mean enough to steal a penny off a dead man's eyes

mean enough to steal a penny off a dead man's eyes

Extremely and reprehensibly miserly, avaricious, or stingy. ("Mean" in this sense is a synonym for "cheap" or "stingy.") Primarily heard in UK. No, we never went anywhere interesting together when we were going out. She was mean enough to steal a penny off a dead man's eyes, so anything that cost even a bit of money was off the table.
See also: dead, enough, eye, mean, off, penny, steal, to
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

mean enough to steal a penny off a dead man's eyes

Very mean. To keep a deceased's eyes closed, undertakers or whoever tended the body placed coins on the eyes. Anyone who would steal the money was indeed reprehensible. Just as evil was a man who was “mean enough to steal his wife's egg money,” pin money earned from selling eggs that the family didn't use themselves.
See also: dead, enough, eye, mean, off, penny, steal, to
Endangered Phrases by Steven D. Price Copyright © 2011 by Steven D. Price
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