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Pin money

Posted by Bella on June 03, 2003

In Reply to: Pin money posted by Bookworm on June 03, 2003

: The term "spending money" (extra money to be spent on frivolous or incidental things) came up in conversation today. I was told that the British equivalent of this American term is "pin money". Merriam-Webster dates it back to 1697, but gives no origin. Any ideas on the origin, and why the word "pin" is used?

: (I only think it is British because I was told that it was seen in a Jane Austen novel).

I don't know how accurate this is, but I think it has to do with the way people used to use straight pins to pin some paper money to the inside of their clothing----to a woman's petticoat or the inside of a man's jacket---for protection or for emergencies, the old "This way it'll be there if you need it" routine.