What Does the Expression “Put In My Two Cents” Mean When Stating an Opinion and How Did it Originate?

If someone speaks up out of turn or forcefully inserts their unsolicited opinion, we say he gave his “two cents’ worth.”

The expression dates back to the late nineteenth century.

Back then, if you wanted to write an opinion to the editor of a newspaper or complain to a member of the legislature, the cost of mailing the letter was the price of a two-cent stamp.

The phrase “two cents’ worth” became an Americanism for “of little value.”

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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