Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue – Day 246

The Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue was first published at the end of the eighteenth century, and given that the current health crisis is giving too much time to read books, I thought I’d pick a daily word from it until I got bored….

Penny-Wise and Pound Foolish

This definition hasn’t changed over the last two centuries, defined by Grose as “saving in small matters, and extravagant in great”. I don’t have much to add here, other than I find it surprising that the phrase has been in usage since the early seventeenth century, as it perhaps feels a little more modern.

And the phrase’s usage over the last two centuries.