Farthing

A fourth part. Penny pieces used to be divided into four parts, thus, farthing, and two a halfpenny. (Anglo-Saxon, feor- thung.)

I don't care for it a brass farthing.
James II. debased all the coinage, and issued, amongst other worthless coins, brass pence, halfpence, and farthings. The feorthung was the fourth part of other coins. Thus, we read in the Grayfriar's Chronicle:

“This yere the kynge made a newe quyne, as the nobylle, half-nobylle, and ferdyng-nobylle.”

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

More on Farthing from Fact Monster:

Related Content