make a pretty penny off of

郭巨路

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi all

Does ” make a pretty penny off of “ euqal to ” make a pretty penny out of “? The former expression I found in my textbook, and the latter I coined according to my English common sense. :D

Thank you
 
  • cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    Hmm. It doesn't quite work for me.

    You can make a pretty penny off of an idea, a deal etc.

    You can also make a pretty penny on the stock market etc.

    (These are just examples; there are many other ways to use both and they are often interchangeable).

    "Make a pretty penny out of" seems odd, though. That's not to say it's totally unused -- I've found some fairly reasonable use of it online -- but it's not the usual wording and I personally wouldn't use it.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    I would say any viable expression is preferable to 'off of'.

    For example: 'make money from a deal', 'on a deal', 'out of a deal', 'on the stock market', 'in the stock market' etc.
     

    cycloneviv

    Senior Member
    English - Australia
    I would say any viable expression is preferable to 'off of'.

    For example: 'make money from a deal', 'on a deal', 'out of a deal', 'on the stock market', 'in the stock market' etc.
    It's odd. I did a usage search and was sure that "a pretty penny off of" was coming out at the head. Now I check back, it isn't at all. In fact, it's not showing up at all, while "a pretty penny off" (without "of") shows some signs of life, but even that isn't terribly vigorous.

    I still find "make a pretty penny out of" odd to my ear, although I would fairly happily accept "make money out of".

    I think I'm getting a bit tired! :eek:
     

    morzh

    Banned
    USA
    Russian
    I've seen and heard "pretty penny" used a lot, but the only context I can remember has been "it cost a lot", that is an expense and not a gain. (again, my personal experience, for what it's worth).
     

    catlady60

    Senior Member
    English-US (New York City)
    When something costs a pretty penny, it means it's expensive. It's an American expression.

    I wouldn't buy that coffee if I were you. It costs a pretty penny, yet it's not worth the cost.
     
    Last edited:

    The Prof

    Senior Member
    Hi all

    Does ” make a pretty penny off of “ euqal to ” make a pretty penny out of “? The former expression I found in my textbook, and the latter I coined according to my English common sense. :D

    Thank you
    I am really surprised that a textbook would use 'off of'! I loath 'off of' with a passion. Your common sense version is much better. :)

    I would expect the expression "to make a pretty penny" to be followed by 'out of', 'from' and even, at a pinch, 'off', but not 'off of'. Here are a few Googled examples that sound perfectly natural to me.

    -She's made a pretty penny from buying and selling classic rides of yesteryear ...
    -He and his mates are going to make a pretty penny out of this business.
    -My little sister had to bribe me with money to make me play Barbies with her. Made a pretty penny off her, ...


    I should add that to me, a Brit, "to make a pretty penny" is an everyday expression.
     
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    dreamlike

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I once came across the phrase "earn a pretty penny", which (as I now see, having done a Google search) is used with a range of prepositions. The same appears to be the case with "make a pretty penny" - "out" seems to be fairly common, whereas "off" is far from being one. The most popular wording is the one using "on", it seems.
     
    Last edited:

    The Prof

    Senior Member
    I once came across the phrase "earn a pretty penny", which (as I now see, having done a Google search) is used with a range of prepositions. The same appears to be the case with "make a pretty penny" - "out" seems to be fairly common, whereas "off" is far from being one. The most popular wording is the one using "on", it seems.
    Yes, I forgot about 'on'. :)

    These prepositions are not always interchangeable, though. For instance, you can make a pretty penny off / from / out of someone, but not on them - well, not unless you sold the person at a profit, anyway! :D
     
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