Case of USD — “United States Dollar” or “United States dollar”

What is correct, United States dollar or United States Dollar?

In the examples below the emphasis is mine.

Example 1 (context)

The United States dollar (sign: $; code: USD; also abbreviated US$) is the official currency of the United States of America.

Example 2 (context)

As a result, the United States Dollar was defined as a unit of weight equaling 371 4/16th grains (24.057 grams) of pure silver.

Example 3, in definition of the word cable (context)

 9. (finance) The currency pair British Pound against United States Dollar

Is there a general rule about currencies? What is the explanation in grammar terms?


According to this Wiki talk page, the ISO standard for currencies (ISO 4217) uses the capitalised versions, but major style guides recommend lowercase. Unfortunately the relevant original sources are not freely available online — although the CMoS (relevant chapter) gives free 30-day trial subscriptions.

General usage strongly favours the lowercase version, as the style guides would suggest, and as a Google Ngrams search confirms; it also shows that US dollar, US Dollar are far more common than United States dollar, United States Dollar:

chart from Google Ngrams

(Searches with other currencies — UK pound/Pound, Canadian dollar/Dollar, etc. — show similar preference for lowercase.)

Source : Link , Question Author : Peter Mortensen , Answer Author : PLL

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