Penny for your thoughts

Hmn, you look troubled. Or just pensive, perhaps. I can see there’s a lot you’re thinking about. If I give you a penny (this is an old – 1535 – phrase, it would probably be worth a few million now!), will you tell me what’s on your mind?

Another phrase with ‘penny’ I wanted to do was “to spend a penny” as euphemism for going to the toilet. My grandmother always used to say it. It comes from the cost of using a public convenience, which back in the nineteenth century, in Britain at least, had coin-operated locks on the doors. And of course, in certain circles, at certain times, one does not want to even come close to mentioning any actual bodily function! So “I’m spending a penny” spares everyone’s blushes.

Interesting fact: the coin in this picture is actually a 2p!

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