[baw-bee, baw-bee]


an old Scottish bullion coin, originally worth about three halfpence of English coin, later sixpence.
a halfpenny.
anything of little value.

Origin of bawbee

First recorded in 1535–45; named after Alexander Orok, 16th-century mintmaster, laird of Sillebawby Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for bawbee

Historical Examples of bawbee

  • The kist and its contents will be sold for a guinea and not a bawbee less.

  • Mr. Bawbee being a shrewd, hard-headed Scot, had an opinion of his own.

    Mark Gildersleeve

    John S. Sauzade

  • As to that perennial favourite, the bawbee or halfpenny, nothing need be said.

  • It doesna make a bawbee's difference in Thora's liking for Jack's lass.

    The Pilots of Pomona

    Robert Leighton

  • Now that I am going the way of all flesh, I have gi'en you every bawbee I have.

    Winter Evening Tales

    Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

British Dictionary definitions for bawbee



a former Scottish silver coin
Scot an informal word for halfpenny (def. 2)

Word Origin for bawbee

C16: named after Alexander Orok of Sillebawby, master of the mint
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