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See also: Farthing



From Middle English ferthing, from Old English feorðing (a quarter), from feorða (fourth), probably influenced by Old Norse fiórðungr. Equivalent to fourth + -ing.



farthing (plural farthings)

  1. (historical) Former British unit of currency worth one-quarter of an old penny.
    • 1883, Howard Pyle, The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood Chapter V
      "Nay, Heaven forbid, indeed," quoth Robin, "that I should take from such as thee, jolly fellow! Not so much as one farthing would I take from thee, for I love a fair Saxon face like thine right well—more especially when it cometh from Locksley Town, and most especially when the man that owneth it is to marry a bonny lass on Thursday next. But come, tell me for what price thou wilt sell me all of thy meat and thy horse and cart."
    • 1895, Parliament of Western Australia, Parliamentary Debates, Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly VIII, page 163:
      We must keep them to the fact that the duty is one and three quarter farthings, or nearly a half-penny in the pound and no more, and any one who tries to work it out any other way is not acting fairly in the matter.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, chapter II, in Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 731476803:
      I had never defrauded a man of a farthing, nor called him knave behind his back. But now the last rag that covered my nakedness had been torn from me. I was branded a blackleg, card-sharper, and murderer.

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