half far-thing's


a former bronze coin of Great Britain, equal to one-fourth of a British penny: withdrawn in 1961.
something of very small value: I don't care a farthing for your opinion.

before 950; Middle English ferthing, Old English fēorthing. See fourth, -ing3

half-farthing, noun
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World English Dictionary
farthing (ˈfɑːðɪŋ)
1.  a former British bronze coin, worth a quarter of an old penny, that ceased to be legal tender in 1961
2.  something of negligible value; jot
[Old English fēorthing from fēorthafourth + -ing1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. feorðung "quarter of a penny," a derivative of feorða "fourth" (from feower "four") + -ing "fractional part." Used in biblical translation of L. quadrans "quarter of a denarius;" the English coin (of silver until 17c., later of copper or bronze), was first minted under Edward I and abolished
"I shall geat a fart of a dead man as soone As a farthyng of him." [Heywood, 1562]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Farthing definition

(1.) Matt. 10:29; Luke 12:6. Greek assarion, i.e., a small _as_, which was a Roman coin equal to a tenth of a denarius or drachma, nearly equal to a halfpenny of our money. (2.) Matt. 5:26; Mark 12:42 (Gr. kodrantes), the quadrant, the fourth of an _as_, equal to two lepta, mites. The lepton (mite) was the very smallest copper coin.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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