in for a penny, in for a pound


in for a penny, in for a pound


  • to complete a task, no matter what it may need.
  • to put all of one’s effort into something.
  • to complete a task despite the cost, effort, and time involved.
  • to be steadfastly dedicated to a particular course of action despite the fact that it is undoubtedly expensive and time-consuming.
  • not to take half measures once you are involved.

Examples in Sentences

  1. In for a penny, in for a pound, we need to stay up all night and get the report done since we cannot turn it in half-finished.
  2. I have decided to see the project through—in for a penny, in for a pound.
  3. After the team’s defeat last season, they have decided that, “in for a penny, in for a pound,” they have to win the title this season.
  4. “I have to get my pound of flesh, in for a penny, in for a pound,” he said.


The adage “in for a penny, in for a pound” and its equivalent are not known to have any specific origins. The idiom, however, has been around since the 17th century and is still in use today. A humorous play by Thomas Ravenscroft that was composed in 1695 is when the idiom first appeared. The 1695 comic play is known as “Canterbury Guests.”

“Well than, O’er shooes, o’er boots. And In for a Penny, in for a Pound.”

Since the 17th century, when the idiom originally appeared, writers from all over the world have used it, although British writers have used it most frequently. A British author named Charles Dickens employed this term in his works, including Nicholas Nickleby, Oliver Twist, and The Old Curiosity Shop.

Even when employed by an American, the idiom keeps the term “pound,” and the word “dollar” is not used in its place.

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