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  1. chebu's Avatar
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    #1

    Question What "Spending a penny" means?

    Could you instruct me about the irony of the following sentence in one BBC article?
    "The irony was that, thanks to a well-placed department store, spending a penny cost nothing at all. "

    "spending a penny" means "going to wash room", right?
    I can't understand why it's ironical.

    This sentence is at the bottom of chapter of "Is free easy?"
    BBC NEWS | Business | Surviving on the best things in life

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    #2

    Re: What "Spending a penny" means?

    Quote Originally Posted by chebu View Post
    Could you instruct me about the irony of the following sentence in one BBC article?
    "The irony was that, thanks to a well-placed department store, spending a penny cost nothing at all. "

    "spending a penny" means "going to wash room", right?
    I can't understand why it's ironical.

    This sentence is at the bottom of chapter of "Is free easy?"
    BBC NEWS | Business | Surviving on the best things in life
    It's an irony that such a big department store charges for the toilets.
    Regards,
    rj1948.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #3

    Re: What "Spending a penny" means?

    Quote Originally Posted by chebu View Post
    Could you instruct me about the irony of the following sentence in one BBC article?
    "The irony was that, thanks to a well-placed department store, spending a penny cost nothing at all. "

    "spending a penny" means "going to wash room", right?
    I can't understand why it's ironical.

    This sentence is at the bottom of chapter of "Is free easy?"
    BBC NEWS | Business | Surviving on the best things in life
    Public lavatories in Britain had doors into which one penny was inserted in order to gain access - hence the euphemism "to spend a penny".

    The irony is that spending a penny cost nothing because the "well-placed department store" does not charge for the use of its lavatories.

    The irony lies in not spending any money to spend a penny.

  2. chebu's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
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      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 99
    #4

    Smile Re: What "Spending a penny" means?

    Dear Anglika

    >>The irony lies in not spending any money to spend a penny.

    Thank you soo much for your detailed instructions!
    Now everything is clear!

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