Phrase Origins: A Penny Saved Is A Penny Earned
ABSTRACT: Are you on a budget? If so, a penny saved is a penny earned!
"A penny saved is a penny earned," doesn't truly make sense in literal terms, but I can understand that it means saving a penny is just as good as earning a penny. Of course, this can be expanded to any amount of money, so saving any amount of money is just as good as earning it.
Of course, anybody would like to earn money rather than have to save it, but when it comes to money, it is better to have it than spend it when needed, so "a penny saved is a penny earned," does make sense.
The phrase is often attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but this is not the case. There are versions of the phrase found before Franklin was born.
The phrase first appears in print in the 17th century. At that time, it was usually a version of "a penny saved is a penny got" or "a penny saved is a penny gained." Sometimes the word "spared" was used instead of the word "saved."
These versions were used by George Herbert, Thomas Fuller, and Edward Ravenscroft. All of these men lived during the 17th century while Benjamin Franklin was not born until the early 18th century.
The closest time the phrase "a penny saved is a penny earned" could possibly be attributed to Benjamin Franklin is when it appeared in the Pall Mall Magazine . However, that magazine was not started until after Franklin had passed away.
Martin, G. (n.d.). A penny saved is a penny earned . The meanings and origins of sayings and phrases . Retrieved December 9, 2010, from http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/a-penny-saved-is-a-penny-earned.html
The Pall Mall Magazine - Collection Introduction . (n.d.). Rossetti Archive . Retrieved December 9, 2010, from http://www.rossettiarchive.org/docs/ap4.n12.raw.html