One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A small Spanish silver coin formerly in circulation chiefly in central and southern N. America and the Caribbean. Now historical.
Petty, paltry; of little value. Compare "picayune". Now rare and literary.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in The Pennsylvania Gazette. Apparently alteration of Spanish peseta peseta + -een, after nouns ending in -reen.
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