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90s Slang You Should Know

red cent

noun, Informal.
a cent, as representative of triviality:
His promise isn't worth a red cent.
Origin of red cent
An Americanism dating back to 1830-40 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for red cent
Historical Examples
  • That don't change matters a red cent, stranger; and as I said a'ready, he ain't a-goin' to see you.

    One Of Them Charles James Lever
  • He never got a red cent of it back, never even asked for it.

    Laramie Holds the Range Frank H. Spearman
  • It does not cost one single, red cent to congratulate the owner of the dog who has beaten yours.

    The Airedale Williams Haynes
  • Rothschild felt in his pocket, but he had not a "red cent" of change.

  • But since he handled his money as he did, it grew less and less, and at last he was left high and dry, without a red cent.

  • As for them, there's not a dollar left—nary a red cent; only my Luck.

    The Golden Butterfly Walter Besant
  • And it wouldn't cost us a red cent, either, because Uncle Mark'll stand for it.

  • But only look at it, grandpa, said the child; seeits only a red cent.

  • I'd let every man go out who wanted to, but I wouldn't pay-him a red cent, there!

    Hope Mills Amanda M. Douglas
  • Never in my life have I felt so grieved at being only a red cent, as then.

British Dictionary definitions for red cent

red cent

(used with a negative) (informal, mainly US) a cent considered as a trivial amount of money (esp in the phrases not have a red cent, not worth a red cent, etc)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for red cent

obsolete type of copper penny, 1839, American English, from red (adj.1) + cent. "Red" has been the color of copper, brass, and gold since ancient times.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with red cent

red cent

see under not worth a dime
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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