New pound coin dozen-t spell the end for our love of British favourite

21 March 2017

  • Twelve-sided pound leads to new names being coined - including ‘dodo’, ‘edger’ and ‘quelve’
  • Pound ranks among top symbols of Britain, after fish and chips, Royal Family and roast beef
  • Coin most likely to be used to cover essentials such as milk or bread

Another milestone in the history of British currency approaches next week when the new 12-sided pound coin comes into circulation, almost 30 years since its predecessor arrived.

To mark this momentous occasion, research from Nationwide Current Accounts takes a light-hearted look at the nation’s views on the beloved round pound and its dodecagonal successor.

What do you call your coinage?
Two thirds (67%) of us refer to the current coin as a ‘pound’, but more than a quarter (27%) are most likely to call it a ‘quid’ or even a ‘squid’ (3%). Other monikers include a ‘nicker’, ‘nugget’ or ‘round pound’ (each used by 1% of people).

So, does the change in our change mean we need a fresh name for the new-look coin? Most popular suggestions from those polled came primarily from plays on the dodecagon shape, including ‘dodey’, ‘dodo’, ‘doddy’, ‘dozy’ or ‘decca’ – though ‘Brit’, ‘edger’ and ‘bit’ also emerged, because of its resemblance to the old ‘thrupenny bit’. Other options included a ‘quelve’, while ‘QueenyMcQueenFace’ was a royal-inspired suggestion.

How British is a pound?
Despite the humble pound being less favoured by people than the £2 coin, preferred by 27 per cent of people versus 32 per cent, it beats it hands down when it comes to symbolic value. The poll of 2,000 people revealed the pound coin as being a true beacon of Britishness, ranking jointly fourth alongside the famed British sense of humour. The top three symbols of Britain are fish and chips, the Royal Family and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding.

Memories of 1983?
The first cupro-nickel coin officially replaced the one pound note in April 1983. But while some individuals mentioned the FA Cup Final as their defining moment, the launch of Microsoft Word and the politics of Margaret Thatcher, more than a quarter (26%) cited their love of music from the era. A further one in ten (9%) associate the year with personal memories of school or life events, including births, deaths or marriages (9%). One in sixteen (6%) reminisced about their 1983 home and 3 per cent about their car.

What do we buy for a pound?
Having acknowledged the affection in which the pound coin is held in the British psyche, we asked what people are most likely to buy for a pound today? Two in five (39%) are most likely to use the coin to buy milk, one in five (22%) to buy bread, one in eight (13%) to treat themselves to a chocolate bar and one in 12 (8%) to purchase a newspaper.

Dan King, Nationwide’s Head of Current Accounts, comments, “Changes in British coinage are few and far between. Though we have until October to clear out those round pounds languishing in piggy banks, change pots and down the back of Britain’s sofas, we may be pleasantly surprised to find just how much we have squirreled away over the years. We’d suggest taking them into your local branch in plenty of time to provide a welcome boost to your balance, or contributing to a regular savings habit as even small amounts can mount up!”

While the changeover presents challenges, not least to ensure that the coins are usable in existing vending machines and meters, they are being replaced because of their acknowledged vulnerability to counterfeiting – with some estimates suggesting one in every 30 pound coins currently in circulation is counterfeit.

Notes to Editor:

Research conducted by OnePoll between 28/2/17 and 02/03/17 amongst 2000 UK adults.

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