A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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Twa penyis, Twapens, Twopence, Tuppens, Tippence, n. (pl.). Also: twa pennyes, tway-pennies, tuo pennies, -pence, tu pens, tuppence, tippens. Attrib. twa penny, -ie, tua pennie, two pen(n)y, tuo penny. Abbrev. twa d. [Late ME and e.m.E. to-pens (c1450), two pens (1477), tuppens (1541).]

1. a. A coin worth two pennies. b. Money to the value of two pennies. c. fig. Indicating a very small amount or something worth very little. The Burgh Laws quot. is perhaps more likely the erron. repetition of twa. a., b. [Their money they reckon after the French manner. A bodel (which is the sixth part of our penny) they [sc. the Scots] call tway-pennies, that is with them two-pence; 1661 Ray Remains 209.]
The tane sal gyfe to the aldyrman i d. for the entre and the tuthir i d. for the issche And gyf thai hafe changit betwene thaim twa twa penyis; Burgh Laws c. 28 (B).
The twapens of the croune comes to with my awne and all to liii s. 6 d.; 1589–1600 Skipper's Acc. (Morton) 47b.
Chickenes, henes and capones … might sell at tuo pence [(1817) 510/1, tuppens] a groat … they might sell … the dearest for a tuopence [(1817) 510/1, tippens]; 1641 Acts V 421/1.
For everie kow that came to the … mercat to be sold, now they ar forcit to pay … tuppence; 1641 Acts V (1817) 425/1.
Att his entrie [to the land] he dowbled his few dewtie vpon him, which is only tippence, and tooke a groatt; 1666 Lamont Diary 189.
The cypher of their majesties names on the on syde of the tuo pennies Scotts and on the reverss [etc.]; 1691 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 236.
Robert McMichell … deponed he gatt sex punds and tu pens of the money; 1679 Kirkcudbr. Sheriff Ct. Processes No. 341 (9 Sept.).
c. He wald not give tuppens for any privelege thay could afford to him; 1635 Edinb. Surgeons 114.
The moderators of the university of Glasgow … have not bene able to keip any table nor any of them hath as yet gotten a twopence of their stipends; 1661 Reg. Privy C. 3 Ser. I 39.
The poor traitour bodie that sells God for a tippence, and their consciences for a livelyhood … are the most miserable bodies in the world; M. Bruce Sermon in Edinb. Tolbooth 2.

2. attrib. Costing or valued at two pennies. b. specif. Of coins. See also Plak n. for further examples. The twa d. laif weyand x vncis fra this tyme furth; 1522 (c1580) Edinb. B. Rec. I 217.
That all baxteris that baiks court breid sall baik the ta half of the bache twa penny breid the tother half our penny breid; 1530 Soc. Ant. II 395.
xiii kaiks to be maid of the peck and na twa d. kaiks; 1549 Banff Ann. I 24.
Every deacon of craft … to cause put ane twopenny candle in their pews every Sunday morning in time of the morning exercise; 1593 Perth Kirk S. in Spottiswoode Misc. II 270.
That at na tyme heirefter any brother of craft baik ony tua pennie leavis within this ceitie; 1622 St. A. Baxter Bks. 85.
Nyn rimb of twa pennie peper … xxv rimb of pennie paiper; 1632 Edinb. Test. LVI 22b.
b. Fourty of the penneyis weyand ane unce and tuentie of the twa penny plackis weyand ane unce; 1588 Reg. Privy C. IV 317.
Ordaines the impression and circumscription of the said tuo penny peices to be the sword and scepter [etc.]; 1677 Cochran-Patrick Coinage II 169.

c. Twa penny faith, the name by which Archbishop Hamilton of St. Andrews's tract of 1559, Ane Godlie Exhortatioun, was popularly known, sometimes erroneously applied to Archbishop Hamilton's Catechism (1552) as in the Spotsw. quot. below. That they might give some show to the people that they minded reformation, they sparsed abroad a rumour thereof and set forth somewhat in print, which of the people was called ‘the two-penny faith’; Knox (ed. Dickinson) I 139.
They … gart prent thir actis and contitutiounis … and sealled thame … for twa pennyes quhilk eftirward was callit the twa penny faith; Pitsc. II 143 n. 1.
In this meeting order was taken for publishing an English Catechism, containing a short explanation of the commandments, belief and Lords Prayer; … This being imprinted, was sold for two pence, and therefore called by the vulgar, The two-peny faith; Spotsw. Hist. (1677) 92.

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"Twa penyis n. pl.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 21 Feb 2019 <http://www.dsl.ac.uk/entry/dost/twa_penyis>



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