The article reconstructs the meaning connection between the word *tъrgati (‘to tear’), which is supposed to be of Proto-Slavic origin, and *tъrgъ (‘a market’), whose origin is unknown. It briefly summarizes our knowledge about using cloth as a specific Slavic currency and about its influence on shaping the meaning of words connected with the exchange of economic products. Then the article introduces the hypothesis about the meanings of *tъrgati (‘to tear’) and *tъrgъ (‘a market’, but also ‘a rip’) being connected through the debt theory of monetization. According to the hypothesis explained in the article, the Slavic cloth functioned on the same principle as tally sticks. The number of rips in a cloth indicated the amount of debt in the same way as the number of notches on a tally stick did. This practice is argued to be reflected in the language. The article also criticizes other hypotheses, which consider the word *tъrgъ to be of Mediterranean or Turkic origin.