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Penny idioms on their way out in Canada

Canadian pennyToday was the official end of the penny in Canada, as the Royal Canadian Mint halted production and went into collection mode. While pennies will continue to be legal tender indefinitely, retailers as of today will begin rounding to the nearest nickel for cash purposes.

It occurs to me that the end of the penny will bring with it the gradual demise or dis-use of a number of penny-related expressions. I’m sure they’ll stay in our vocabulary for decades still; after all, the US penny is still in circulation, and our language is slow to adapt to change at any rate. But I wonder if our grandchildren’s generation will know what we meant by some of these expressions. So in honour of the beginning of the end of the Canadian penny, here’s my top 10 for expressions that we’ll now have to change:

10. Cut off without a penny.

9. A penny saved is a penny earned.

8. Penny for your thoughts?

7. Here are my two cents.

6. Penny-ante

5. In for a penny, in for a pound.

4. Penny-wise and pound-foolish

3. Not worth a red cent

2. Pinching pennies

1. …And the penny drops.

RIP, Canadian penny. I can’t say I’ll miss you weighing down my purse. But it does feel like the end of a chapter in history.

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Percival 02.05.13, 8:50 AM

    Regarding expressions 4 and 5: What’s that “pound” whereof you speak? 🙂

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