penny

Musical Chairs

Senior Member
Japan & US, Japanese & English
In the UK, do they say things like "I will pay two pounds/dollars and not another pence/penny!" (This means two pounds/dollars is the very most you will spend.)

I just wondered because they don't use the same currency in the UK, and if they would say the same thing with different corresponding words.
 
  • timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    "And not another penny more!" (not pence, which is plural).

    In fact the "penny" is our British currency. It is the Americans who are borrowing our word for this idiom, rather than the other way round:) (similar to the way that in the UK we still might talk of the "million dollar question", not the "million pound question").
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Very interesting...the plural of "penny" is just "pennies" in AE.
    That's because it means something slightly different. In AE a "penny" is a small coin of little value (right?) here it means that too but it is also literally the name of our currency and in that context it is "pence". So -

    There were 10 pennies (or penny pieces) lying on the floor.
    It cost me 15 pence.
     

    i_like_english

    New Member
    combodia
    Nice to meet you.
    i think :'cos "penny" is singular, it is just one , so when we want to emphasize what we mean in this situation that we wont pay any penny(not the minimum of 2 pence) more for that thing .
    ps:if we say "I will pay two pounds and not another pence" the meaning is alittle bit not right in the way we mean to bargain , right ?
     

    timpeac

    Senior Member
    English (England)
    Nice to meet you.
    i think :'cos "penny" is singular, it is just one , so when we want to emphasize what we mean in this situation that we wont pay any penny(not the minimum of 2 pence) more for that thing .
    ps:if we say "I will pay two pounds and not another pence" the meaning is alittle bit not right in the way we mean to bargain , right ?
    No - because "pence" is plural you can't say "another pence".
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I like the expression "not a penny more", but I fear it's nearly dead in the UK. (I guess that's why panj used the word "remember".)

    Prior to decimalisation of the currency in 1971, the £ (pound) was divided into shillings (s) and pence (d); and every child knew that the 1d coin was 'a penny'. As part of decimalisation, people were exhorted to call the new coins 'New P'. Now, I think that if you held up a 1p coin and asked "what's this?, most people would reply "it's a one p [pronounced 'pee']", rather than "it's a penny". Similarly, most people would say "Have you got any 50 ps? ['fifty pees']" rather than "Have you got any 50 pence pieces?". I try to use the penny/pence versions because I like the link with the past; but I must admit I often forget....

    When I googled "not a penny more", most of the hits on the early UK pages were for a novel by a certain Jeffrey Archer. It's very sad.

    Loob
     

    Blumengarten

    Senior Member
    America / English
    In fact the "penny" is our British currency. It is the Americans who are borrowing our word for this idiom, rather than the other way round:)
    Well actually, if you want to be precise, we're not "borrowing" the expression, we just never expelled the word from our language when we kicked you guys (and the pound stirling) out! ;)
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I've only heard older people say it.

    Who's Jeffrey Archer?
    Jeffrey Archer is many things: a Lord, a popular author, a man who has spent time in prison.... Google for more: we mustn't slide off-topic:D

    One of his novels was called "Not a Penny More, not a Penny Less".

    Loob
     
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