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

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 775

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 775

Fa'rthing. n.s. [ꝼoꞃðlinᵹ, Saxon, from ꝼoƿꞃ, four, that is the fourth part of a penny.]

  1. The fourth of a penny; the smallest English coin.

    A farthing is the least denomination or fraction of money used in England. Cocker's Arithmetick.

    Else all those things we toil so hard in,
    Would not avail one single farthing.
    Prior.

  2. Copper money.

    The parish find, 'tis true; but our church-wardens
    Feed on the silver, and give us the farthings.
    Gay.

    You are not obliged to take money not of gold or silver; not the halfpence or farthings of England. Swift.

  3. It is used sometimes in a sense hyperbolical: as, it is not worth a farthing; or proverbial.

    His son builds on, and never is content,
    'Till the last farthing is in structure spent.
    Dryden's Juven.

Sources: Cocker, Edward (4) · Dryden, John (788) · Gay, John (51) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Swift, Jonathan (306)

Attributes: Noun Substantive (1269) · Saxon (215)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Farthing." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: February 1, 2014. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=14019.


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