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Friends! First of all, thanks for your time and help.

I'm conducting a research on the word "Mark": it all started in a forgotten language, meaning "forest". Since forests were natural borders, the word modified a bit and its new meaning was exactly this: "boundary". From this, words like Marquis are born—that is, the one responsible for caring for the borders.

This is all happening within a narrow cultural scope (mainly German, France and England), eventually leading to the meaning "sign/symbol", until the marc (unit [the measure for gold and silver]) turns up in my research out of nowhere.

Before it became a unit, the word "mark" became widespread in all nordic cultures, with very similar meanings in Icelandic, Norwegian, etc.

This is an art research, and the question is: Why would a piece of gold / silver have such name? From "border" to "unit", it is one hell of a leap. Were there objects called "mark"? (A coin/ingot with a symbol, for instance.)

All this will end up in the Deutsche Mark, when the name no longer holds an evident association with what I'm researching, being just a convention.

Any sort of reference (text) or visuals (paintings, etc) would be extremely appreciated. Thanks!

Ps: excuse me if this is an easy/stupid question. I’m not a native English speaker, so the more specific a topic gets, the harder the research.

closed as off-topic by Pieter Geerkens, DevSolar, Kobunite, Semaphore Mar 13 '18 at 13:48

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    Why would there necessarily be a connection between mark (border) and mark (measure of weight)? Just because two words look the same doesn't mean they are in any way connected (though I'm not saying there isn't, just that I wouldn't assume it). Also, suggest you look at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_(currency) and then tell us what it is you want to know which is not in this article. At the moment, you have several questions, some of which seem to be answered by the Wikipedia link I've put here. – Lars Bosteen Mar 13 '18 at 10:31
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about etymology of a non-English word; not history. – Pieter Geerkens Mar 13 '18 at 12:25
  • The Euro replaced the mark in 2002, not 1999. In 1999 it was only introduced to the market. While it was a legal currency, could be used by then and technically replaced the Mark. The reality was, that the Mark was used for everything until 2002. Everything was still handled in Mark, so the actual replacement didn't happen until then. – Dulkan Mar 13 '18 at 13:36
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    This is an excellent question. But if it is not welcome here I am sure you could find a good answer in the "Linguistics" forum. – fdb Mar 13 '18 at 17:16
  • Hello, buddies. I have made that search already (suggested by Lars Bosteen) and I'm 100% positive that these words are connected. "Mark" came from a word that meant forest, then it meant boundary, then signal, and then it became the unit/money—all within the same culture. The objective here is to find out how boundary/signal eventually meant weight/money. – Rik Mar 14 '18 at 2:42
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The German WP article on Mark (Gewicht), i.e. the weight unit, gives the following etymology:

Das etymologische Wörterbuch von Kluge führt das Wort auf germanisch marka- „Gewichts- und Werteinheit“, ursprünglich „Teilung, Geteiltes“ zurück; dasjenige von Pfeifer nennt althochdeutsch marc „Abgrenzung, Zeichen“ als Ausgangswort und vermutet, dass somit marc zuerst die Prägung meinte und erst sekundär den Barren bzw. zuletzt die hieraus gefertigten Münzen bezeichnete.

My translation:

The etymologic dictionary by Kluge traces the word back to Germanic marka- "unit of weight or value", originally "partition, divided"; the one by Pfeifer cites Old High German marc "demarcation, sign" as word of origin and assumes that marc first referred to the embossment, and only secondary the ingot or the coins minted from it.

Either etymology would also be a fit for Mark in its meaning of "border". Other German words based on the stem mark (markieren - to mark something; Marken - badges or vouchers) that reinforce my impression that the common denominator here is the "sign", the "standing for something".

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    There is also the word markieren (to mark something), Marken (badges, vouchers)... – DevSolar Mar 13 '18 at 12:46
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    ? Why add relevant info in a comment to your own answer? / To make it clearer that there are indeed quite a number of confusing connections, I think this would benefit from a little expansion… The indogermanic roots, engl pound, "Grenzmark" cognates… – LаngLаngС Mar 13 '18 at 12:56
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    @LangLangC: Because that is not sourced information, just my general "Sprachgefühl". I don't think it's confusing at all, as all the meanings have much in common. And if you feel like creating a lengthier, better-researched answer, go right ahead. – DevSolar Mar 13 '18 at 12:57
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    @Rich: For looking up and translating a Wikipedia article? No need, really. – DevSolar Mar 14 '18 at 4:23
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    @Rich You could mark the answer as "accepted" if it satisfies you (click the check mark next to the up-and down arrows at the left) – Arsak Mar 14 '18 at 10:42

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