poor as a church mouse

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*poor as a church mouse

 and *poor as church mice
very poor. (*Also: as ~.) My aunt is as poor as a church mouse. The Browns are poor as church mice.
See also: church, mouse, poor
References in periodicals archive ?
Speaking to a law magazine about Justice Secretary Jack Straw's money-saving plans he said: "The impression I get from those doing legal aid work, particularly family work, is that most are poor as church mice.