the penny drops
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- Understanding is reached; one comprehends.
- The penny dropped as Fred realised he had been conned.
- 1979, Dervla Murphy, Wheels Within Wheels, page 56:
- Suddenly various pennies began to drop; now I understood obscure remarks that had been made in my presence by the Ryans, or by the nuns at school, or by Old Brigid or Tommy's foster-mother.
- 2011 August 27 (broadcast date), Doctor Who, series 6, episode 8, Let's Kill Hitler:
- AMY: In the time I've known you, when have you shown the slightest interest in a girl?
- MELS: Penny in the air!
- AMY: I've known you for, what, 10 years? I've seen you practically every day. Name one girl you've paid the slightest bit of attention to? (RORY is flustered, runs from the room.)
- AMY: Oh my God! Rory! (AMY runs after RORY.)
- MELS: And the penny drops!
- May be used with variable tense and aspect: "the penny would have dropped", etc.
understanding is reached, one comprehends