The English language is a rich and diverse linguistic system but sudden and severe changes to the environment may bring some words to the brink of obsolescence. When this happens it is not only that word that is at risk, but all the phrases, idioms, proverbs and poetry that depend upon that word.
An example of this is the word ‘penny’. When many countries changed to a decimal monetary system,usage of the word penny went into a sharp decline. For a while its future appeared in doubt until the Penny Company came to the rescue, mating the word to their skateboards and ensuring its continued survival. With their penny skateboard and their penny nickel board, they have also taken the first steps in preserving the associated phrase “a penny for your thoughts and a nickel for your notions” But there are many other penny related phrases, proverbs and idioms still on the endangered list.
These also need to be protected and adapted to survive in the modern world. The following suggestions for the reintroduction of endangered phrases into the English language are based and expand upon the initial work carried out by the Penny Company.
“Not a penny in his pocket”: – He carries his penny skateboard in a backpack. “Without two pennies to rub together”: – One is enough; you can put both feet on the one board.
“Cut off without a penny”: – Have to walk home “Not a penny more”: – You have enough already. How many can you use at one time? “Take care of the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves”: – Regular exercise on a skateboard keeps your weight under control.
“Never made a penny, not a single penny”: – You bought yours, unlike your father who made his. “Make every penny count”: – Customise penny boards with a built in calculator “Turns up like a bad penny”: – Like a counterfeit penny board that’s not as stable as the genuine article “Turn an honest penny”: – Carving on a genuine penny board “Working for pennies”: – A job taken to earn money to buy skateboards “Feel like a penny waiting for change”: – You need some new wheels and stickers to jazz things up a bit.
“A penny here a penny there, it all adds up”: – a skateboard festival “The penny drops”:- at the end of the jump
“Two a penny”: – Sharing a skateboard “Not worth a penny”:- Rough terrain; not worth the risk of damaging the board “A penny farthing”: – Some distance away, but doable on a penny board “A penny is a lot of money, if you haven’t got a penny”: – But worth every penny. “See a penny, pick it up; all day long you’ll have good luck”: – Until its owner catches up with you. “Penny pinching”: – A despicable crime “Penniless”: – Sad