Spend a penny – English Idiom – Online English Lessons

To spend a penny is an informal, euphemistic way of saying you are going to the toilet to urinate.

British English.

This phrase has its origins in paying a penny to use a public toilet.

Today, it costs more than a penny to use a public toilet but this phrase has stayed the same.

Examples of use:

1. Can we stop the car soon? I need to spend a penny.

2. I’m nearly ready to leave. You put the bags in the car while I go and spend a penny.

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