Origin of the Word:
c. 1200, "act or fact of changing," from Anglo-French chaunge, Old French change "exchange, recompense, reciprocation," from changier "to alter; exchange; to switch" (see change (v.)). Related: changes.
Meaning "a different situation, variety, novelty" is from 1680s (as in for a change, 1690s). Meaning "something substituted for something else" is from 1590s. Meaning "place where merchants meet to do business" is from c. 1400. Meaning "the passing from life to death" is biblical (161os).
The financial sense of "balance of money returned after deducting the price of a purchase from the sum paid" is first recorded 1620s; hence to make change (by 1865). Bell-ringing sense is from 1610s, "any sequence other than the diatonic." Hence the figurative phrase ring changes "repeat in every possible order" (1610s). Figurative phrase change of heart is from 1828. In reference to women, change of life "final cessation of menstruation" is recorded from 1834.