Playing with ATM or Mini Bank

You might find the title of this article a bit odd or thinking what’s it all about? Well, married to an American sometimes give the chance of reflection to the differences and similarity in use of words and the meaning. While driving to a shopping mal the other day, the word ATM came to my mind and I asked; why do you call it ATM – Automatic Teller Machine? (In Norway we call it a Mini Bank) and she said: ‘Because it is!’ LoL. Okay, I know the meaning of the words Automatic and Machine, but Teller? Well she said; ‘a Teller’ is a bank clerk!

Then I started to combine and compare words as I often do: Teller in Norwegian is ‘counting’ so that make sense. Thinking further; I love to find the roots or origin of words (actually I think my wife is getting sick of it and think I am bragging LoL). Let me give you some example of English words originally from Norwegian: Window is ‘Vindu’, Door is ‘Dør’ and Timber is ‘Tømmer’. In some of my earlier post, I’ve told you that our currency some hundred years back was called ‘Daler’ so keen linguists will note the similarity to Dollar.

Enough of this lecturing (you might hope LoL), but: when in the mall, I saw this toy for children and could not resist shoot a pic with my Nokia mobile phone (my blog friend Susie always drill me for that comment – read!):

You see what caught my eyes? Well, click on the pic then and see what I mean :-)

So then you know ATM is called Mini Bank in Norway (good to know when you are visiting you know!) and in Denmark. In Sweden they always make their own twist of words, so they call it BankOMat and that kind of make sense too. I know it’s called ‘Geldautomaat’ in Dutch. What do you call it in your country?

Btw: Did you know that the first mechanical cash dispenser was developed and built by Luther George Simjian and installed 1939 in New York City by the City Bank of New York, but removed after 6 months due to the lack of customer acceptance. Thereafter, the history of ATMs paused for over 25 years, until De La Rue developed the first electronic ATM, which was installed first in Enfield Town in North London on 27 June 1967 by Barclays Bank.