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pinch pennies

Definition:

a) to spend very little money

German translation:

pinch pennies = geizig oder knauserig sein

penny pincher = der Pfennigfuchser

(LEO)

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GOOGLE INDEX
pinch pennies: approximately 85,000 hits
penny pincher: approximately 220,000 hits

 


 

Sample text:

A consumer-driven downturn would hit exporters especially hard as US consumers finally begin PINCHING PENNIES and cutting down on expenditures that have kept worldwide manufacturers in the black for the last decade.

(China Economic Review)

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That's because companies are still PINCHING PENNIES when it comes to travel. Bill McBain, assistant treasurer of Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc., says the company tries to keep travel costs low by having employees schedule multiple business meetings during one trip.

(CFO Magazine)



Did you know?

to pinch pennies
idiom

- to spend as little money as possible

(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)

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WORD ORIGIN

This figure of speech comes from the idea of pinching - meaning to squeeze something between the finger and thumb - every penny before letting go of it. And someone who pinches pennies is naturally a penny pincher. Take Ebenezer Scrooge for instance, the main character in Charles Dickens' 1843 morality tale A Christmas Carol.

Scrooge is an old financier (or moneychanger as they were once called) in Victorian England who undergoes a transformation from bad-tempered penny pincher to happy and generous big spender over the course of one Christmas Eve.

The image of the greedy businessman counting stacks of money while at his desk eventually developed into the noun “scrooge”, which refers to a mean-spirited miser (a synonym for penny pincher). Scrooge is also the name of Donald Duck's rich uncle, Scrooge McDuck (Dagobert Duck).

Dickens wrote his novel as a so-called potboiler, meaning it was only designed to make a quick profit in order to pay off a debt. The word potboiler is derived from the expression “to boil the pot”, which means keeping the cooking pots going in order to make enough food to live on.

(sources: Wikipedia, World Wide Words, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

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SYNONYMS

to pinch pennies: conserve, cut back, cut corners, cut down, husband, manage, retrench, save, scrimp, shepherd, skimp

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PRACTICE OWAD IN A CONVERSATION TODAY
say something like:

“Many companies are penny pinching at the moment, I wouldn't count on us getting a pay raise this year.”

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QUICK, Before you go… TEST YOUR MEMORY !

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mehrdeutiges Gerede, ambivalente Sprache = D _ _ _ _ _ T _ _ _

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