Ever wondered why your kitchen counter is called that? Not the kitchen part–duh–but, a counter? What’s up with that? What gets counted in the kitchen, except maybe calories?
Turns out the word is a holdout from back in the 1100s in England. The guys in charge of the royal budget, the Chancellors of the Exchequer, “used a sort of checkerboard with markers to calculate the movement of money around,” says the Christian Science Monitor, citing coin expert Kenneth Bressett. That “counter” later was used to refer to the high, flat surface itself, even without the checkerboard, money-accounting top. (We really ought to call ’em “accounters,” huh?)
So…can anyone explain to me why the British now call counters “benches”??