- a former bronze coin of Great Britain, equal to one-fourth of a British penny: withdrawn in 1961.
- something of very small value: I don't care a farthing for your opinion.
Origin of farthing
Examples from the Web for farthing
“I am glad of that, for I have every wish to please you,” said the Farthing Doll.Adventures in Toyland
Edith King Hall
Farthing: three men hanging on a gallows; "The three Thomases, 1796."The Writings Of Thomas Paine, Volume III.
Farthing, penny, and sixpence, of the reign of George the Fourth.
His impression is that I was really steering and trying to drop into the Farthing Down beeches.Tono Bungay
H. G. Wells
The jury, without retiring from the box, returned a verdict of “Damages One Farthing!”
- a former British bronze coin, worth a quarter of an old penny, that ceased to be legal tender in 1961
- something of negligible value; jot
Word Origin and History for farthing
Old English feorðung "quarter of a penny," a diminutive derivative of feorða "fourth" (from feower "four") + -ing "fractional part." Cognate with Old Frisian fiardeng, Middle Low German verdink, Old Norse fjordhungr.
Used in biblical translation of Latin quadrans "quarter of a denarius;" the English coin (of silver until 17c., later of copper or bronze), first was minted under Edward I and abolished 1961.
I shall geat a fart of a dead man as soone As a farthyng of him. [Heywood, "Proverbs," 1562]