There is an occasional folk etymology that derives “(payment) in kind” (payment in goods, rather than money) from “(payment) in kine” (payment in cattle, cows), where kine (“cattle”) were used as a means of exchange (compare kith and kine, capital, and chattel, which also use “cow” to mean “property”).
This appears to be incorrect – the phrase “payment in kine” finds occasional literal use, but appears to be unrelated to the development of “in kind“ which, as the OED states, is from Latin in specie (as one may expect, this being legal), and “in kind” from early usage appears to have been used widely for all goods – any influence from kine would be slight.
As a (rare) folk etymology, it doesn’t merit inclusion on the entry page, but I thought to note it here.
Some discussion and references:
- “Benefit-in-kind”, The Phrase Finder Phillip Devonport on October 11, 2007
- Also, James Thurber suggested a cartoon based on the pun – see The Thurber letters, p. 570)