- skip - Brewer’s



From John Groat’s house to the Land’s End. From Dan to Beer-sheba, from one end of Great Britain to the other. John Groat was a Dutchman, who settled in the most northerly point of Scotland in the reign of James IV., and immortalised himself by the way he settled a dispute respecting precedency. (See John Groat.)

Blood without groats is nothing (north of England), meaning “family without fortune is worthless.” The allusion is to black-pudding, which consists chiefly of blood and groats formed into a sausage.

Not worth a groat. Of no value. A groat is a silver fourpence. The Dutch had a coin called a grote, a contraction of grote-schware (great schware), so called because it was equal in value to five little schware. So the coin of Edward III. was the groat or great silver penny, equal to four penny pieces. The modern groat was first issued in 1835, and were withdrawn from circulation in 1887. (French, gros, great.) Groats are no longer in circulation.

“He that spends a groat a day idly, spends idly above six pounds a year.”—Franklin: Necessary Hints, p. 131.

previous entry · index · next entry


Entry taken from Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, edited by the Rev. E. Cobham Brewer, LL.D. and revised in 1895.

previous entry · index · next entry

Grisilda or Griselda
Grizel or Grissel
Groaning Cake
Groaning Chair
Groaning Malt
Grog Blossoms
Groined Ceiling
Grommet, Gromet, Grumet, or Grummet
Grongar Hill
Groom of the Stole
Grosted or Robert Grosseteste