By Betty Vanderwielen

Getting Your Money's Worth

Funky Phrases


SEELEY LAKE – If Millie Mae is gazing into the distance instead of engaging in the group’s conversation, her friend Joan might say, “A penny for your thoughts.” But why only a penny? Does Joan assume Millie’s thoughts aren’t worth any more than that? And will Joan really pay Millie a penny if Millie reveals all?

Probably not. The phrase is simply a way of pulling someone back into the conversation, or at least inviting them to share what seems more important to them at the moment. As for the worth of their thoughts, that involves a little history.

The earliest written use of t...

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