one penny farthing

English translation: 1¼ pennies

English term or phrase:one penny farthing
English translation:1¼ pennies
Entered by: Andrew Vdovin

18:10 Feb 4, 2012
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
English term or phrase: one penny farthing
The wages and profits derived from this very hard work, carried on day and night, is almost too triflng to name; but a little reflection will show that their condition is far from wretched. Their direct profits depend upon their actual labour, as he who has most horses, or carries most loads from the mines to Barnaoule, receives most money. They have also ample lime to work their lands, and reap abundance of corn and vegetables. Scarcely any full grown man can be found who has not two or three horses, and as many horned cattle, employed during the season in carrying the ore, for which they receive at the rate of thirteen copecks the pood, — ***one penny farthing for thirty-six pounds***. Many of them prefer this employment, and are actually able to save considerable sums of money in it, especially those who have many horses.

This is a pretty old text describing Siberia of the beginning of the 1800s.
I can't really understand how much is "one penny farting" here - does this mean one farthing and a penny or something?
Andrew Vdovin
Local time: 14:23
1¼ pennies
A farthing was a ¼ of an old penny: ¼d

This way of expressing it was very common, cf. expressions like 'tuppence ha'penny' = 2½d
Selected response from:

Tony M
Local time: 09:23
Grading comment
Thanks everybody!!!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

Summary of answers provided
4 +131¼ pennies
Tony M

Discussion entries: 2



14 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +13
1¼ pennies

A farthing was a ¼ of an old penny: ¼d

This way of expressing it was very common, cf. expressions like 'tuppence ha'penny' = 2½d

Tony M
Local time: 09:23
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 54
Grading comment
Thanks everybody!!!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Helena Chavarria: I've just worked out that it was the equivalent to 0.521 of a modern-day penny! The first bicycles were called "penny farthings" because they had one enormous wheel (the penny) and a small one (the farthing).
12 mins
  -> Thanks, Helena!

agree  Vaddy Peters: рупь-двадцать
23 mins
  -> Thanks, Vaddy!

agree  Noni Gilbert: Yes
25 mins
  -> Thanks, Aceavila!

agree  Carol Gullidge: yep, tuppence ha'penny being twice a penny farthing (of course!). Not to mention the thruppenny bit, and the dear little silver sixpence. Those were the days... :)
27 mins
  -> Thanks, Carol! I remember farthings, I bet you don't ;-)

agree  British Diana: ..shillings, half-crowns, guineas....Tanner?? don't remember that. It is over half a century ago...
36 mins
  -> Thanks, Diana! Yes, and of course the tanner and the two-bob bit / Not quite! 'tanner' = 6d was current right up to decimalisation in 1971

agree  Yvonne Gallagher
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Gallagy!

agree  Paul Lambert
1 hr
  -> Thanks, Paul!

agree  Mark Nathan: My grandfather was always admiring thru'penny bits // Don't feel old, feel privileged... but actually I meant it in the rhyming sense.
1 hr
  -> Thanks Mark, for making me feel OLD! I was brought up on thre'penny bits. In fact, when I went on a 'Ban the Bomb' march just after Aldermaston, I was given one in my collecting tin, and I cried because I thought it was for ME! / Sorry, missed that one!

agree  Jack Doughty
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, Jack!

agree  trsk2000 (X)
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, TRSK!

agree  B D Finch: Those were the days when you could actually differentiate the coins by touch and had to learn your 1/8d times table.// i.e. try to divide a modern pound (or euro) between 3 or 6 people?
5 hrs
  -> Thanks, Barbara! Oh dear me yes, happy reminiscences! Do you remember 'aliquot parts of a pound'? / not quite, the idea that 2/6d was 1/8 £, etc. / Easy! 30p each, and the govt. takes the remainder ;-)

agree  Phong Le
1 day 19 hrs
  -> Thanks, Phong Le!

agree  Rachel Fell
5 days
  -> Thanks, Rachel! I expect you've read about them in history books ;-)
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