Top 21 Slang For Penny – Meaning & Usage

Penny, the smallest denomination of currency, may seem insignificant, but it has its own set of slang terms that are worth exploring. From popular culture references to clever wordplay, we’ve gathered a collection of the top slang for penny that will leave you feeling like a linguistic pro. Whether you’re a penny-pincher or just curious about the creative ways people refer to this humble coin, this listicle is sure to entertain and enlighten.

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1. Copper

This term refers to the United States one-cent coin, which is made primarily of copper. It is a common slang term used to refer to pennies.

  • For example, someone might say, “I found a copper on the ground.”
  • In a conversation about loose change, a person might ask, “Do you have any coppers?”
  • A cashier might say, “That will be 99 cents, please give me a copper.”

2. Wheatie

This term specifically refers to the Lincoln Wheat Cent, a type of penny that was minted in the United States from 1909 to 1958. The coin features two wheat stalks on the reverse side.

  • For instance, a coin collector might say, “I just added a Wheatie to my collection.”
  • In a discussion about rare coins, someone might mention, “The 1955 double-die Wheatie is highly sought after.”
  • A person might ask, “Do you have any Wheaties in your coin jar?”

3. Steelie

This term refers to the 1943 Lincoln cent, which was made out of steel rather than copper due to a shortage of copper during World War II. The steel cents are often called “steelies” by coin enthusiasts.

  • For example, a collector might say, “I have a few steelies in my collection.”
  • In a discussion about coin composition, someone might mention, “The steelies were only minted for one year.”
  • A person might ask, “Are steelies more valuable than regular pennies?”

4. Nickel

While “nickel” is a common term for the five-cent coin in the United States, it can also be used as slang for a penny. This usage is less common but still recognized.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I found a nickel on the ground,” referring to a penny.
  • In a conversation about loose change, a person might ask, “Do you have any nickels?” expecting pennies.
  • A cashier might say, “That will be $1.99, please give me a nickel,” referring to a penny.
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5. War nickel

During World War II, from 1942 to 1945, the five-cent coin in the United States was made with a composition that included silver. These coins, commonly known as “war nickels,” can also be used as slang for pennies.

  • For example, a coin collector might say, “I found a war nickel in my penny jar.”
  • In a discussion about coin history, someone might mention, “The war nickels were made with 35% silver.”
  • A person might ask, “Are war nickels worth more than regular pennies?”

6. Dime

A dime is a coin that is worth ten cents in the United States currency. It is smaller than a quarter and larger than a penny.

  • For example, “I found a dime on the sidewalk today!”
  • A person might say, “I need a dime to make a phone call.”
  • In a discussion about pocket change, someone might mention, “I always keep a few dimes handy for vending machines.”

7. Quarter

A quarter is a coin that is worth twenty-five cents in the United States currency. It is larger than a dime and has a distinctive ridged edge.

  • For instance, “I need a quarter for the parking meter.”
  • A person might say, “I found a quarter in the couch cushions.”
  • In a discussion about saving money, someone might mention, “I try to put away a few quarters each week.”

8. Two-bits

“Two-bits” is a slang term used to refer to twenty-five cents. It originates from the Spanish word “real” which was a former currency unit in Spain and Spanish America.

  • For example, “I only have two-bits left in my pocket.”
  • A person might say, “Back in my day, a candy bar only cost two-bits.”
  • In a discussion about old-fashioned prices, someone might mention, “You could buy a soda for two-bits back then.”

9. Half dollar

A half dollar is a coin that is worth fifty cents in the United States currency. It is larger than a quarter and has a distinctive silver appearance.

  • For instance, “I found a half dollar in my grandfather’s coin collection.”
  • A person might say, “I need a half dollar for the vending machine.”
  • In a discussion about rare coins, someone might mention, “A 1964 Kennedy half dollar can be quite valuable.”

10. Coppers

Coppers is a slang term used to refer to pennies, which are the smallest denomination of United States currency.

  • For example, “I have a jar full of coppers.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t bother picking up coppers off the ground.”
  • In a discussion about loose change, someone might mention, “I always end up with a pocketful of coppers at the end of the day.”

11. Ninepence

This term refers to a coin worth nine pence in British currency. It can also be used to refer to a small amount of money.

  • For example, “I found a ninepence coin on the street.”
  • In a conversation about prices, someone might say, “I only paid ninepence for this shirt.”
  • A person discussing thriftiness might say, “I can make a meal for just ninepence.”

12. Cent

This is a unit of currency equal to one hundredth of a dollar in the United States. It can also be used to refer to a small amount of money.

  • For instance, “I found a cent on the ground.”
  • In a discussion about prices, someone might say, “This item only costs a few cents.”
  • A person discussing saving money might say, “I’m trying to cut down on unnecessary expenses and save every cent.”

13. Lincoln

This term refers to a penny in the United States, which features an image of Abraham Lincoln on one side. It can also be used to refer to a small amount of money.

  • For example, “I found a Lincoln on the sidewalk.”
  • In a conversation about prices, someone might say, “This item only costs a few Lincolns.”
  • A person discussing frugality might say, “I can stretch my budget with just a few Lincolns.”

14. Copper penny

This term refers to a penny made of copper, which was the composition of pennies in the past. It can also be used to refer to a small amount of money.

  • For instance, “I have a collection of old copper pennies.”
  • In a discussion about prices, someone might say, “This item only costs a few copper pennies.”
  • A person discussing financial struggles might say, “I’m trying to make ends meet with just a few copper pennies.”

15. Penny piece

This term refers to a penny in general. It can also be used to refer to a small amount of money.

  • For example, “I found a penny piece in my pocket.”
  • In a conversation about prices, someone might say, “This item only costs a few penny pieces.”
  • A person discussing budgeting might say, “I can save a lot by cutting back on unnecessary penny pieces.”

16. One-cent coin

This refers to the smallest unit of currency in the United States, which is equal to one cent. It is made of copper-plated zinc and features an image of Abraham Lincoln on one side.

  • For example, “I found a one-cent coin on the ground while walking.”
  • A person might say, “I need a one-cent coin to complete my exact change.”
  • Another might ask, “Do you have a one-cent coin for the parking meter?”

17. Copperhead

This is a colloquial term used to refer to a penny. It is derived from the fact that pennies used to be made of copper.

  • For instance, “I found a copperhead on the sidewalk.”
  • A person might say, “I need a few copperheads for the vending machine.”
  • Another might ask, “Do you have any spare copperheads?”

18. Abe

This is a nickname often used to refer to a penny, derived from the image of Abraham Lincoln on the coin.

  • For example, “I found an Abe on the ground.”
  • A person might say, “I need an Abe to complete my collection.”
  • Another might ask, “Do you have any spare Abes?”

19. Brownie

This is a slang term used to refer to a penny, often used in informal contexts.

  • For instance, “I found a brownie in my pocket.”
  • A person might say, “I need a few brownies for the parking meter.”
  • Another might ask, “Do you have any spare brownies?”

20. Red cent

This is a colloquial term used to refer to a penny, often used in phrases that indicate a small or insignificant amount of money.

  • For example, “I wouldn’t pay a red cent for that.”
  • A person might say, “I need a few red cents for the bus.”
  • Another might ask, “Do you have any spare red cents?”

21. Copperhead cent

The term “Copperhead cent” is a slang term used to refer to a penny, specifically a penny made of copper. It is a play on words, combining the material of the penny (copper) with the name of a venomous snake (copperhead).

  • For example, someone might say, “I found a bunch of copperhead cents in my grandfather’s coin collection.”
  • A collector might discuss the value of copperhead cents, saying, “The copper content in these pennies makes them more valuable.”
  • Another might joke, “Watch out for those copperhead cents, they might bite!”