Last modified on 16 June 2013, at 22:57
bad penny (plural bad pennies)
- Used other than as an idiom: see bad, penny: A counterfeit or damaged penny.
- (idiomatic) A person or thing which is unpleasant, disreputable, or otherwise unwanted, especially one which repeatedly appears at inopportune times.
- 1916, Gilbert Parker, The World For Sale, ch. 4,
- "Felix Marchand'll have much money—bad penny as he is," continued Christine in her normal voice.
- 1918, Rex Ellingwood Beach, The Winds of Chance, ch. 17,
- Pierce remembered Hilda's prophecy that her indigent husband would turn up, like a bad penny.
- 1975, R. Z. Sheppard, "Springtime for Mosley (book review)," Time, 9 Jun.,
- But as the perennial bad penny of British political life, he keeps turning up at embarrassing moments.
- a bad penny always comes back
- turn up like a bad penny
- Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd ed., 1989.
- Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.