Skip to main content

Accounting and the words to tell it: an historical perspective

Buy Article:

$55.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


In the French language, the word comptabilite (accounting) first appeared in the middle of the eighteenth century. It was used in the Royal finances and its first meaning was that of accountability. Until the middle of the nineteenth century, or thereabouts, the uses of the word evolved gradually but in a somewhat confused manner. Once its meaning had become stabilised, the growing use of the word by an increasing population and the development of accounting activities created a need for adjectives to be added. Commercial, industrial and agricultural accounting, general and auxiliary accounting appeared, as well as the use of comptabilite to designate the accounting department. In this paper, we examine the evolution of words in the context of the development of accounting, seeking some help from amongst linguists.

Keywords: France; French language; accounting; nineteenth century; words

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Universite d'Orleans, France

Publication date: 2009-07-01

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more