1560s, "pertaining to public revenue," from French fiscal, from Late Latin fiscalis "of or belonging to the state treasury," from Latin fiscus "state treasury," originally "money bag, purse, basket made of twigs (in which money was kept)," which is of unknown origin. The etymological notion is of the public purse. The general sense of "financial" (1865, American English) was abstracted from phrases fiscal calendar, fiscal year, etc. Related: Fiscally.
updated on December 08, 2020