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pin money

any small sum set aside for nonessential minor expenditures.
(formerly) an allowance of money given by a husband to his wife for her personal expenditures.
Origin of pin money
Related forms
pin-money, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2016.
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Examples from the Web for pin-money
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Hammond must give you an allowance for housekeeping and pin-money.

    Husks Marion Harland
  • All that merry-making was the source of the Cabaal's pin-money, for the other seasons of the year.

    Mayflower (Flor de mayo) Vicente Blasco Ibez
  • I'll buy you what you need, and you'll account for all the pin-money you spend, down to every postage stamp.

    Quin Alice Hegan Rice
  • Even now the allowance which a lady is given for dress is called “pin-money.”

    The Heritage of Dress Wilfred Mark Webb
  • The point was, whether a wife should or should not have pin-money.

  • It isn't a case of pin-money with her; it's a case of clothing, rent, and nourishment.

    The Business of Life Robert W. Chambers
  • She works hard, and saves every penny of her pin-money to pay back the amount she borrowed on the forged check.

  • She received as her pin-money from her husband the revenues of Ponthieu and Montreuil.

    G. H. Q. Frank Fox
  • They have no ideas of settlements, establishments, equipages, and pin-money.

    Bracebridge Hall Washington Irving
  • It probably wont be much, but it will give you pin-money, and a few necessities.

British Dictionary definitions for pin-money

pin money

an allowance by a husband to his wife for personal expenditure
money saved or earned to be used for incidental expenses
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with pin-money

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® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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