British coinage and slang

Love this image from Foyle’s War even though its not for the TV show but the soundtrack.

I’m watching Foyle’s War these days (another addictive BBC program) and I was getting confused by all the slang used to describe money and decided to make myself a primer for my own writing.

One shilling equals 12 pennies.
A bob is slang for a shilling.
A quid is slang for the pound (which equals 100 pennies)
A half-crown equals 2 shillings and sixpence (or six pennies which is what pence stands for)
One crown equals 5 shillings.
A halfpenny equals exactly that (half a penny) but it wasn’t created till 1971 (and is therefore not relevant to Foyle or Portia Adams)
A farthing equals a quarter of a penny and could be divided even down to a quarter farthing (which was 1/16th of a penny!)
A groat equals fourpence (four pennies)
A florin is a two-shilling coin and the slang is a two-bob bit.
A guinea is a gold coin worth 21 shillings

Any I’m forgetting friends?

Author: Angela Misri

Novelist, Digital Strategist & Journalist

7 thoughts on “British coinage and slang”

  1. Foyles war is a superb and most addictive .
    It was I believe commissioned by ITV and produced by the independent production company Greenlit. Greenlit is primarily owned by Jill Green who happens to be Anthony Horowitz wife. This changed a little along the years but I do believe the BBC didn’t produce this or show it. Either way an all time favourite of mine, the production values we’re exemplary and as result possibly priced it out of production.

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