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Howard Jones Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently (46) RE: Folklore: translations from Inspector Gently 31 Jul 20


Seventeen Kittle Witches' Grid" sounds bizarre to this Englishman. However there are some strange place names.

The list of pre-decimal coins misses out the halfpenny (pronounced "hayp'ny" and the threepenny bit (pronounced "throop'ny" or thrup'ny" according to location and class), which was a 12-sided brass coin. There was also the sixpence, known as a "tanner". A shilling was a "bob", and a florin (2/-) was more usually known as a "two-bob-bit". Crown coins stopped being issued in 1965 - I don't recall seeing one in circulation, but that would have been a large sum for me at the time. Half-a-crown (2/6) was also known as "half a dollar" or "two and a tanner". A pound is a "quid", and this has survived the change from notes to coins (when the pound coin was introduced there was a suggestion it should be known as the "Maggie", after Margaret Thatcher, because "it's hard, brassy and thinks it's a sovereign", but it didn't catch on).

Even in my early years at primary school we were expected to be able to add up columns of pounds, shillings and pence (including halfpennies and farthings), allowing for 12 pence to the shilling and 20 shillings to the pound, all without calculators. Of course, when out shopping we had to do it in our heads. And yet we were still confused when we went decimal!


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