Most mornings I read the Scuttlebutt Sailing News. Today it took me on a trip down memory lane. The Sailing News has a section titled “Crumudgeon’s Observation” and today’s was:
“SHOT OF WHISKEY: In the old west a .45 cartridge for a six-gun cost 12 cents, so did a glass of whiskey. If a cowhand was low on cash he would often give the bartender a cartridge in exchange for a drink. This became known as a “shot” of whiskey.”
This sounds like a great story but Snopes.com claims it isn’t true.
Now on to memory lane. My father always used to call 25¢, 2 bits. The 12¢ in the shot of whiskey story got me thinking about the usage of the term “bit” so a bit of investigating online showed that 2 bits was a common term for 25¢.
So what did I learn this morning?
- My father was right, 2 bits = 25¢
- While I enjoy reading the Curmudgeon’s Observation it must be taken with a shot of bourbon (my whiskey of choice)
- Snopes.com is based in Tacoma, my old home town and where Westpac Marine / Straps to Go operated from 1984 to 2017. You can read about them at the News Tribune