CHANGE (derived through the Fr. from the Late Lat. cambium, cambiare, to barter; the ultimate derivation is probably from the root which appears in the Gr., to bend), properly the substitution of one thing for another, hence any alteration or variation, so applied to the moon's passing from one phase to another. The use of the word for a place of commercial business has usually been taken to be a shortened form of Exchange (q.v.) and so is often written 'Change. The New English Dictionary points out that "change" appears earlier than "exchange" in this sense. "Change" is particularly used of coins of lower denomination given in substitution for those of larger denomination or for a note, cheque, etc., and also for the balance of a sum paid larger than that which is due. A further application is that in bell-ringing, of the variations in order in which a peal of bells may be rung. The term usually excludes the ringing of the bells according to the diatonic scale in which they are hung (see Bell). It is from a combination of these two meanings that the thieves' slang phrase "ringing the changes" arises; it denotes the various methods by which wrong change may be given or extracted, or counterfeit coin passed.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)