Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. A Scotch billon coin, weighing about 29 grains troy, first issued in 1542 by James V. of Scotland, and worth at that time 1½d. Scotch. A half-bawbee, worth ¾d. Scotch, was coined at the same time and had similar types. In Scotland the name is now given to the bronze halfpenny current throughout the British islands.
- n. plural Money; cash.
- n. Scotland, historical A coin originally worth six pennies Scots, and later three; held equivalent to an English halfpenny.
- n. figuratively A copper; a small amount of money.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Scot. & Prov. Eng. A halfpenny.
- n. an old Scottish coin of little value
- From Scots bawbee. (Wiktionary)
“If it is something very stingy or very liberal, all Thrums knows of it within a few hours; indeed, this holds good of all the churches, especially perhaps of the Free one, which has been called the bawbee kirk, because so many halfpennies find their way into the plate.”
“Here then, plain upon this apparent arbitrarily levised trifle, this petty provincial money-token, this poor bawbee, that is, this coin not only of the very humblest order, but proverbially sordid at that, we find clearly set down, long generations ago, the whole [Page: 99] four-fold analysis and synthesis of civic life we have been above labouring for.”
“a few hours; indeed, this holds good of all the churches, especially perhaps of the Free one, which has been called the bawbee kirk, because so many halfpennies find their way into the plate.”
“Sandy had in his pocket two coins -- a "bawbee", as the Scotch call it, a copper, and a gold sovereign.”
“So before me lies an old "bawbee" of my own home city.”
“But they may cash his bills that will; I ken ane that will never advance a bawbee on ony paper that has John Mowbray either on the back or front of it.”
““To show you the contrary,” said the Duke, “I will fill my box out of this canister without paying you a bawbee;” and again desiring to be remembered to Jeanie, with his good wishes for her safe journey, he departed, leaving Mrs. Glass uplifted in heart and in countenance, the proudest and happiest of tobacco and snuff dealers.”
““If I gie ye a bawbee,” said he to an urchin of about ten years old, with a fragment of a tattered plaid about him, “will you understand Sassenach?””
“I put a gold sovereign on the plate in mistake for a bawbee.”
“ A _bawbee_, the vulgar name for a halfpenny.”
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Citation: 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, unabridged from the original 1811 edition, with a foreword by Max Harris. London: Bibliophile Books, 1984.
Original title page: A Dictio...
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