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two bits

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noun (used with a singular or plural verb) Slang.
  1. twenty-five cents.
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Origin of two bits

An Americanism dating back to 1720–30
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

quarter

Examples from the Web for two bits

Historical Examples

  • She will tell you much for a silver shilling; but she will tell you more for two-bits.

    The Corner House Girls Under Canvas

    Grace Brooks Hill

  • Ten cents a dozen; two-bits for fifty; half a dollar a hundred.

  • Reckoned that Bud was up to some cussedness off somewhere, and that he wouldn't answer for any two-bits.

  • Blessed old "two-bits" and a "dollar six-bits" are the only woolly things left over from the old wild West.

  • Swell car—poor man with no eats, not even a two-bits flop for tonight.

    Free Air

    Sinclair Lewis


Word Origin and History for two bits

n.

"quarter," 1730, in reference to the Mexican real, a large coin that was divided into eight bits; see bit (n.1). Two bits would have equaled a quarter of the coin. Hence two-bit (adj.) "cheap, tawdry," first recorded 1929. Cf. piece of eight; see piece (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with two bits

two bits

see under for two cents.

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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.