English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

From Middle English salarie, from Anglo-Norman salarie, from Old French salaire, from Latin salārium (wages), the neuter form of the adjective salārius (related to salt), from sal (salt). There have been various attempts to explain how the Latin term for “wages” came from the adjective “related to salt”. It is generally assumed that salārium was an abbreviation of salārium argentum (salt money), though that phrase is not attested. A commonly cited theory is that the phrase meant “money consisting of salt”, because Roman soldiers were sometimes paid in salt, but there is no evidence for this from ancient sources. Another is that the phrase meant “money used to buy salt [and other miscellaneous items]”.[1]

Pronunciation edit

Noun edit

salary (plural salaries)

  1. A fixed amount of money paid to a worker, usually calculated on a monthly or annual basis, not hourly, as wages. Implies a degree of professionalism and/or autonomy.
    • c. 1599–1602 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Tragedie of Hamlet, Prince of Denmarke”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene iii]:
      This is hire and salary, not revenge.
    • 1668 July 3rd, James Dalrymple, “Thomas Rue contra Andrew Houſtoun” in The Deciſions of the Lords of Council & Seſſion I (Edinburgh, 1683), page 547
      Andrew Houſtoun and Adam Muſhet, being Tackſmen of the Excize, did Imploy Thomas Rue to be their Collector, and gave him a Sallary of 30. pound Sterling for a year.
    • 1935, Upton Sinclair, chapter XX, in I, Candidate for Governor: And How I Got Licked, page 109:
      I used to say to our audiences: “It is difficult to get a man understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

Derived terms edit

Descendants edit

  • Japanese: サラリー (sararī)

Translations edit

See also edit

Verb edit

salary (third-person singular simple present salaries, present participle salarying, simple past and past participle salaried)

  1. To pay on the basis of a period of a week or longer, especially to convert from another form of compensation.

Translations edit

Adjective edit

salary (comparative more salary, superlative most salary)

  1. (obsolete) Saline.

References edit

  1. ^ Gainsford, Peter (2017 January 11 (last accessed)) “Salt and salary: were Roman soldiers paid in salt?”, in Kiwi Hellenist: Modern Myths about the Ancient World

Further reading edit