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four bits

noun, Slang.
50 cents.
Origin of four bits
An Americanism dating back to 1830-40
Related forms
four-bit, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for four-bit
Historical Examples
  • Peets gives this saddle-tinted longhorn a four-bit piece, an' he tells this yarn.

    How The Raven Died Alfred Henry Lewis
  • The four-bit piece lay shining on the porch floor where it had fallen.

    Back Home Irvin S. Cobb
Slang definitions & phrases for four-bit



Costing 50 cents; half-dollar: to smoke four-bit cigars (1840s+)

four bits

noun phrase

Half a dollar; 50 cents

[1840s+; originally a bit was a Mexican or Spanish real, worth 12½ cents, or a part of a more valuable coin, such that eight would make a dollar; ultimately fr 18th-century British slang bit, ''a small piece of money'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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