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A small amount of money used for treats or other minor expenses. Even though her crafts are beautiful, Susan only makes pin money by selling them—it's her husband's job that pays the bills.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Small amounts of money for incidental expenses, as in Grandma usually gives the children some pin money whenever she visits. This expression originally signified money given by a husband to his wife for small personal expenditures such as pins, which were very costly items in centuries past. A will recorded at York in 1542 listed a bequest: "I give my said daughter Margarett my lease of the parsonage . . . to buy her pins." [Early 1500s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ˈpin money(informal) a small amount of money that you earn, especially when this is used to buy things that you want rather than things that you need: She teaches a little French now and then, just for pin money.This was originally the money given to a woman by her husband to pay for her clothes and other personal items.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
An allowance set aside for personal expenditures. The term comes from the early sixteenth century, when metal pins were very expensive. Indeed, a will recorded at York in 1542 listed a bequest: “I give my said doughter Margarett my lease of the parsonage of Kirkdall Churche . . . to by her pinnes withal.” The term stuck long after pins became a very minor budget item, and was extremely common until the mid-twentieth century. It is heard less often today.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer