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The meaning and origin of the expression: Penny-pinching


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What's the meaning of the phrase 'Penny-pinching'?

Parsimonious; mean with money.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Penny-pinching'?

'Penny-pinching' is an old English expression and is first recorded in Thomas Dekker's play Shomakers Holiday, 1600:

Let wine be plentiful as beere, and beere as water, hang these penny pinching fathers.

The phrase wasn't then much used for several centuries and re-emerged in the USA in the 20th century, and it is from there that it spread to become a commonplace part of the language.

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