One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘a penurious student’
poor, as poor as a church mouse, poverty-stricken, destitute, necessitous, in penury, impecunious, impoverished, indigent, needy, in need, in want, badly off, in reduced circumstances, in straitened circumstances, hard up, on one's beam-ends, unable to make ends meet, underprivileged, penniless, without a sou, moneyless, bankrupt, bust, insolvent
British on the breadline, without a penny, without a penny to one's name
informal broke, flat broke, cleaned out, strapped for cash, strapped, on one's uppers
British informal stony broke, skint, without two pennies to rub together, without two farthings to rub together, without two brass farthings to rub together, in Queer Street
North American informal stone broke
rare pauperized, beggared
2‘a penurious old skinflint’
mean, miserly, niggardly, parsimonious, penny-pinching, close-fisted, cheese-paring, scrimping, grasping, greedy, avaricious, Scrooge-like, ungenerous, illiberal, close
informal stingy, mingy, tight, tight-fisted, money-grubbing, money-grabbing
vulgar slang tight-arsed
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