Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to peanut: Peanut allergy
pay (someone) peanuts
To pay (someone) a very paltry or miniscule amount; to pay the absolute minimum amount necessary. I had a few jobs during college getting paid peanuts, but it was the only work I could find that fit in with my studies. You're never going to be able to hire an effective manager if you're only willing to pay peanuts.
work for peanuts
To work for very little money. Geez, I need a raise—I'm sick of still working for peanuts after three years!
for chicken feed
For a very paltry or miniscule amount of money; for nearly no money or the absolute minimum amount. I managed to get tickets to the Super Bowl! Suzy's brother has a connection in the stadium, so we got them for chicken feed! I had a few jobs during college working for chicken feed, but it was the only work I could get that fit in with my studies. Oh for Christ's sake, I just had the car fixed and now you've put a dent in it!
For a very paltry or miniscule amount of money; for nearly no money or the absolute minimum amount. Primarily heard in Australia. I managed to get tickets to the Super Bowl! Suzy's brother has a connection in the stadium, so we got them for peanuts! I had a few jobs during college working for peanuts, but it was the only work I could get that fit in with my studies.
if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys
If you pay very low wages, you will only attract incompetent or unskilled workers (because better workers can go elsewhere to earn better wages). "Peanuts" is a slang term for low wages, and "monkeys" implies stupidity. If you want to a top flight design team, you have to raise your salary levels. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
for chicken feedand for peanuts
Fig. for nearly nothing; for very little money. (Also used without for.) Bob doesn't get paid much. He works for chicken feed. You can buy an old car for chicken feed. I won't do that kind of work for peanuts!
if you pay peanuts, you get monkeysBRITISH
People say if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys to mean that if an employer pays very low wages, they cannot expect to find good staff. The present pay policy will inevitably have an adverse effect on quality. As Sir Roger put it, `The truth of the matter is that if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.' Note: Monkeys are thought to like eating peanuts, and `peanuts' also has the meaning of a very small amount of money.
for peanutsand for chicken feed
mod. for practically no money at all. (see also chicken feed.) I won’t work for peanuts! They expect me to do all that for chicken feed.
for chicken feedverb
See for peanuts
n. an oaf; a nerd. You are so silly, Kim. You’re a real peanut head!
n. practically no money at all; chicken feed. They want me to do everything, but they only pay peanuts.
A rowdy audience. The original peanut galleries were the cheapest, which is to say, the highest, seats in a theater or vaudeville house. Their patrons heckled and often threw peanuts (the least expensive items sold at the snack bar) at performers who didn't measure up to the audience's expectations. The most popular children's television show of the mid-20th century was Howdy Doody (Howdy, Mr. Bluster, Flub-A-Dub and other marionettes interacted with their human friends led by Buffalo Bob Smith and Clarabelle the Clown). The studio audience were children who sat in the Peanut Gallery and were encouraged to laugh, cheer, or boo at the show's riotous happenings.