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[pi-stohl] /pɪˈstoʊl/

a former gold coin of Spain, equal to two escudos.
any of various former gold coins of Europe, as the louis d’or.
any of various gold coins of varying value, formerly used in Europe

former Spanish coin (not called that in Spanish), 1590s, from French pistole, from Italian piastola, diminutive of piastra “plate or leaf of metal” (see piaster). Cf. earlier pistolet (1550s) “foreign coin,” which OED says is from French pistolet “short firearm” (see pistol) and so called for being smaller and thinner than other coins.


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