red cent

Use red cent to mean an amount of money so small that it's basically worthless. A waiter might complain that her tips are so bad that she didn't earn a single red cent.

You'll always find this noun in some variation of the phrase "not one red cent." A stingy person announces that he won't give a red cent to any charities, while a crafty person plans to make every Christmas gift by hand, and not spend one red cent on presents this year. The red cent is symbolic, representing an a tiny amount of money. The original U.S. copper penny was reddish and was also called a red cent.

Definitions of red cent
1

n something of little value

“not worth one red cent
Synonyms:
darn, hoot
Type of:
ineptitude, worthlessness
having no qualities that would render it valuable or useful

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