Definition of God's penny in US English:

God's penny

(also Godpenny, Godspenny)


  • 1A small sum paid as an initial instalment on striking a bargain, especially on concluding a purchase or the hiring of a servant. Compare "arles-penny", earnest penny. Now English regional (Yorkshire) and historical.

  • 2A penny or small sum given in charity. Now rare.


Middle English; earliest use found in Ayenbite of Inwyt. From the genitive of god + penny, so called on account of being originally devoted to some religious or charitable purpose.


God's penny

/ˌɡɒdz ˈpɛni/