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a bad penny

A person with no value. Typically used in the proverb "A bad penny always turns up." A: "I don't think we'll see Todd again now that he's been disgraced at work." B: "You never know—a bad penny always turns up." I'm sure we haven't seen the last of your conniving cousin—a bad penny always comes back, after all. You can always count on Luke to turn up like a bad penny and make everything worse.
See also: bad, penny

a pretty penny

A large amount of money. A fancy car like that costs a pretty penny, so I definitely can't afford it! Wow, Alex must have paid a pretty penny for a house in a gated community. That bracelet she bought on a whim today sure cost a pretty penny—she must be loaded.
See also: penny, pretty


informal The sum of one's available money. I didn't have a penny back in college. I survived off of rice, beans, and plain pasta for weeks at a time. We put every penny we had into this business. I don't know what we'll do if it doesn't succeed.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.


n. a police officer. (A play on copper. See the note at copper.) The penny over on the corner told the boys to get moving.
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Pennys herd enjoyed a super day's trading with 10 heifers averaging pounds 1,795.
8.04 (480m): Jaytee Maverick, Pennys Echo, Smoothreaction, Alnwick Bridge, Jonathan William, Bramble Keegan (W).
Heat 5: 1 Tax Boost, 2 Fernlea Flyer, 3 Jive Dancer (m), 4 Millbank Cheetah (m), 5 Riverside Gold (m), 6 Pennys Acer (m).
8.47 (450m): Sporting Panda, Silly Sophie, Whites Mccool, Socks And All (M), Pennys Loss (M), Cuteasabutton (W).
Meanwhile Lister expects to learn today of the extent of the injury picked up by Pennys Rock in a heat of the Henlow Mini Derby last Sunday.
The former champion came over to the stands rails when the field for the mile and a half race swung into the straight, and took Pennys From Heaven, ridden by Chris Rutter, with him.
7.21 (450m): Mahoonagh Floss, Champagne Rose, Bardic Bonita (M), Savana Isla (M), Lumina Mamba (M), Pennys Minty (M).
Heat two went to Simon Cull's Kildare Hi in 15.30sec, while Devenish's Mac Foiche clocked an identical time in heat three despite being slowly away after anticipating the start and having to battle before shading Pennys Honey.
The star performer was Ballymac Tomasso, who pinged from the traps and won by two lengths in 28.74sec from Sober Call with the Eugene Priceowned Pennys Wazowski five and a half lengths away in third.
NEWCASTLE (BAGS) 11.11 (480m): Tornaroy Tabasco, Pennys Presto, Nyla Louise, Highview Cracker, Anfi Bluebell, Lil Joy 11.28 (480m): Pennys Apache, Reiver Burn, Sugarland Lilly, Warcry, Fully Tuned, Sarasota Jewel.
Fastest in the first round was Eugene Price's Pennys Wazowski, who covered the 525 yards in 28.92sec after qualifying in 28.97sec.
Eugene Price's Pennys Wazowski was the fastest heat winner as he clocked an impressive 28.92sec.
It will be most interesting to see how Rosemary Price's Deanridge Pennys fares over the trip.
Crayford's S1 finale over 575m at 10.26 is a puzzler but PENNYS PLATE may be able to open her account at this level at the fourth time of asking.