DICKERING OVER TEN
The word dicker (meaning "petty arguing") is dying. Google NGrams shows literary uses for it today at half the level of in the 1960s, and the main source of Google searches for it is the name of a furniture store in Lansing, Michigan called Dicker and Deal. The term was borrowed (likely via West Germanic; early spellings included dacre, deker, dyker, dikker, and more) in the thirteenth century from Late Latin dacra, which meant the same thing, and that's from decuria, meaning "parcel of ten", because that was used as a unit of barter in the part of the Roman empire bordering Germania, typically for bundles of hides or rods that often came in groups of ten. Decuria is from decem, the number for "ten" (and etymon of December, decimal, and decile), and that's reconstructed to the Proto-Indo-European root dekm.
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Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.