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Not one red cent

Posted by ESC on October 18, 2003

In Reply to: Phrase origin???? posted by Wm. Durkin on October 17, 2003

: not one "red cent"

RED CENT - "The original 1793 U.S. one-cent copper coin was issued until 1857. The cent has also been called 'red cent,' 1839 (from the copper's reddish color), which sometimes has been shortened to 'red' since 1849.Since so many penny copper coins had been called 'coppers,' the first U.S. copper cent was immediately called a 'copper' and 'copper cent.' 'Not worth a copper' is an American term of 1788, followed by 'not worth a cent' (1820s)." From Listening to America: An Illustrated History of Words and Phrases from Our Lively and Splendid Past by Stuart Berg Flexner (Simon and Schuster, New York, 1982).

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