Spending a British Currency Unit, was: Re: Brunch (1896); Dime (1995)---(Question)

Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Sat Feb 28 23:00:43 UTC 2004

Or those of us who remember US prices:

Here I sit all broken-hearted
Paid a dime to shit and only farted


>At 16:38 2/28/04, James A. Landau wrote, in "Re: Brunch (1896); Dime
>>About 1980 an Englishwoman told me that in England pay toilets (whatever they
>>are called) cost a shilling, and therefore "I have to spend a shillng" meant
>>"I have to go to the bathroom".
>High-priced relief, indeed. However, by 1980, British currency had been
>decimalised, from the old £1=250 pence=20shillings, to £1=100p (the unit
>being referred to in daily usage as a "pee"), and the shilling was no more,
>being then equal to 5p ("five pee").
>Whilst there might have been inflation in the actual cost of use of "public
>toilets" as they are known in the UK, the expression was, in fact: "to
>spend a penny", and this term remains in usage today.
>It also gave rise to the old toilet wall rhyme:
>Here I sit, broken hearted
>paid a penny, only farted.

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