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penny for your thoughts, a

What are you thinking about? For example, You've been awfully quiet—a penny for your thoughts. This expression dates from the 1500s and was in John Heywood's 1546 collection of proverbs.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.