Did you know that the word salary comes from the word salt? The Latin word salarium linked employment, salt and soldiers, but the exact link is unclear. One theory is that the word soldier itself comes from the Latin sal dare (to give salt). The Roman historian Pliny the Elder wrote that “In Rome … the soldier’s pay was originally salt and the word salary derives from it”. Strange to think that salt, our oldest preservative, was extremely rare in the past, so rare that it was used as pay. Imagine earning a couple of tablespoons of salt for a hard-days’ work – scary thought.
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