Tag Archives: stock exchange

Etymology of “Stock Exchange”

Origins of the Stock Exchange

The stock exchange is a place where stock brokers and traders can buy and sell securities, such as stocks or shares, bonds and other financial instruments.

There is no consensus on the place where corporate stocks were first traded. Some see the key event in the founding of the Dutch East India Company, while others claim that a share market existed as far back as ancient Rome. In any case, Amsterdam Stock Exchange was established in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company.

first stock exchange
Frankfurt Stock Exchange, Germany

However, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (in German, Frankfurter Wertpapierbörse), established in 1585,seems to be the oldest stock exchange in Europe. As for the  London Royal Exchange, it was inaugurated by Elizabeth I in 1571. The New York Stock Exchange was set up in 1792.


stock market
City of London: Mansion House, by Chris Downer

Alternative names for Stock Exchange are securities exchange or bourse.

Etymology of “Stock Exchange”

It is made up by two words: stock and exchange. Let’s see them separately:

Etymology of “Stock”

The original Stock Market  was a fish and meat market in the City of London near Mansion House. It was so called probably because it was located in the same site of a former stocks (which were large wooden blocks for punishment used in the early 14th  century).

etymology stock market
Punishment wooden stocks photograph by BabelStone

Etymology of “Exchange”

To exhange is the act “of giving one thing and receiving another in return”. It stems from Anglo-French eschaunge, Old French eschange (Modern French échange), from Late Latin excambium, from excambiare, and ultimately from Latin ex “out”+ cambire “barter”.

Stock exchange


origin of the Stock exchange
Royal exchange, London

Difference between Stock Market and Stock Exchange

Although often used interchangeably, they are not exactly the same. The stock market is the facility where the buyers and sellers meet to buy and sell securities, whereas  the Stock Exchange is the entity  that provides a system for trading stocks and manages services such as the listing of stocks in the stock exchange.

10 Biggest Stock Exchanges by market capitalization 

  1. New York Stock Exchange, United States
  2. NASDAQ, United States
  3. London Stock Exchange Group, United Kingdom
  4. Japan Exchange Group, Japan
  5. Shanghai Stock Exchange, China
  6. Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Hong Kong (SAR China)
  7. Euronext, United Kingdom, Belgium, Portugal, France, and the Netherlands
  8. Shenzhen Stock Exchange, China
  9. TMX Group, Canada
  10. Deutsche Borse AG, Germany

Stock exchange in other languages

Arabic: تداول الاسهم (tadawul al’ashum)
Basque: Burtsa
Catalan: Borsa
Chinese (Mandarin): 股票交易(gǔpiào jiāoyì)
Danish: Børs
Dutch: Beurs
Esperanto: Borso
French: Bourse f; marché m financier
Galician: Bolsa de valores
Greek: χρηματιστήριο(chrimatistírio)
German: Börse
Hebrew: בּוּרסָה
Hungarian: Tőzsde
Italian: Borsa valori
Irish: Stocmhalartán
Korean: 증권 거래소(jeung-gwon geolaeso)
Latin: stock commutationem
Polish: Giełda Papierów Wartościowych
Portuguese: Bolsa de Valores
Russian: фондовая биржа(fondovaya birzha)
Spanish: Bolsa; Mercado de valores
Swahili: soko la hisa
Turkish: Borsa

Recommended posts:

Etymology of “Economy”
Etymology of “Finance”