One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A former French coin of low value.
- ‘Both appear to have been financially respectable, but hardly wealthy, paying between 50 sous and three livres per year in tailles.’
- ‘Van Gogh bought colourful woodblock prints for a few sous a pile from Père Tanguy, his paint supplier in Paris.’
- ‘We don't know if they visited le Palais or lost their sous at the tables, but we can see how they saw the city and its Baie des Anges by visiting Nice's museums.’
- ‘The most impressive breakthrough in this period was nevertheless made by Le Petit Journal, a Parisian daily of tabloid size, launched in 1863, and selling for one sou.’
- 1.1informal usually with negative A very small amount of money.‘he didn't have a sou’
- ‘With a bedridden child and dying wife, he described his desperate situation to art critic Théodore Duret: ‘I am sitting here literally without a sou.’’
- ‘At the Musee Cantini you can bet your last sou there'll be something new and exciting to see every time you visit.’
- ‘Even though we did not have two sous to rub together, we just knew it was going to be our home.’
- ‘They should produce a comprehensive White Paper on disinvestment for serious debate before selling a single sou of public assets.’
- ‘When the going gets tough, a Frenchman may have holes in his shoes, but will spend his last sou on a fine, nutritionally excellent, meal.’
French, originally as sous (plural), from Old French sout from Latin solidus (see solidus).
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