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  1. meliss's Avatar
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    #1

    two-bit chancer

    "The levelling effect of Internet means that every two-bit chancer can publish a site..."
    "Chancer" - does it mean fool? Thank you.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: two-bit chancer

    Not exactly, but it is depreciative. I've never seen it defined, but I think it refers to someone who lives from hand to mouth, riskily. It's the sort of word protective fathers use of young men who they don't want to marry their daughters. A well-educated young man with a steady job and prospects of steady advancement is OK; but a high-school drop-out who is working on an online idea that has a chance of succeeding is a 'chancer'.

    b

    PS - Two-bit refers to some negligible US coinage - I'll leave something more precise to people who know. I'm not sure how dimes and nickels fit in - all I know is that they're not worth much.
    Last edited by BobK; 27-Nov-2006 at 18:03. Reason: PS added

  3. meliss's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: two-bit chancer

    I see, thank you very much indeed.

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: two-bit chancer

    Afterthought re 'two-bit'

    While this is (originally, and still mostly) AmE, there's a BE version: tuppenny-ha'penny (and if you recognize that as referring to 2˝ somethings, you're only half-way there - it's not 2˝p but 2˝d, which is worth a lot less [12d = 5p]).

    b

  5. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: two-bit chancer

    Quote Originally Posted by meliss View Post
    "The levelling effect of Internet means that every two-bit chancer can publish a site..."
    "Chancer" - does it mean fool? Thank you.
    Main Entry:2chancer
    Pronunciation:*
    Function:noun
    Inflected Form:-s
    Etymology:1chance + -er
    Africa : a transient job seeker from another country intent on quick profit

    - Webster's Third

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: two-bit chancer

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Not exactly, but it is depreciative. I've never seen it defined, but I think it refers to someone who lives from hand to mouth, riskily. It's the sort of word protective fathers use of young men who they don't want to marry their daughters. A well-educated young man with a steady job and prospects of steady advancement is OK; but a high-school drop-out who is working on an online idea that has a chance of succeeding is a 'chancer'.

    b

    PS - Two-bit refers to some negligible US coinage - I'll leave something more precise to people who know. I'm not sure how dimes and nickels fit in - all I know is that they're not worth much.
    Two bits is twenty-five cents, a quarter (of a dollar). Hardly a princely sum, but I'll take all you have.

    two-bit ('bĭt')
    adj.
    1. Informal. Costing or worth 25 cents: a two-bit cigar.
    2. Slang. Worth very little; petty or insignificant: a two-bit thief.


    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition Copyright © 2004, 2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

  7. BobK's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: two-bit chancer

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Two bits is twenty-five cents, a quarter (of a dollar)...
    So was there ever a 12˝ cent piece called a bit?

    b

  8. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: two-bit chancer

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    So was there ever a 12˝ cent piece called a bit?

    b
    I don't think so. I think the reference of 8 bits to a dollar is traced back to pieces of eight.

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