not have two pennies to rub together

not have two pennies to rub together

To be extremely poor; to have very little or no money to spend. During college, when I didn't have two pennies to rub together, I survived off of ramen noodles for months at a time. They used to be so well off, but after the economy crashed and their business closed, they don't have two pennies to rub together anymore.
See also: have, not, penny, rub, together, two

not have two pennies to rub together

or

not have two nickels to rub together

AMERICAN
If someone doesn't have two pennies to rub together, they are poor. My parents had just married and they didn't have two pennies to rub together. He didn't have two nickels to rub together when he got here. I think he's done pretty well for himself. Note: In old-fashioned English, you can say that someone doesn't have two brass farthings to rub together or doesn't have two halfpennies to rub together. There I was — a really good skier with loads of potential and I didn't have two brass farthings to rub together. Note: You can use other nouns in similar structures when you mean that someone or something has none or very little of a particular quality. He's useless — he hasn't got two brain cells to rub together.
See also: have, not, penny, rub, together, two

not have two pennies to rub together

lack money; be very poor.
See also: have, not, penny, rub, together, two

not have two — to rub together

have none or hardly any of the specified items, especially coins. informal
1999 Independent Soon you realise you have as many troubles when you are rich as when you haven't two pennies to rub together.
See also: have, not, rub, together, two