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Wallet as a type of purse

A purse , also purse , purse / pɔrtmɔˈneː /, purse / pɔrtmoˈneː /, purse or money sack , is a small pocket or pouch in which cash is primarily stored.


Model of a Roman purse

Egyptian hieroglyphs depict pocket-like purses carried around the waist. A leather wallet decorated with dog teeth was found in a grave near Leipzig and is dated from 2500 to 2200 BC. Dated.

Ornate metal cases, dated 600 AD, that originally covered leather purses, were found in the tombs of royal Anglo-Saxons . Finally, the urban trading centers of the Roman Empire used various coin units as a means of payment. Supraregional trade ensured its spread beyond Rome: The science of numismatics continuously evaluates historical coin finds such as small change made of copper alloys or silver, e.g. B. from the Roman port of Gelduba . Such late Roman coins are coins of retail and street trade - unlike the more valuable gold coins, they were carried in the purse.

Alternatives to the wallet are wallets , money clips , money belts , neck pouches , alms bags (French: Aumonière ) or bum bags .

The alms bag was a small, visibly worn purse for the alms (French Aumonière , from aumône  - alms), while the valuable coins were kept somewhere else and hidden. In contrast to the mostly low value of the contents, these were usually lavishly decorated, small bags made of precious materials, which were an important clothing accessory in Central Europe at the latest from the High Gothic period and at the same time were used for representation.

to form

Women's wallet (contains Swiss francs)

Wallets are mostly made of leather or plastic . Today there are different forms according to the different requirements. The most common are the following:

  • Portrait or landscape format so-called men's purses can be folded up and measure around 12.5 cm × 10 cm when closed. When opened, they offer space for banknotes along their entire length and contain additional, possibly fold-out compartments for credit cards , business cards and IDs . In Europe (in contrast to the USA) a compartment for coins is standard equipment. Some models contain a money clip instead of a compartment for banknotes . Such purses are often carried in the (usually right) back pocket of trousers (the back pockets of trousers are tailored to these dimensions), sometimes in a jacket , jacket or coat pocket .
  • There is a wide variety of shapes and colors among the so-called women's purses . Many models are similar in shape to the men's wallets described above, but there are also much larger models with a significantly higher amount of space. The so-called Viennese box is also one of the women's purses and, like all others, is usually carried in the handbag .
  • A waiter's purse or service purse is approximately 20 cm × 12 cm and usually has five to eight compartments for unfolded banknotes and a very spacious coin compartment. Usually there are additional compartments for notepad, ID cards and the like. The waiter's wallet is particularly suitable for people who carry large amounts of banknotes and coins and need quick access to them (e.g. waiters, taxi drivers or courier drivers), but thanks to its clarity it is also often used as a private ladies 'and gents' wallet. The waiter's wallet is usually carried in a belt pouch (a special holster ) for professional use , or in the back pocket of the trousers by men.
  • The trucker wallets from the USA also offer the advantage of the waiter's wallet of being able to hold paper money unfolded . They usually only have one to three note compartments and no coin compartment, which means that they are much thinner than waiter's wallets with a similar size. Trucker wallets are designed to be carried in the back pocket of the trousers, and their equipment always includes a chain to attach to the belt .


The craft profession is the fine bag maker .


In colloquial language, money sack is a derogatory term for a usually very wealthy person .

In the student language of the 19th century, the expression Münzkabinett was used as a synonym for a purse.

The purse is the most popular stolen item among pickpockets today (a bag cutter is a pickpocket who specializes in removing purses). Carrying a wallet in the back pocket of trousers, which is particularly common among men, makes thieves' work much easier. To prevent theft , some men's wallets can be attached to trousers or belts with a metal chain, which is particularly recommended for large items that protrude a little out of the trouser pocket. It is safer to carry the wallet in a front pocket, which often fails because of insufficient space or optical concerns (clear visibility of the wallet from the front). In particularly dangerous regions, the wallet can be worn under clothing (e.g. breast pocket).

As a result of the changeover to the euro , many Austrians had to get new wallets because the euro bills are larger than the earlier schilling bills . The coin compartments of some purses were also unsuitable for the euro due to insufficient strength: The very small coins (values ​​up to 10 cents) often fell out of the closed compartment, while the larger coins (from 50 cents) were damaged due to their heavy weight the purse led.

See also

Web links

Commons : Purse  - Collection of pictures, videos, and audio files
Wiktionary: Purse  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Purse  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Daniela Heinze, wallet, in: RDK Labor (2018)

Individual evidence

  1. ^ National Geographic: World's Oldest Purse Found — Studded With a Hundred Dog Teeth? , accessed June 27, 2013.
  2. a b Rafael Gierlatta: From the money cat to the wallet - the history of the wallet ( Memento of the original from May 1, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed March 10, 2015. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / xn--die-geschichte-der-geldbrse-dzc.de
  3. Aumonière in: The large art dictionary by PW Hartmann .
  4. Wolfgang Dürr: Craftsmanship! How to make a wallet , SWR Fernsehen - Landesschau Rheinland-Pfalz from March 9, 2018 (YouTube from July 23, 2018)
  5. ^ Friedrich Kluge / Werner Rust: German student language . Trübner, Strasbourg 1895 (new edition volume 2: Student History Association of the Coburg Convent, Nuremberg 1985), p. 54.