Contango is a very common term in financial business that originally referred to:
- (on the London stock exchange) a fee paid by a buyer of securities to the seller for the privilege of deferring payment. (Dictionary.com)
and is mow more commonly used to mean:
- (Contango) is a situation where the futures price (or forward price) of a commodity is higher than the expected spot price.(Wikipedia)
According to Etymonline the term is a fanciful invention of a stockbroker,
1853, a stockbroker's invention, perhaps somehow derived from continue, or from Spanish contengo "I contain, refrain, restrain, check." As a verb, from 1900.
- 1853 N. & Q. 17 Dec. 586/2 Contango, a technical term in use among the sharebrokers of Liverpool. (OED)
1) Was the term really invented or was it taken from other contexts, from a local dialect or a foreign language for instance?
2) The opposite of contango is the more obvious literal term "backwardation". Wasn't the stockbroker imaginative enough to make up an eccentric term for it also?