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I was discussing the much-abused business term leverage with a colleague and thought it would be interesting to know when the term as a verb entered popular use as opposed to the physics-related noun.

I can look at ngrams and do basic searches, but since the forms exist as homonyms I don't know of any tools that can distinguish between the two.

When did the word leverage become a commonplace way to describe borrowing to make money, and how much newer is it than the physics term?

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Looks like a may have answered the question as no one else has even attempted an answer in 4 months with 90 views. – dmcgill50 Apr 9 '13 at 19:28
up vote 5 down vote accepted

The word leverage(Word Origin & History section) appears to have first been used in a financial sense in 1937 and as a verb in 1957.

It appears that the difference in years between each words common usage is a little over 230 years.

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