from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A small sum given back “for luck” to the purchaser or payer by the person who receives money in a bargain or other transaction.
  • noun A copper tossed overboard “for luck.”


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • And he was baith civil and just in his dealings; and if he thought his chapman had made a hard bargain, he wad gie him a luck-penny to the mends.

    Rob Roy 2005

  • The horse soon found a purchaser, and while the two were inside drinking the luck-penny the wizard came along and saw the horse.

    The Pink Fairy Book 2003

  • After a bad October Tryst, where my father had sixteen score of Aberdeenshire cattle, and when he lost £4 a-head upon every beast, Mr Geddes returned him £70 as a luck-penny upon a large lot he had bought from him.

    Cattle and Cattle-breeders William M'Combie

  • "Eight pounds five and ten shillings back for a luck-penny?"

    The Wind Bloweth Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne 1908

  • From behind the mound of mutton chops a buyer shoved a roll of dirty one-pound notes round the potato dish, and after due haggling received back one, according to the mystic Irish custom of "luck-penny".

    All on the Irish Shore Irish Sketches Martin Ross 1903

  • On the sofa two farmers carried on a transaction in which the swap of a colt, boot money, and luck-penny were blended into one trackless maze of astuteness and arithmetic.

    All on the Irish Shore Irish Sketches Martin Ross 1903

  • "I beg your pardon, miss," said the ostler, at her elbow, "would ye be willing to give twenty pounds for the mare, and he to give back a pound luck-penny?"

    All on the Irish Shore Irish Sketches Martin Ross 1903

  • A peasant who has brought in a bullock to sell is offered 90 copper "uten" (as the rings are called) for it; but he loudly protests that this is robbery, and after a long argument he screws the merchant up to 111 "uten," with 8 more as a luck-penny, and the bargain is clinched.

    Peeps at Many Lands: Ancient Egypt James Baikie 1898

  • One of his customs is to filch a little gold from his mother and sister on the last day of Shrawan (July) and make it into a luck-penny.

    The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India - Volume IV of IV Kumhar-Yemkala Robert Vane Russell 1894

  • Now again he was confused, being sure that this beast had never been given back as a luck-penny, since it would have fetched more than the fifty angels on the market; moreover, it was harnessed with a woman's saddle and bridle of the most beautifully worked red Cordova leather, to which were attached a silver bit and stirrup.

    Fair Margaret Henry Rider Haggard 1890


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