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argent (silver) (from Latin argentum) + -o- (from Ancient Greek -ο- (-o-)) +‎ -cracy (from Ancient Greek κράτος (krátos, power”, “might))



argentocracy (countable and uncountable, plural argentocracies)

  1. (rare nonce word) plutocracy (especially with (usually humorous) reference to silver)
    • 1868 May 23, Pall Mall Gazette, page 11:
      [] the disease of argentocracy []
    • 1998, John Stephens and Robyn McCallum, Retelling Stories, Framing Culture: Traditional Story and Metanarratives in Children’s Literature[1], →ISBN, page 182:
      Argent the capitalist, Leeson implies, much more overtly than was possible for Stevenson, who lacked the benefit of hindsight which informs Leeson’s late–twentieth-century text, that capitalism is a form of piracy. Even Silver’s parrot, Flint, has undergone a transformation in Silver’s Revenge, now saying “ten percent, take it or leave it!” (p. 111) instead of “pieces of eight.” The term “argent” also has associations with money lending (an argenter) — as it emerges when the Hispaniola is about to set sail for Treasure Island for the second time that it is Argent/Silver who owns and has put up the boat. As with other characters in the novel, Silver/Argent is also typecast through his speech. He speaks the discourse of capitalism or argentocracy (the rule or paramount influence of money), as in, “My proposition, friends, is that money overrides both law and custom and even natural justice and is a law and reason unto itself” (p. 48). Silver/Argent’s skill, however, lies in his ability to code-switch between a range of discursive genres: the discourses of piracy, respectability, and capitalism. Thematically, this code-switching foregrounds the similarity between piracy and industrialism, grounded in the common denominator of “treasure seeking.”

See also[edit]


  • argentocracy” listed in the Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)