Things could have been a lot different for the world’s fifth-highest-traded currency. In the early ’60s, decimalisation of the Australian pound loomed and nobody knew what to call the incipient currency. Prime minister Robert Menzies put it out to the public and the suggestions were a little unhelpful. "Oz", "boomer", "roo", "kanga", "emu" or "kwid" don’t have quite the authoritative ring a national currency deserves.
Staunch monarchist he was, Menzies settled on the "royal" and the Reserve Bank went ahead and designed some concepts for the currency – a gallery of which can be seen on their site. The name was unpopular with the public and a mere three months after its announcement it was scrapped for the plain-faced, reliable dollar.
So next time you’re complaining that a dollar isn’t what it used to be, keep in mind things could be worse – you could be lamenting the diminishing value of a "royal" or, even worse, "dinkum".