not have a penny to (one's) name(redirected from don't have a penny to their names)
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not have a penny to (one's) name
To be extremely poor; to have very little or no money to spend. During college, when I didn't have a penny to my name, I survived off of ramen noodles for months at a time. They used to be so well off, but the economy crashed and their business closed, and they don't have a penny to their name anymore.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
not have a penny to your nameBRITISH, AMERICAN or
not have a cent to your namemainly AMERICAN
If someone doesn't have a penny to their name or doesn't have a cent to their name, they are poor. He never had a penny to his name while he was with me. Note: You can also say that someone is without a penny to their name with the same meaning. Four months after emigrating, the couple returned to Britain without a penny to their name. He ended up a helpless old man without a cent to his name. Note: You can say that someone has a certain amount of money to their name, meaning that is how much money they have. In 1990, with only $500 to her name, she landed a $33,000-a-week contract.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012