units of Belarus, Russia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transnistria, and, in the past, the currency units of several other countries, notably countries influenced by Russia and the Soviet Union, are named rubles, though they all are different currencies. One ruble is divided into 100 kopecks (Russian: копе́йка, kopeyka), a name also used for the one-hundredth part of a Ukrainian hryvnia.
According to one version, the word "ruble" is derived from the Russian verb рубить, rubit, i.e., to cut, to chop, to hack.
Рубли были частями гривны или кусками серебра с зарубками, означавшими их вес. Каждая гривна разделялась на четыре части; название же рубль произошло от слова «рубить», потому что прут серебра в гривну весом разрубался на четыре части, которые и назывались рублями.
Rubles were parts of the hryvnia or pieces of silver with notches indicating their weight. Each hryvnia was divided into four parts; the name "ruble" came from the word "cut" because the silver rod weighing 1 grivna was split into four parts, which were called rubles.
Historically, "ruble" was a piece of a certain weight chopped off a silver ingot (grivna), hence the name. Another version of the word's origin is it comes from the Russian noun рубец, rubets, i.e., the seam that is left around the coin after casting: silver was added to the cast in two steps. Therefore, the word ruble means "a cast with a seam".
In Russian, a folk name for "ruble", tselkovyj (целковый, wholesome), is known, which is a shortening of the целковый рубль ("tselkovyj ruble"), i.e., a wholesome, uncut ruble.
The word kopek, kopeck, copeck, or kopeyka (in Russian: копейка, kopeyka) derives from the Russian kop'yo (копьё) — a spear. The first kopek coins, minted at Novgorod and Pskov from about 1535 onwards, show a horseman with a spear. From the 1540s onwards the horseman bears a crown, and doubtless the intention was to represent Ivan the Terrible, who was Grand Prince of all Russia until 1547, and Tsar thereafter. Subsequent mintings of the coin, starting in the 18th century, bear instead Saint George striking down a serpent.
In 1704, Russia was the first country in the world to introduce a decimal monetary system, where one ruble was equal to 100 kopeks.
Both the spellings "ruble" and "rouble" are used in English. The form "rouble" is preferred by the Oxford English Dictionary, but the earliest use recorded in English is the now completely obsolete "robble". The form "rouble" probably derives from the transliteration into French used among the Tsarist aristocracy. There is some tendency for North American authors to use "ruble" and other English speakers to use "rouble", and also some tendency for older sources to use "rouble" and more recent ones to use "ruble", but neither tendency is absolute.
Plurals in Russian
The Russian plurals that may be seen on the actual currency are modified according to Russian grammar. Numbers 1, 21, 31 etc. are followed by nominative singular рубль, копейка. Numbers 2-4, 22-24, 32-34 etc. will be followed by genitive singular рубля, копейки. Numbers 5-20, 25-30, 35-40 etc. will be followed by genitive plural рублей, копеек.
In several languages spoken in Russia and the former Soviet Union, the currency name has no etymological relation with ruble. Especially in Turkic languages or languages influenced by them, the ruble is often known (also officially) as som or sum (meaning pure), or manat (from Russian moneta, meaning coin).
Soviet banknotes had their value printed in the languages of 15 republics of the Soviet Union.
List of rubles
(This list may not contain all historical rubles, especially rubles issued by sub-national entities)
- Armenian ruble
- Azerbaijani ruble (ruble is the Russian name of the first Azerbaijani manat)
- Georgian ruble (ruble is the Russian name of the Georgian maneti)
- Latvian rublis
- Soviet ruble
- Tajikistani ruble
- Transcaucasian ruble
- Ukrainian ruble (in the Soviet Union ruble was the Russian name of the Ukrainian karbovanets)
- Tuvan akşa and kɵpejek
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ruble — FINANCE another spelling of rouble * * * ruble UK US (UK ALSO rouble) /ˈruːbl/ noun [C] MONEY ► the currency used in Russia, Abkhazia, Belarus, South Ossetia, and Transnistria, and formerly in the Soviet Union: »The increasing value of the ruble… … Financial and business terms
Ruble — Ru ble, n. [Russ. ruble.] The unit of monetary value in Russia. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
ruble — unit of Russian monetary system, 1550s, via French, from Rus. rubl , perhaps from rubiti to chop, cut, so called because the original metallic currency of Russia (14c.) consisted of silver bars, from which the necessary amount was cut off … Etymology dictionary
ruble — [ro͞o′bəl] n. [Russ rubl ] the basic monetary unit of Belarus, Russia, and Tajikistan: see the table of monetary units in the Reference Supplement … English World dictionary
ruble — /rooh beuhl/, n. a silver or copper alloy coin and monetary unit of Russia, the Soviet Union, and its successor states, equal to 100 kopecks. Also, rouble. [1545 55; < Russ rubl ; ORuss rubli lit., stump, plug, deriv. of rubiti to chop; prob.… … Universalium
Ruble — The ruble (rubl’), sometimes spelled “rouble,” is the main unit of currency in the Russian Federation. One ruble is divided into 100 kopecks (kopeika). The word “ruble” derives from the Russian verb rubit’, which means “to chop off,” and… … Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation
ruble — var. of ROUBLE. * * * ruble [ruble rubles] noun (especially NAmE) = ↑rouble * * * ruble variant of rouble; obs. f … Useful english dictionary
ruble — noun /ˈruble/lang=jbo The ruble (French derived transliteration rouble), a monetary unit of Russia, Belarus and Transnistria equal to 100 kopeks. See Also: carmi, vlipa, tsali, kandi, milxe … Wiktionary
ruble — also rouble noun Etymology: Russian rubl Date: 1554 see money table … New Collegiate Dictionary
ruble — Synonyms and related words: Deutschmark, Mark, Reichsmark, afghani, anna, baht, cent, centavo, centime, conto, dollar, dong, florin, franc, guilder, gulden, kip, kopeck, krona, krone, lira, milreis, peseta, pie, piece of eight, pistareen, pound,… … Moby Thesaurus