pin money

pin money

noun
1.
any small sum set aside for nonessential minor expenditures.
2.
(formerly) an allowance of money given by a husband to his wife for her personal expenditures.

Origin:
1535–45

pin-money, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
pin money
 
n
1.  an allowance by a husband to his wife for personal expenditure
2.  money saved or earned to be used for incidental expenses

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

pin money

Small amounts of money for incidental expenses, as in Grandma usually gives the children some pin money whenever she visits. This expression originally signified money given by a husband to his wife for small personal expenditures such as pins, which were very costly items in centuries past. A will recorded at York in 1542 listed a bequest: "I give my said daughter Margarett my lease of the parsonage . . . to buy her pins." [Early 1500s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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