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A new (to me, at least) word: dethesaurized
blaisepascal
I've been reading the book "Debt" and came across the above word "dethesaurized" (followed by a parenthetical "as the economic historians like to say", indicating to me that the author even considers it to be an obscure, technical word).

Anyone want to take a guess, without looking it up in a dictionary or having read the book, as to what it means? (I'll note that Google only has 29 hints, including one person asking about what it means, a couple of quotes from "Debt" including the word, two copies of a discussion with the question "Should we adopt from the French Annales school the almost unpronouncable 'dethesaurization'?", and a few scholarly works which use it in context. The public online dictionaries don't have it, and www.oed.com is currently down.)

[Spoiler (click to open)]Dethesaurization is the process of removing wealth from treasuries and storehouses and distributing it to the people. There seems to be an implication of plunder rather than simple conversion to currency. The alternative suggested in the "French Annales school" discussion was the "Anglo-saxon" unhoarded The context in the book "Debt" is related to the invention of coinage. Before coinage, most precious metal wealth was in treasuries, and the common person rarely, if ever, saw gold or silver. Once dethesaurization happened, coinage could be minted, first by private parties, then monopolized by the State.

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I was was going to go with something to do with lizards. From the Greek "sauros" meaning lizard. But that seemed unlikely.
A quick google of Thesaurus yielded "treasure house" and "de-treasure housed" is fairly self explanatory.

thesaurus (n.)
1823, "treasury, storehouse," from Latin thesaurus "treasury, treasure," from Greek thesauros "a treasure, treasury, storehouse, chest," from root of tithenai "to put, to place." The meaning "encyclopedia filled with information" is from 1840, but existed earlier as thesaurarie (1590s), used as a title by early dictionary compilers. Meaning "collection of words arranged according to sense" is first attested 1852 in Roget's title. Thesaur is attested in Middle English with the meaning "treasure" (15c.-16c.).
treasure (n.)
mid-12c., from Old French tresor "treasury, treasure" (11c.), from Gallo-Romance *tresaurus, from Latin thesaurus "treasury, treasure" (cf. Spanish, Italian tesoro), from Greek thesauros "store, treasure, treasure house" (see thesaurus). Replaced Old English goldhord. General sense of "anything valued" is recorded from c.1200. Treasure hunt is first recorded 1913. For treasure trove, see trove.

So your guess without looking it up was something to do with lizards (the great fern forests filled with herds of brontosauri and thesauri), but looking it up lead you to the correct answer?

To be honest from dinosaurs (Greek deinos "terrible" (see dire) + sauros "lizard") I went to Tyrannosaurus (Greek tyrannos "tyrant" (Greek tyrannos "lord, master, sovereign, absolute ruler,") + -saurus.) Rex (Latin rex (genitive regis) "a king,") and thought it might have something to do with taking money away from kings. Which is surprisingly close considering it is totally wrong.

Yes, I find looking things up frequently leads to the correct answer. But I like to know why it is the correct answer so I can make better guesses next time.

Hey, at least I knew (1)to look up "thesaurus" for the root and (2) not guess it meant something to do with sorting words by their meaning. I have met a lot of people who could not figure out that "thesaurus" was in "dethesaurized".

Looking at some of those "scholarly works wich use it in context" I learned that a Mortgage is a "dead pledge".
mortgage (n.)
late 14c., morgage, "conveyance of property as security for a loan or agreement," from Old French morgage (13c.), mort gaige, literally "dead pledge" (replaced in modern Frech by hypothèque), from mort "dead" (see mortal (adj.)) + gage "pledge" (see wage (n.)). So called because the deal dies either when the debt is paid or when payment fails. Old French mort is from Vulgar Latin *mortus "dead," from Latin mortuus, past participle of mori "to die" (see mortal (adj.)). The -t- restored in English based on Latin.

I had guessed 'to remove exessive vocabulary words (from a composition)' as in "This will be ready to send out once I go through and dethesaurize it." My second guess was 'to remove (a word) from the thesaurus.'

-Nameseeker

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