A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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Penny

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1477

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 1477

Pénny. n.s. plural pence. [peniʒ, Saxon.]

  1. A small coin, of which twelve make a shilling: a penny is the radical denomination from which English coin is numbered, the copper halfpence and farthings being only nummorum famuli, a subordinate species of coin.

    She sighs and shakes her empty shoes in vain,
    No silver penny to reward her pain.
    Dryden.

    One frugal on his birth-day fears to dine,
    Does at a penny's cost in herbs repine.
    Dryden.

  2. Proverbially. A small sum.

                            You shall hear
    The legions, now in Gallia, sooner landed
    In our not fearing Britain, than have tidings
    Of any penny tribute paid.
    Shakespear's Cymbeline.

    We will not lend thee a penny. Shakespeare.

    Because there is a latitude of gain in buying and selling, take not the utmost penny that is lawful, for although it be lawful, yet it is not safe. Taylor's Living Holy.

  3. Money in general.

    Pepper and Sabean incense take;
    And with post-haste thy running markets make;
    Be sure to turn the penny.
    Dryden.

    It may be a contrivance of some printer, who hath a mind to make a penny. Swift's Miscellanies.

Sources: Shakespeare's Cymbeline (73) · Dryden, John (780) · Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor (95) · Swift, Jonathan (303) · Taylor, Jeremy (56)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Penny." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: December 10, 2012. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=12935.



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