Definition of bawbee in US English:



  • 1A coin of low value.

    • ‘In any given year only some contracts are up for renewal come the end of May, and a minority of players may resist moving on to an incentive-based pay plan while colleagues continue to earn their bawbees just for showing face.’
    • ‘Gaolers were amateurs and for a few bawbees you could escape.’
    • ‘I supported the party loyally for 35 years, often representing it in elections and, even more often, giving it my bawbees, both at local and national level.’
    • ‘In trying to squeeze every last bawbee out of the situation he has created, Scott is behaving exactly as he did when he ran the club.’
    • ‘It believes the bawbees can be put to better use.’
    1. 1.1 A former silver coin worth three (later six) Scottish pennies.
      • ‘So, beating down Bell from his upset price of fourpence to six bawbees, I pushed the treasure carelessly in my pocket, and never stopped till I was in a lonely place by Tyne-side and secure from observation.’
      • ‘I'll wager a silver bawbee that my horse can outrun yours to the MacBaron borders.’


Mid 16th century: from the name of the laird of Sille bawby, mint master under James V.