Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Bit.

 Bit (of a horse).Bite. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Money. The word is used in the West Indies for a half pistareen (fivepence). In Jamaica, a bit is worth sixpence, English; in America, 12 1/2 cents; in Ireland, tenpence.   1
   The word is still thieves’ slang for money generally, and coiners are called bit-makers.   2
   In English we use the word for a coin which is a fraction of a unit. Thus, a shilling being a unit, we have a six-penny bit and threepenny bit (or not in bits but in divers pieces). So, taking a sovereign for a unit, we had seven-shilling bits, etc.   3

 Bit (of a horse).Bite. 


Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2015 · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors · World Lit.